Did that catch your attention? The plot to Zootopia isn’t a closely guarded secret like Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With Star Wars, the publishers were asked to withhold the book from a pre-Christmas release until mid-January to avoid any possible plot leaks. Somehow, Del Rey was convinced to miss this lucrative money-making period to preserve the story as a surprise for first-time viewers. But no such hold was placed on Zootopia where the plot to Disney’s newest animated film is revealed for the world to see. In a children’s book of all places.
Disney Press has published a number of Zootopia related books that are welcome flashbacks to the time when I was a kid. I was fortunate to be able to review a couple of them including Zootopia: Judy Hopps and the Missing Jumbo-Pop and the plot-revealing Zootopia: Read-Along Storybook and CD.
Zootopia: Judy Hopps and the Missing Jumbo-Pop is a great over-sized hardcover book that reminds me of the kind I used to cherish when I was a youngin’. At only 40 pages long, it’s the perfect size for a nice bedtime book you might read to your child. The pictures are bright and colorful, and the artwork is cute and stylized. It looks sort of like watercolor, but I can’t tell for sure the exact medium. The story is original and has nothing to do with the plot of the movie, but introduces you to Judy and the city of Zootopia and the many animals that inhabit this bustling city. The plot is simple and easy to follow and likely your children will guess the ending, but will have a good laugh doing so. (Recommended for kids 3-5, price of $16.99).
Zootopia: Read-Along Storybook and CD however reveals major plot points of the movie! It even goes so far as to have the actual actors voice their characters! Ginnifer Goodwin is just perfect as Officer Judy Hopps. She gives the exuberant bunny the pep you would expect from a rookie rabbit officer. Idris Elba as Chief Bogo is a tough, intimidating buffalo who is Judy’s commanding officer. And Jason Bateman portrays Nick Wilde, the clever fox who journeys from scoundrel to hero. Bateman’s voice on the read-along seems to be a weird match. I didn’t feel like he gave Nick much weight, although the previews from the movie look terrific. The read-along is even better than you’d expect! When I was a kid, there wasn’t this much background to fill out the story. Sound effects, music, and original cast voices really make this a fun listen. And at only $6.99, it’s hard to go wrong. (Recommended for kids 6-8 – or anyone who loves a good read-along)
But if you want to find out the plot? You’ll have to read it yourself. No spoilers here.
Both Zootopia: Judy Hopps and the Missing Jumbo-Pop and Zootopia: Read-Along Storybook and CD are available now at your local bookseller or online retailer.