Shakira to voice superstar Gazelle in Disney's Zootropolis
The film, set in a city run completely by animals and featuring the voices of Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin, is released next March
Popstar Shakira will voice a character named Gazelle in Disney’s upcoming Zootropolis (US title Zootopia) as well as providing a song for the forthcoming animated movie, it was announced today at Disney’s D23 Expo event in Anaheim, California.
Unsurprisingly, given the fact that all the characters in the movie are animals, Gazelle, described as “Zootropolis’s most beloved superstar”, is a gazelle.
“I’m so happy to announce I’m going to be a part of the new Disney movie Zootopia,” the singer said, as she addressed the crowd video link, before playing an exclusive extract from her song Try Everything, which will feature in the film. (We can’t give too much away, but we can confirm it’s pretty catchy.)
Released next March, Zootropolis is set in an animal city, in which creatures of all different shapes, sizes and dietary habits live together in adjacent neighbourhoods, and fulfil different roles in society. The animals in the movie walk, talk, and wear clothes: according to principal creative advisor and Toy Story director John Lasseter, who was hosting the panel, Zootropolis is going to be a “talking animal movie for today's audiences”.
In it, Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon a Time, Walk the Line) voices an ambitious, idealistic young police office, a rabbit named Judy Hopps, who is forced to team up with a shady fox, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), to investigate the mysterious disappearance of an otter.
“She from the outside of town. She moves to the big city to follow her dream to become the first bunny cop in Zootopia’s police station,” Goodwin told the D23 audience.
According to directors Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck It Ralph), who were also at the event, the other police officers in the film are all big, tough animals: rhinos and hippos and elephants. While her colleagues get the more exciting assignments, poor Judy is initially relegated to parking duty.
“She’s an eternal optimist, so she decides she will be the best meter maid ever, and prove that she’s capable of much more” said Goodwin.
The filmmakers then unveiled an exclusive clip, in which Judy first encounters Nick at an animal ice cream parlour.
In it, Nick manages to persuade the soft-hearted bunny to purchase an elephant-sized ice lolly for his “adopted, orphan” son, who he claims suffers from a heart-breaking condition which means he believes he’s an elephant.
Later on, Judy is less than pleased to discover she’s been tricked, and that Nick has melted the giant lolly into smaller treats, selling them to lemmings to make a profit. (If the first lemming buys one, the rest quickly follow suit.)
Despite this shaky start, the filmmakers suggested that, as the film develops, and Judy is given 48 hours to work with Nick to solve a case, the pair’s relationship will come to change.
“As in all great buddy comedies, these two animals do not like each other at all. But, over the course of the 48 hours together, Nick starts to gain respect for his buddy. No matter how big the obstacle, she remains determined to solve the case,” said Howard.