TL;DR – A beautiful movie that is well acted, well animated, and has a very thought provoking story, whilst still being amazingly funny.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
For a while it seemed that the only good movies coming out of Disney were from its partnership with Pixar, but then something changed and we got Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, and Big Hero 6 which have all been outstanding, and now we have Zootopia which we can add to this esteemed group.
The film is set in a world where all the mammals (and only mammals for some reason) got together and gave up their baser instincts and formed a great society based around the great city of Zootopia. The story revolves around Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) who wants to become the first rabbit in the Zootopia Police Department, which you can understand why she would be the first, because why have a rabbit police officer when you can have a rhino, or elephant. However, through the power of montage, Judy was able to make in on the force, where she runs into Nicholas P. “Nick” Wilde (Jason Bateman) a Red Fox, and shenanigans ensue.
What is really good about this film is that there is actually a heart to the movie, a story it wants to tell within the story on the screen. Because of this it gives that movie more of an emotional weight to it than many other similar children’s film. There are some truly heart-breaking scenes that really cut to the core of you, because we all have had those experiences them at some point. However, I should say that this is still a very funny movie, the polar bear mafia is right on point, sloths are always funny, and the world where mice and giraffes live side by side, simply lends to some great physical comedy jokes.
From a production point of view, the animation is top notch, sure it is a bit stylized, but it does still give the film a sense of realism that draws you in. The voice acting is really great, with strong performances from the whole cast. Also from a design point of view Zootopia the city is really interesting, which helps build the world, but also means the film goes through several stunning locations in the one city.
If I had some complaints, then there was a lack of animal diversity, I mean there is only one marsupial in the movie and when researching this I found out that he only appears in the Australian version, bah, that’s a totally legitimate complaint. Also while it is a good story and good theme sometimes instead of just being subtext, sometimes it literally becomes the text of the film, however, given the intended age of the audience that is to be expected a little. One small point, the joke is that the rabbits are still reproducing, well like rabbits, it’s a funny joke but when you think about it, in a world with no predators, that would lead to a population explosion and environmental and societal collapse, also that reminds me of Dinotopia and how that still has not been made into a good film yet, and no that mini-series does not count.
This is one of Disney’s best films and shows that they are not just resting on their Pixar, Marvel & LucasArts laurels, they are out there showing why they are on top at the moment. I highly recommend Zootopia, you have a fun time, even the parents, well until they have to watch it 37 times on DVD.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Directed by – Byron Howard & Rich Moore
Screenplay by – Jared Bush & Phil Johnston
Story by – Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush, Josie Trinidad, Jim Reardon, Phil Johnston & Jennifer Lee
Starring – Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J. K. Simmons, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Maurice LaMarche, Alan Tudyk & Maurice LaMarche
Rating – Australia: PG; Canada: G; Ireland: PG; NZ: PG; UK: PG, USA: PG