A First Look Sneak Peek at Disney Animation’s Zootopia

It’s not scheduled for release until March 4, 2016, but Walt Disney Animation Studios is giving us a sneak peek at the upcoming animated feature Zootopia via a preview piece in today’s USA Today.

Co-directed by Wreck-It Ralph‘s Rich Moore and Tangled‘s Byron Howard, they offer the first look at the “sly con-artist fox” known as Nick Wilde (voiced by Jason Bateman) and “idealistic rookie rabbit cop” Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, star of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.”

The story involves these two characters who don’t get along at first but must work together when Nick needs Judy’s help getting out of a jam as she’s trying to crack a big case. Moore describes the film as the story of “two animals who would naturally never hang out or like one another in the beginning, but over the course of the movie develop a relationship and become friends.” So apparently, it’s a buddy comedy via anthrapamorphic Disney cartoon characters. 

Moore tells them that they cast Bateman to bring a “funny yet heartfelt side” to Nick while Goodwin brings a “very centered sweetness, tremendous heart and a great sense of humor” to her character, describing her as a cross between “Pollyanna and Furiosa”  from Mad Max: Fury Road

Bateman adds that Nick is a “crafty, sarcastic schemer” while Goodwin describes how her character sometimes gets unhinged and is often underestimated.  “She gets hoppity emotionally,” she said. “People mistake kindness for naivete or stupidity, and she is a good girl through and through. But she’s not a dumb bunny.”

Apparently, the filmmakers spent months doing behavorial research on animals, including an African safari, to create some of the movie’s environments, which include Tundratown, Sahara Square, and Judy’s farmland home of Bunny Burrows, which she leaves to become a big-city police officer.