I missed out on seeing Zootropolis (called Zootopia in the rest of the world) when it was in theaters at the beginning of the year. Not that I typically pay to see Disney films – much as I might like them, until my baby is old enough to watch with me in the cinema like a big girl, Disney movies tend to be the things I watch in the comfort of my own home. Lucky for me, I got to do just that with the Zootroplis BluRay. I enjoyed the film, but don’t take my word for it – it’s one of the highest rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes. It had a good mix of child-centric humor with plenty of adult references, some interesting characters and an important message – exactly what you’d hope for from a modern Disney film.
Many of you reading this are probably considering getting a copy of this so that your kid can torture you with hundreds of reruns of it for the next few months. So, what’s so special about it on BluRay? Well, obviously there are the usual deleted scenes and coming attractions, but no one buys a film on BluRay for that; it’s all about transfer quality and some other extra features that are certainly worthwhile.
The transfer is fantastic – all the glorious 1080p detail of animal fur, detailed stitching on costumes and even the various materials are faithful represented. The cheap wooden ice cream sticks are clearly such and look completely different to the slick trains and natural lush environments. The sound is also great, with all the ambient sounds like heavy animal footfalls, city din and rainfall being well balanced again pop music and dialogue. No need to adjust sound levels, this is a beautifully mastered audio transfer.
As for the extra features, first up, I loved the Z.P.D. Forensic Files. This is a short feature that shows off some of the Easter Eggs in Zootroplis. I had already spotted some Big Hero 6 references, as well as Moana, but there were way, way more that I totally missed. It’s such fun to see how the Disney animators like to sneak in Easter Eggs across their movies, and I’m sure that there are even more of them to find than shown off in this feature.
Next, I watched the deleted scenes and characters (I know, I’m not watching these special features in order, but so what). It was cool to see just how many characters didn’t make the final cut into the movie, but also how they were repurposed into other characters instead. It’s all part of the creative process, and always intriguing to see how that works.
Speaking of creative process, that adorable bunny wasn’t always the main character. The Origin of an Animal Tale tells the story of the movie’s development, and the decision to change the main character late in the production process. There’s also Zoology:The Roundtables that sheds some light on the unique animations, characters and environments created in the movie and how the world was brought to life.
I found the feature about the team’s research to be particularly interesting. Research: A True-Life Adventure started off a bit laughable for me. The team were instructed to go research the various animals they wanted to include in the movie, so they went to… Disney Animal Kingdom to find out more. Oh come on! Surely they could go to better places for research! But then they did, venturing off to the African Savannas to gain greater understanding of the animals they wanted to include. At first, I thought this was purely about animations, but they actually informed characters as well – water buffalo and wildebeests might have been presented very differently if they hadn’t seen them in the wild.
There is also special attention given to the music. So whether you just want to keep watching the animal version of Shakira sing her song, or you want to learn more by watching Scoretroplis – the feature explaining how percussion was used to create the incredibly organic and animalistic score – there is plenty for the musical enthusiasts among you.
Finally, Zootropolis has full closed captioning, something that is all too often neglected in home theater releases and can make a world of difference for the visually or hard of hearing.
Considering this was one of the best films Disney has released in recent years, breaking records at the box office and with critics’ scores, you’ll probably want to add this to your collection, especially if you want to make your little person at home a happier, kinder human.
Last Updated: July 14, 2016