It’s very rare that you see a movie that manages to universally please critics the way the Zootopia has. I have to say I’m a bit surprised, as Disney’s latest effort earned its praise.
Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin), a bunny, grows up on a carrot farm with her conventional parents and 225 bunny brothers and sisters. Showing large reserves of empathy and kindness, she springs into action when a bully turns aggressive in a schoolyard. Judy’s mother and father are taken aback when she decides to leave for the city to become a cop. At the police academy, this tiny rookie has trouble with physical prowess exercises but through her immense will power and wit eventually graduates at the top of her class. Eager to hit the streets and do her law-and-order thing, Judy is disappointed when Bogo (Idris Elba), police chief, orders her to hand out parking tickets. Still wanting to prove that she is better than any other rookie on the force, she writes 200 tickets before noon. Eventually, Judy gets the chance to shine when she’s allowed to investigate the mystery of a missing otter, with the help of conniving fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman).
The unique storyline is both adorable and complex enough to create something new and fresh. This is not a premise I’ve seen before, that I can say for sure. Despite that, it works. It’s clever and cute and smart enough for adults to enjoy too.
The message is subtle, especially for a Disney film, in that it makes Judy’s abilities not about her strength or athleticism but instead her cleverness and determination. It’s a good message for kids that they don’t try to nail us over the head with.
Of course, it’s Disney so the computer generated animation is flawlessly executed and adorable. In that department, Disney rarely strikes out. It’s worth seeing in 3D, as it’s a good looking film with lots of creative and imaginative scenery.
The creativity comes into play with the creation of Zootopia, the mammal centric city where predatory instincts are gone and animals live like humans. You can see a spark of Disney’s old school imaginative style in this film.
Also, it’s smart enough for adults to enjoy too. The screenplay writers threw in a few clever quips just for mom and dad, making this an animated feature that the whole family can enjoy.
This is a clear hit and a clear winner for Disney. This animated film has the intelligence to keep adults audiences watching, with all the same appeal of Disney for the kids, so they can also cash in on the merchandising. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a film starring a bunny came out so close to Easter.
But Disney’s goal of world domination through movie revenues aside, this is a fantastic film that is sure to be fun for the whole family. I’d call this one an absolutely worth the watch, regardless if you have children or not.
WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!