The Wonderful World of Zootopia

You want to know why your mother and I are so happy?

Because we gave up on our dreams and we settled.

So begins the plot of the latest Disney animated flick about the bullied bunny daughter of two carrot farmers as she heads to the big city of Zootopia to become the first bunny police officer. Ginnifer Goodwin’s sweet and innocent voice lends itself to the character of Judy Hopps perfectly, and compliments the sass of Jason Bateman’s foxy Nick Wilde.

Zootopia is beautiful

©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

While the message of inclusion feels a little heavy handed at times (think Fern Gully and Happy Feet), it’s a good message and one of being able to do anything regardless of who you or what others perceive of you. Shakira’s Gazelle character sings an upbeat song about trying everything, which serves as one of the main themes of the movie.

The imagery is visually stunning with vibrant colors and intricate animation depicting the tiniest details of the many climate controlled districts designed to accommodate anthropomorphic mammals of all walks of life from the arctic Tundratown to the deserts of Sahara Square.

Judy recruits hustler Nick to help her in a case which she promises the wife of a victim to help solve, despite the near loss of her job for doing so.

The film is ripe with clever one liners and adult jokes to keep childless grownups like me happy, but cute and sweet enough that I want to take my niece and nephews to see it.

Life isn’t an animated show where you sing a little song and your insipid dreams come true.

You’ll also find a few Frozen nods if you look closely enough. In one scene, two little elephants are dressed up as Anna and Elsa.

Zootopia Anna and Elsa Frozen Easter Egg

ZOOTOPIA – TUNDRATOWN. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Zootopia Easter Egg Anna and Elsa Frozen

©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Even one of the characters, Duke Weasleton, voiced by Alan Tudyk, is a subtle nod to Anna and Elsa’s foe, the Duke of Wesselton (also voiced by Tudyk).

You play cribbage with a weasel
And he cheats

A lot of stereotyping animals occurs throughout the film, but of course, my favorite scene is still the DMV sloths. Sure, they may be slow, but they are the most adorable, funniest creatures in the movie. They just look so happy! And Flash is the man.

Zootopia Sloths - Flash

©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved. I love him so hard.

The movie includes sloths (which I’m seriously hoping means there will be more sloth toys and accessories for me to collect as a result of this movie) and mention cheese; the only thing missing from my favorite things was dolphins, but maybe we’ll see Zootopia 2: Under the Sea coming soon.

Oh sweet cheese and crackers.

Zootopia Slothursday Snapchat filter

Even Snapchat was all, “Chrissy, the sloths love you and want to dance with you.” (Follow quirkychrissy on Snapchat for more weird snaps)

As Judy and Nick follow leads through Zootopia, an unlikely friendship between Predator and Prey occurs despite Judy’s fox away spray. But hey, at least she didn’t opt for the fox taser.

Oh come on; when is there not a need for a fox taser?

Zootopia Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps

©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

In the end, Zootopia acknowledges our flaws, through its humanless world and looks to a brighter future, as long as there are good guy fighting the way.

The world has always been broken; that’s why we need good cops like you.

Have you seen Zootopia yet? What animals are you most looking forward to watching on the big screen? What’s your favorite Disney movie to date?

Zootopia opens in theaters everywhere on March 4. No one paid me to say nice things, but I was able to see an early screening of the movie in order to review it. I went because of the sloth trailer. Can you blame me?

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Dreamers Need to Stick Together

Disney has been knocking them out of the park with magic lately. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to see a pre-screening of Disney’s Tomorrowland, which hits theaters today. It was worth every second. The premise of Tomorrowland begins with a parallel universe of dreamers that welcomes young inventor, Frank Walker (George Clooney), after he sneaks through the front door. The movie jumps back and forth from Walker’s childhood and the story of Casey Newtown (Britt Robertson), who stumbles upon a glimpse of Tomorrowland through a magic pin and looks to Walker to help her get back in.

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

After Casey discovers the existence of Tomorrowland, Athena guides her to Frank, an unwilling participant in the return to the future. Much of the movie is spent escaping killer robots on earth as Frank, Casey, and Athena eventually  work together to return to Tthe titular universe.

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Tomorrowland is a place where anything is possible if you just dream it. Very innovative Disney. You’ll note a few odes to classic Disney, and I have to admit I cried a little bit when they showed a scene featuring the “It’s a Small World” ride. I can’t help it. Disney World makes me cry nostalgic tears.

