Zootopia Casts Shakira, Get The Details

Pumping out hit after hit – ranging from Wreck-It Ralph to Frozen – Walt Disney Animation seems primed to continue their success with the upcoming Zootopia. Already boasting a star-studded cast – including Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman – Disney has just announced a new, exotic addition to the anthropomorphic ensemble.

Attendees of the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California were treated to a video announcement from Grammy winner – and all-around international music goddess – Shakira announcing that she would not only lend her voice to the cast, but her vocal talents to Zootopia’s soundtrack. Shakira’s Zootopia character seems incredibly fitting; she will portray a gazelle named…. Gazelle: a larger than life pop star and icon adored by the anthropomorphic animals of Zootopia. Known for her hit pop songs such as "Whenever, Wherever," and "She Wolf" -- as well as generally having hips that do not lie, Shakira has made appearances on television before -- but Zootopia marks Shakira's first foray into the realm of animated features.

Zootopia’s story revolves around a law-abiding rabbit named Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) as she butts heads with a sly fox/ con artist named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) in the city of Zootopia – a city inhabited exclusively by animals, but you probably guessed that already.

Excitedly tweeting about her involvement in the project, Shakira revealed a picture of Gazelle to the world that looks remarkably similar to the real-life pop star. This feels very much within Shakira’s wheelhouse; no stranger to playing herself, she has appeared in television shows such as Ugly Betty and Wizards of Waverly Place.

Although not unveiled in its entirety, Shakira’s addition to the soundtrack: "Try Everything" – written by pop star Sia and songwriting duo Stargate – was sampled to the D23 audience. Given the track record of recent Disney animated films for stellar original music such as Fall Out Boy’s "Immortals" in Big Hero 6 and Idina Menzel’s "Let it Go" from Frozen, we have reason enough to set our expectations high for Shakira’s performance. Given the contradictory nature of the film’s headlining characters – Hopps and Wilde – Shakira’s Gazelle could act as a binding presence, using "Try Everything" as a means of seeing past differences, and quite literally trying everything before one judges others.

Zootopia will open March 4, 2016 and will be co-directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore who helmed the hits Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, respectively.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.