Visually, animations seldom disappoint but seasoned ones are hard to come by. “Zootopia,” however, provides the full package with a refreshingly clever, creative, provocative and relevant story as well as endearing characters, compelling for all age groups.
Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) is not your average bunny. Other bunnies join the family business of farming and selling carrots (among other things) to make a living. Judy’s parents are sure to remind her of that, their attitudes a comical parody of cliché themes such as “follow your dreams.” Regardless, Judy braves all and works hard to join the police force and live in the great city of Zootopia, akin to the big apple, where anthropomorphic animals prosper. What she finds is prejudice, especially from Chief Bogo (voice of Idris Elba), who is not afraid to address the elephant in the room – quite literally. Meanwhile, she meets a con artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), on the job and together they uncover a conspiracy that threatens the city.
The plot is simple but full of details that add depth, humor, intrigue and mystery to the overall story. Coupled with the characters’ portrayals and interactions, the film is superb to say the least. The characters resonate with audiences by allowing a glimpse into their backgrounds, reasoning and aspirations. Their interactions are heartfelt and the film maintains good pacing in regards to developing rapport and a bond between the characters and the audience.
“Zootopia” is unafraid to address the controversies that flood the media with regards to sexism, racism, class issues and what fear does to society, mirrored by the film’s “predators” concept. It parodies our reality, right down to traffic tickets and the slow nature of the DMV, with a clever play on words and perceptions that deserves praise for its creativity alone. Its themes are well done and hit close to home and its creativity is complemented by a fluid story. Its approach to tackling issues is flawless with regards to timing and execution and a great way to project positive themes to children and adults alike.
The cinematography is fantastic and the portrayal of what an evolved animal city could look like is relayed with fascinating detail, right down to the size proportion of the animals. The film uses our own attitudes to humor us, such as when Judy walks into a meditation center and is taken aback by all the animals being naked, allowing us to see things through a different lens. Additionally, the accompanying theme song by Shakira, who is the voice of Gazelle, a famous pop star, adds pizzazz to the film, allowing audiences to leave the theater with a sense of elevation, among other feelings.
“Zootopia” includes all the elements of a well-rounded, memorable story that strikes a range of emotional chords. It has lovable characters, witty dialogue, creativity, a great soundtrack and significant themes that resonate with audiences. It is a story presented for people by paralleling animals and is well done in every way and enjoyable for everyone.
“Zootopia” includes all the elements of a well-rounded, memorable story that strikes a range of emotional chords. It has lovable characters, witty dialogue, creativity, a great soundtrack and significant themes that resonate with audiences.