2016 ( USA ) ( Animation, Adventure, Comedy )
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba
Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore
The genius of this film lies in its combination of traditional Disney characters and situations with a very subversive storytelling style. This is a movie that, at one level, children will relish but that will also induce a sense of wonder in many adults at just how barbed its storytelling style often becomes. Few live action dramas have scripts as sharp and satirical as this.
In their own subtle way, the film-makers are dealing with sexism, racism and political correctness. All kinds of animals live side by side but there are very strict hierarchies. The animals are all defined by their backgrounds and breeds. Some animals defy their stereotypes. Others live up to them. One inspired sequence shows the sloths in charge of the clerical work at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Their lethargic expression and movement leaves customers in a state of exasperated despair.
This brilliantly well-rounded film offers a thoughtful, inclusive message that’s as rich and timely as its sumptuously state-of-the-art animation, all while remaining fast and funny.