Zootopia’s Ginnifer Goodwin, who has starred for years as Snow White in TV’s “Once Upon a Time” and also performed as the voice of fairy Fawn in Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast, voices feisty and optimistic bunny cop Judy Hopps in the fun new Disney animated film. Have you had a dream job that you are determined to get some day? Then you can identify with Judy Hopps.
Filmmakers have said that Ginnifer has a “natural positivity and great energy” that worked for Judy. “She embodies the purity and determination we wanted for Judy. We just told her to be herself”. Ginnifer says “I was told that Judy is a glass-half-full kind of bunny. She’s a spark plug!” Ginnifer was also picked for her ability at comedy, “She really knows how to play that wholesome, sweet character in a funny way”.
We ask Ginnifer about Judy’s new job.
Ginnifer: Judy Hopps is the first bunny cop on the Zootopia police force which, until this time has been composed of predators.
Q: How are you like Judy?
- Ginnifer: I think I’m as animated in real life as most of the things that Disney puts on the screen (she laughs). Judy and I are both fiercely optimistic and idealistic and little bit self-righteous. We’re determined and ambitious. We are both “tryers” . We are similar enough that the casting was probably appropriate..
Q: Tell us about the Nick Wilde character.
- Ginnifer: Nick Wilde is a slick fox (voiced by Jason Bateman) who hustles in Zootopia. He believes very strongly that you are who you are and can’t break out of the preconceived notions put upon you based purely on the animal you are born to be. Judy has to team up with Nick to solve a crime as she gets no help from anyone else on the police force.
Q: What case is Judy trying to solve? How does it involve Nick Wilde the fox?
- Ginnifer: There are fourteen missing mammals we learn at the beginning of the film. Judy is not put on this case. She is actually a meter maid but she volunteers to the wife of a missing otter to help find him. Because she gets no help, she ask Nick, this con man with whom she’s crossed paths, to help her solve that case because he actually is a key witness.
Q: How would you describe Zootopia itself?
- Ginnifer: Zootopia is a magical, rich metropolis where Judy believes all prey and predators live together in harmony and that doesn’t end up being the case. It’s a land made up of four different divisions where the physical habitats are appropriate for each species of animal. It’s a town where they can all live and get exactly what they physically need.
Q: Will your young son know Judy is you?
- Ginnifer: I definitely think he’ll recognize mom’s voice. I will definitely show him the movie but I think I might wait on Zootopia until he understands that what he is seeing on screen isn’t real. Right now, Winnie the Pooh exists to him in the world. So, I don’t want to ruin that experience for him with him realizing that if Judy Hopps is really mom, then Judy isn’t a being I could be friends with.
Q: Do you enjoy doing voice work for characters?
- Ginnifer: I’m not gonna lie. It’s a cushy job. I could end up doing this forever. I go in in my P.J.’s. I bounce around all day. I don’t have to worry about make-up. There is something really liberating about only having your voice to express a character and I never realized before getting involved in animation, how much I rely on my face and body language and even costumes in order to express who the character is. To only be left with your voice is really challenging but really liberating.
Q: Why will everyone of all ages enjoy this film?
- Ginnifer: I think people should go see this film because it is hilarious and it does pack that surprise emotional punch that we adults all believe going into movies isn’t going to affect us because we’re grown-ups then we end up sobbing halfway through because something is incredibly relatable. It’s an action movie. It’s an homage to Hollywood cinema and wonderful TV shows. It really does have something for everybody.
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