Zootopia Review

Zootopia movie posterSynopsis
Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin (voice)) is a small bunny with big dreams of becoming the first bunny police officer of Zootopia. When she makes it onto the force, she is assigned parking ticket duty. Aspiring for bigger things, she takes a missing mammal case, which is leads to a much bigger conspiracy.

Review
I would consider myself a Disney fanatic. However, I will admit that Zootopia wasn’t very high on my things to see. I would have seen it in theaters for sure, but not opening night if my buddies weren’t going (yes, I’m just now getting to this, but I’ve been preoccupied lately). I’m glad they asked me to tag along because missing this film would have been a very big mistake. Zootopia is one of Disney’s best movies to be released in years, and that’s saying a lot considering their quality lately.

Every Disney movie has some sort of message incorporated into the story. Zootopia has two: don’t be afraid to follow your dreams and don’t judge someone on what they look like. The former is pretty typical Disney. The latter is a little different. When making movies dealing with racism, filmmakers have to be careful not to make the message heavy-handed or too preachy. That never happens in this film. It is brought across in a way is easy for the younger audience to understand but it can still be appreciated by the older audience. Both messages weave together flawlessly.

Anthropomorphic animals are nothing new, especially from Disney, but the world is more fully developed than anything before. There are different regions for the different environments, such as the rain forest or arctic, there are different sizes for things like doors, vehicles, and food. Everything is well thought out and done in a way that makes sense. It’s a unique set up that isn’t really seen in other movies.

To go along with the different environments, the animation is very colorful. The jungle environment has deep greens that make the vivid flowers stand out; the city itself is very vibrant, really popping. As Judy is traversing the city, the film has the perfect opportunity to show of how amazing computer animation has come since Toy Story. The inhabitants of Zootopia are just as rich as the city they inhabit. I loved many of the character designs. Seeing so many animals brought to life, walking around on two legs and living in a civilized manner was very fun to watch.

Not since The Lego Movie have I laugh that hard or as much at an animated movie. It had a high laughs-per-minute count. Jason Bateman may have had helped that quite a bit since he is most often in comedy films but it had some clever writing, too. There were many pop culture references, like The Godfather and Breaking Bad, that are sure to please fans of those franchises as well.

I think what really had me hooked on this movie, though, was that it is a buddy cop movie at its core. Although one of them isn’t technically a cop, Judy and Nick were working together to solve a case, so that is pretty much the same thing, right? Like all good buddy movies, Judy and Nick have very different personalities which make them such a good pair.

I thought Zootopia was GREAT :-D. Between the character design, design of the city itself, and the vibrant colors, this movie has some of the best animation to date (I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately…). Not only are the characters well fleshed out but the city of Zootopia is as well. However, what really sets it above other films is how it deals with a delicate topic like racism with such finesse and tenderness. I can’t think of any other movie that can compare to Zootopia, and Disney once again hit it out of the park.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Byron Howard – Director / Story
Rich Moore – Director / Story
Jared Bush – Co-Director / Story / Screenplay
Phil Johnston – Story / Screenplay
Michael Giacchino – Composer

Ginnifer Goodwin – Judy Hopps (voice)
Jason Bateman – Nick Wilde (voice)
Idris Elba – Chief Bogo (voice)
Jenny Slate – Bellwether (voice)
Nate Torrence – Clawhauser (voice)
Bonnie Hunt – Bonnie Hopps (voice)
Don Lake – Stu Hopps (voice)
Tommy Chong – Yax (voice)
JK Simmons – Mayor Lionheart (voice)
Octavia Spencer – Mrs. Otterton (voice)
Alan Tadyk – Duke Weaselton (voice)
Shakira – Gazelle (voice)
Raymond S. Persi – Flash (voice)
Maurice LaMarche – Mr. Big (voice)