Friday, June 17, 2016

Passing Thoughts On: Zootopia

Disney wins? Okay, Disney wins. At least in terms of Zootopia, anyway. As for the remakes of some of my childhood Disney favorites I've seen trailers for, well, I like to think I'm a fair guy, so I'm willing to at least give them a shot, though I'm not really sure how badly we need remakes of Pete's Dragon and Jungle Book.

Now, onto my thoughts about Zootopia. This is one of those movies that kind of got the crap hyped out of it. This is Disney branded Pixar work, as I understand it, so said hype is not unwarranted, at least not entirely. At the same time, I've seen the hype train crash at high warp velocity way too often to not be suspicious. This time, it worked out great. I guess when done right, this kind of thing can work. Plus, I've got a couple Internet buddies who say they've seen this one about fifty-three times each, and one of them even owns multiple copies on DVD.

All the same, I was going into this as spoiler-free as I could after having been later to this party than I was to The Force Awakens and Kung Fu Panda 3. But, after a crappy day at work, I took some advice from one of the last cartoon villains of my childhood and just got out there and made this happen. I know Robotnik had a line like that in one of the later episodes of Sonic SatAM, but I can't remember the specific episode title. I'm kind of glad I did, too, because between the time playing Tetris at the arcade, the movie and a way-too-late proper dinner, I'm better now, I think. Seems like anything that even kinda-sorta resembles a half-assed plan on my part finds every possible way to blow up in my face in cases like this, and it seems worse so far this year than it has in awhile.

But, back to the movie. Our story here is of small-town girl Judy Hopps moving to the big city of Zootopia with the even bigger dream of becoming the metro area's first bunny cop. For awhile in my planning stage of all this, I was hoping I'd get to use the Raocow bit I opened with for a name joke here, but there's something about those cute purple eyes of hers that makes my main guns go dead in that regard, and I'm not even all that much of a bunnygirl fan.

From here on, I'm going to take the lesson from this move to heart and at least try to make this as spoiler-free as I can. Given my previous work along these lines, I make no promises, but I can at least make the effort.

To generalize, yeah, this goes about the way you'd think if you've seen more than one movie like this. That said, in spite of that, it seems like this is a movie that really and truly manages to get everything exactly right. Sure, our girl Judy does make the force and goes on to solve the big case she needs to solve to prove herself worthy of being there. There was sufficient misdirection and false leading to keep me guessing as to who the real villain was and what their motivations were until the big reveal at the end of the movie. The snarky bastard in me wonders if it was really the writing and production in all of this that kept me fooled or if it was just that I needed to turn my brain off after too many “of course that would happen” moments at work. After all, the straw that broke the camel's back in this case came at about 6:30 PM, when I had finally decided that yeah, I was going to do this. “What the hell,” I told myself, “if it stays slow like this, I just may get off work in time to go home, take a shower and have a decent meal like a civilized person before the movie.” Of course that didn't quite happen, but at least I had time for a couple games of Tetris at the arcade beforehand.

Given the amount of effort that I know went into making this as detailed and technically correct in as many ways as it is, I'm inclined to believe that it's the work of the people involved. All that time and effort payed off for them, I think. Now that I know how it ends, I feel more than a little silly for not having figured it out halfway through, considering how much time I spent reading mystery novels in high school.

The lesson, more or less, at the end is that even though the world's a complex place and being civilized to one another ain't easy, but it just might work if we try it anyway.

In the end, yeah, I'd recommend this. It definitely lived up to the hype, and will eventually find its way into my DVD collection alongside the first Kung Fu Panda movie and a few others I've seen over the years. In fact, I think I may even go back tonight after work and see it the right way this time, even if I do still have it relatively fresh in my mind. It's most certainly worth another $3.50, at any rate. Better yet, there may even be a second review of this one.

No matter what, though, I'm hoping to have something new up then, as well.

See you soon, everyone.

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