Wednesday, March 9, 2016

[Review] Zootopia

Walt Disney Animation Studios continue to deliver the goods with their latest outing, Zootopia. Not only is it a fun, clever, and fast-moving story, but it also slyly (as a fox) espouses some significant social messages. Yes, humanitarianism in a film that contains nothing but animal characters.

Judy (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) is a relentlessly determined rabbit who leaves the farm life behind in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a police officer for the diverse metropolis of Zootopia (there's a wonderful montage sequence of the place when she first arrives). After graduating top of the class from the police academy, she is frustratingly designated to parking duty by Zootopia's police chief Bogo (Idris Elba). But eventually she maneuvers her way into being lead detective on a "missing mammals" case, and she enlists the help of a hustling fox named Nick (Jason Bateman).

From here, the film shifts from a colorful and cheery bunny-in-the-big-city story to a straight up detective noir mystery with an elaborate plot. It still contains a decent amount of humor though, beyond the abundance of available puns. There are some blatant references to The Godfather and "Breaking Bad" that turn out to be more amusingly fitting than they have any business being. There's also a hilarious and well-executed scene where Judy and Nick enter a DMV to run a license plate number, and the whole establishment is run by sloths. It's something you just have to see.

As mentioned earlier, the film provides some straightforward commentary on timely social issues. The themes span from tackling prejudice and corruption, to breaking through constructs in order to be whatever you want to be, as well as doing your best to make the world a better place. The same overtones were addressed in a similar way during 2014's lovely animated bear & mouse tale, Ernest & Celestine. These are highly agreeable concepts of acceptance that you think would be universal common sense by now, but considering that one of the culprits of the problems addressed in Zootopia is currently deep in the U.S. presidential race (in real life), these things cannot be overstated or echoed enough.

Zootopia has plenty for all to equally enjoy. Plus, animals are cool.



  1. I plan to write my brief review of this one. This was one of the few animated movies that didn't make me cry. I might just post a link to your review on my page. Ha