Hopp on Board
The Real Rodents of a Little Rodentia
Duke the Musical
The Godfather of the Bride
So you Think you can Prance
Zootopia released back in 2016 and was a rousing success. It took over a billion at the box office, bagged Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards and brought some great themes to the forefront, including hard work, determination and friendship.
The idea of anthropomorphic animals living in the big city certainly isn’t anything new, with anime like Beastars and Odd Taxi igniting the small screen, while the Sing franchise has been consistently fun with its oddball ensemble. Zootopia though has always been one of those worlds that feels under-utilized by comparison to its potential.
Given Disney’s desire to remake, sequel and constantly reinvent its numerous IPs, it’s perhaps surprising that Zootopia has never seen a sequel.
Zootopia+ is not a sequel, unfortunately, but it does whet the appetite for what this franchise could offer going forward. Unlike Cars On The Road, which released several months back, Zootopia+ works as a series of individual segments to reintroduce characters from the movie, throwing them into various different sketches.
The episodes themselves aren’t particularly trying and there’s not much in the way of creativity beyond riffs on tried and tested sketches. One episode sees Stu and Bonnie on a rescue mission to save their baby. Another is the obligatory musical ensemble for criminal weasel Duke, while the penultimate episode, “So You Think You Can Prance” sees Clawhauser and Chief Bogo auditioning for a show that’s set up to look exactly like America’s Got Talent.
It’s all rather formulaic stuff but it’s undoubtedly great to see familiar characters back again after such a long absence. The series is pretty simple in design too, but it’s perhaps a little disappointing that there’s only six episodes and each of the chapters only have a run-time of around 7 minutes or so. Honestly, you’ll be done after half an hour with this one!
The animation though is great and the lighting is fantastic across the board. Much like in the movie, the fur and facial animations are both excellent and the voice acting is pretty good too, with a stacked cast including returning favourites Kristen Bell and Idris Elba.
Ultimately, Zootopia+ works as a teasing reminder of how much this franchise could offer going forward. With rumours of a sequel potentially in the works some time down the line, this six part series feels like the perfect fodder to try and make that a reality.
Verdict - 7/10