Director(s): Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons
Hello kids (and kids at heart)! Strap on your seatbelts and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times as you take the ride hereby known as ‘Zootropolis’. Boy oh boy, what a brilliantly surprising film this is. I went to see it simply off the first announcement trailer, simply because I just wanted to see a good animated movie. This is by far some of the best work Disney has done in a long time; very mature in thematic elements, and nearly every facet to the story has some allegorical or societal meaning to it. But that’s the general overview, let’s get into specifics.
The film is centered around a rabbit named Judy (voiced by Goodwin) who wants to be a cop. More importantly, she wants to be a cop in Zootopia (hence the confusing dual titles for the film), where prey and predator get along. But when a hidden threat puts everyone in this anthropomorphic world in danger, it’s up to Judy and her new pal Nick the fox (voiced by Jason Bateman) to save the day.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this movie. I hadn’t really picked up on the critical buzz this movie was receiving until I’d actually seen the film, so I was not expecting much going in. However, after leaving the theatre, I found that I had so much fun with these characters and this world that I wanted to see it again. What makes this movie so much better than some of the other films Disney have popped out recently is that the characters were well fleshed out, and had a good dynamic with how they played off their animalistic “stereotypes” – one of the central themes running through this movie is the issue of stereotyping and racism (to a degree). I would love to see a sequel of Judy and Nick back in Zootopia, because it’s clear to the audience that a lot of effort was put into this world and these characters to create something that could work for both adults and children. The story was spectacularly played out for what it was – even though it was a tad predictable – and there were plenty of in-jokes and more adult references that meant the movie could still stay fresh with its humour.
There are still flaws however, because even though I loved watching it, that doesn’t mean there aren’t bad things about it. First of all, the celebrity cameo and the song, which when you hear/see it, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Disney seems to feel the need to create an original song and throw it into every film, just so people buy the soundtrack. Well, that would be fine, if the song wasn’t garbage. Seriously, it felt like a group of leeches were having an orgy in my ear it was so bad to listen to. The song was by Shakira, however I feel like it was written entirely by Disney, because it was very clean and “inspiring”, even though it was disgusting to listen to. Also, Bateman’s voice work, despite not being bad, did not come across as original and actually rather sounded like George Clooney’s fox work in ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’. Really, there aren’t that many major flaws in this movie; just some character choices, dialogue tones, etc. And that’s me nitpicking.
As you may have guessed, I highly recommend seeing this movie. It’s a very fun, exciting adventure and this will definitely be a Best Animated Feature nominee at the Oscars next year – if not the winner. Go check this one out, whether you have a child or not.