ZOOTOPIA – REVIEW

When Disney Animation Studios released Frozen a couple of years ago, I’m not sure anyone could have guessed what a cash cow that movie was going to be, and while I’m not sure that Zootopia will be able to top it in terms of it’s profits, I really, really hope it can. But first, the age old question – so, is it any good?

YES

Welcome to the Urban Jungle of Zootopia, where a small town bunny, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), dreams of becoming a cop in the big city – the first of her (prey) species in a predator dominated job. Zootopia is not the utopia she dreamed of though, and she very quickly gets given all the menial jobs, like parking duty. Enter Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), the con artist fox who completely plays her in their first meeting and a huge unsolved case that they both stumble into and you have the beginning of a traditional odd-couple cop drama.

90

On the surface, it’s your traditional reach for the stars, follow your dreams storyline with some cute animals to take you along for the ride. This movie is about so much more than that though. It presents a really surprising message about not buying into the stereotype you might place on someone, and how prejudices shape your view of other people. From the get-go, even though Zootopia is presented as a place where predator and prey animals have evolved past the biological, the prejudices are always there, right below the surface. Judy’s parents even give her the gift of Fox Spray before her big trip to the city.

It’s a pretty tough issue to deal with but Zootopia does it with such amazing script writing, that you barely notice it. It questions your own assumptions at every turn and while I wasn’t surprised that the film looked amazing, I was surprised that it took on such a huge range of social issues all in one hit. It felt much more like a Pixar film than it did like a Disney film, and with John Lasseter’s watchful eye being cast over this film, I’m not surprised.

The world it is set in is truly breathtaking with thousands of tiny details that come together to create something spectacular. I’m sure that it will only get better with multiple viewings, and really, with it being a kids film, the parents out there will be seeing it on repeat. Ad nauseam. The sheer scale of the different neighbourhoods that make up the Zootopian city is amazing and the way that the animals of all different shapes and sizes interact with them and each other is insanely clever.

And quite frankly, if none of that appeals to you. There are sloths. Hilarious, hilarious sloths. Oh, and Shakira makes an appearance as a pop-singing gazelle named Gazelle. So there’s that.zootopia-sloth-680x400

This movie really does have something for everyone – I managed to take my 9 and 10 year old nephew and niece along for the ride and while they were completely oblivious to much of the subtext of the film, they both absolutely loved it. Definitely one for the whole family.

Zootopia opens in Australian cinemas today.

Comments

comments