Sunday, 3 April 2016

Knick Knack to Zootopia

Zootopia is the latest Pixar movie that takes animals to greater sophistication
Many moons ago -- in the late 80s in Vancouver, there used to be a movie theatre called The Ridge on Arbutus Street where it showed a balance of arty and blockbuster films. And it was also the place that hosted the Festival of Animation each year in the fall.

I was a fan already in senior high school and to be honest most of the cartoons were not the Walt Disney type. There was a really gory one called Lupo the Butcher who would be carving meat and mistakenly cutting up his digits and other body parts...

Toy Story was Lasseter's break out box office hit
These were perfect for the high school and university crowd looking for edgy stuff that was completely unconventional.

Oh yes, and Godzilla Meets Bambi...

But I digress.

One year a guy called John Lasseter designed the poster for the animation festival and was there signing autographs if you bought the poster. I got him to sign it and loved one of his first CGI cartoons called Knick Knack that was a lot of fun, and a precursor to Toy Story.

So every time a new Pixar movie comes out I'm reminded of briefly meeting Lasseter many moons ago in Vancouver and the latest one Zootopia is a feel-good movie that teaches the importance of perseverance, but also size doesn't matter as long as you use your brains.

John Lasseter continues to have fun on the job
Zootopia is a metropolis where animals all live together, and a determined rabbit Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) from a small town wants to make a name for herself as the first rabbit officer there.

She has 48 hours to crack a case that hasn't been solved in the past two weeks and she enlists the help of a con artist fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to find the clues.

Along the way some of the characters they come across are hilarious, like the sloth Flash and Mr. Big.

Looking at Zootopia and Lasseter's stuff in the 80s, you can see how far CGI has gone, and of course having a lot of resources behind you.

Apparently the animal hairs in each character in Zootopia are many times more than what was shown in Elsa's hair in Frozen.

Fans will never let go of Frozen...
We're glad to see the quirky and witty humour is still there, as there's one scene where Pixar pokes fun at itself.

Now where is that poster I had over 25 years ago? I could have sworn it's in my closet somewhere...

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