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

I honestly didn’t know what to expect; I just knew I wanted to see this flick. You know how I feel about Disney. The action sequences are fun, and the humanistic robots are pretty entertaining to watch (look for some SERIOUSLY entertaining cheesy grins). There are some incredibly inspirational lines that made my heart burst.

-Dreamers need to stick together-

Clooney is a convincing pessimist who’s lost all hope while Roberston shows us that optimism is full of hope. Raffey Cassidy is bright and full of life as the mysterious little girl, Athena. Hugh Laurie (omg House!) plays a phenomenal bad guy who gives you just enough of an impression that he’s doing it for the greater good but…is he? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

The story is all about believing, dreaming, and never giving up. All my favorite themes of whimsy. As a writer and a dreamer, I sometimes need reminders not to give up. This was a good one. Fun for the whole family, this movie is full of fun, action, friendship, and innovation. Because jetpacks were designed to inspire people, right?

Are you looking forward to seeing Tomorrowland? Are you a Disneyphile like me? What types of movies energize you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Do You Want to Build a Snow Man? Movie Review of Disney’s Frozen

You guys.

Today, Frozen comes out. If I weren’t so darn busy this weekend, it would be a MASSIVE priority to take my niece and nephew to see this puppy. Luckily for me…I’ve already seen it.

Because wow.

Disney's Frozen Movie Review

First and foremost, if you’re going to see this movie, MAKE SURE YOU GO IN 3D.

I can’t stress this enough. Brian can’t stress this enough. Just do it. And note that you’re doing it for the short that precedes the movie. Brian was so impressed that he wanted to tell you all about it immediately. And of course, he wanted to spoil it for you so I said, “No, Brian. I’m writing this review. And I’m going to tell them that the short is awesome, and the coolest thing you’ve ever seen. But I’m not going to tell THEM about it. It’ll ruin the awesome.”

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In all seriousness, Blog Friends, Brian really enjoyed the movie, but mostly he was obsessed with the short. It was really cute.

Now, on to Frozen.

The premise of Frozen is one of my favorite fairy tales of all time, The Snow Queen. I would make my mom rent the Fairy Tale Theatre version from Blockbuster EVERY time I was sick at home because I loved it so much.

"FROZEN" (Pictured) ELSA. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

This story takes a much different turn on the Snow Queen, but it’s just as lovable. Two sisters, Elsa and Anna grow up as princesses, and one is set to become queen. She’s got some crazy cool powers, but can’t seem to get them under control…and accidentally freezes the entire village. Anna must try to help her sister before it’s too late! (Did I do a good job avoiding spoilers? I hope so.)

"FROZEN" (Pictured) ANNA. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Anyways, the movie was wonderful. I laughed. I cried. I laughed some more. You all know how much I love Kristen Bell (hello adorable sloth-loving friend!) Well, what I didn’t know was that she’s got a Broadway musical background and a stellar voice. Idina Menzel anyone? I saw her live over the summer and she’s as funny in real life as she is musically talented.

 

The two princesses belt out into the best Disney musical soundtrack since the golden age of Disney. It renewed my dream of writing Disney lyrics. They’re witty and whimsical with the perfect hint of grown-up language to help build children’s vocabularies.  I stand by the fact that Disney made me smarter.

Anna reminded me a little of Rapunzel, but with a little bit more worldly experience (even though she hadn’t really had any either). Elsa was sad and beautiful, but took a stand to be her own person, much like Ariel, though not on a hunt for her dream prince.

"FROZEN" (Pictured) OLAF. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The comic relief comes from everyone, but Olaf the Snowman who couldn’t wait for summer was super fun. Kristoff and his reindeer Sven were also fantastic. Kristoff talks to his reindeer, but Sven never talks, much like Prince Charming’s horse in Sleeping Beauty. Of course, the difference is that Kristoff responds on behalf of his reindeer. And it’s fun. Look for the sassy pants trolls to add a little extra joy to an already wonderful movie.

Go forth and see this movie. And stay through the very end of the credits. There’s an extra clip!

Frozen opens Wednesday, November 27, 2013.

Website: Disney.com/Frozen
Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyFrozen
Twitter: Twitter.com/DisneyAnimation
 
FROZEN (In 3D)
DISNEY
Genre: Animated Comedy/Adventure
Rating: PG
U.S. Release Date: November 27, 2013
Voice Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds
Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee
Original Songs by: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Original Score Composed by: Christophe Beck
 
I was not compensated to write this review, though I was given the opportunity to see the movie prior to its opening to facilitate this review.
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!