When Nuke Tiptoes, a galactic elephant, is teleported into another dimension, it’s up to him to find a wise ape named Bongo Bananas and save the Zooverse from total destruction in this hilarious spoof comedy.
A boring elephant embarks on the journey of a lifetime to discover his destiny in this animated adventure.Nuke is an average elephant, disillusioned with his office job and longing for a greater sense of purpose. His daily routine is disrupted by an odd voice which launches him into a quest for truth, justice, and the safety of the galaxy. In the Zooverse, evil is running rampant as the diabolical Boo Boo Squeal has mastered the art of “the Sauce” (think “the force” a la Star Wars here) making him conqueror of the galaxies. He has taken Princess Sparklefeather, ruler of the Nice Side, hostage and is demanding information about the “Chosen One”; that is, the legendary hero that will save the galaxies from the Mice Side. Clueless Nuke is thrown into this mess as he searches for truth about himself and the Chosen One. Along with B-52, the emotionally unstable pink robot, and a rogue squirrel, the team seeks out their only hope: Bongo Bananas, a wise but ditzy Nice Side warrior with all the answers. An old story told in a new incarnation, Zoo Wars is a little bit Guardians of the Galaxy, a whole lot Star Wars, and just a touch Zootopia. The animation and dialogue can be lackluster at times, but this film manages to eek out an entertaining plot with a unique twist, as well as humor on levels adults and children will appreciate. It’s your classic good versus evil, with one unexpected caveat: the hero isn’t who you suspect. During the course of the film, we learn the interesting backstories of each character, are treated to beautiful outer space scenes, and are kept guessing the identity of the “Chosen One.” Cheese and nut jokes abound, and with a few very clever puns and nice vocabulary words throughout (pachyderm, carbon-based lifeform), the film alternates from nearly grown-up science-fiction talk to childish insults. Zoo Wars deals with the subject of truth as a plot point throughout, which is a nice anchor for the uncertain, ever-changing circumstances of the story. Nuke doesn’t know who he is and desperately wants to, while Boo Boo (the bad guy) is driven by rejection into an identity of villainy. As the truth is finally revealed, it causes a perspective change for the viewer buts accomplishes very little for the animals. The consequences of their actions are never addressed, and it appears any lessons learned are soon lost—or perhaps just unexplored—in the story. The galaxy is indeed saved by an unlikely hero, and we get a happy ending, but no real resolution. Knowing the truth in this case doesn’t make you free, it just causes more questions. Overall, Zoo Wars is clean, fun and entertaining for families to watch together, if you don’t read too much into it – and an even better opportunity for discussion and reflection if you do. Zoo Wars is awarded the Dove Seal of Approval for All Ages.