Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)


*Summary: From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder.
Cast & Characters. All of the characters are different, colorful and memorable. Of course the two leads are the best things ever but those who are “important” are for the film.
  • Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps. I love Ginnifer Goodwin, she’s so cute and her voice is always light so it matches right with the physicality and personality of her character: headstrong, stubborn, determined, over-achiever etc. Judy Hopps is a bunny who has big dreams of being a police officer in Zootopia, she wants to change the world. She becomes the first bunny officer and is determined to make her mark on the world. Goodwin voices Judy with such youth that I cannot imagine her being by another person. She also does emotion very well (I mean she should, she is Snow White in Once Upon a Time).
  • Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde. He is my favorite character as Nick is a fox, who is a street smart hustler, he had a hard experience that’s made him cynical and while he lives in this world, he’s not interested in living in it with anyone else as he knows how the world views him. He is the perfect foil to Judy’s optimism. Bateman’s voice is pretty prefect here, especially with how Nick is drawn, he can do cynical and sarcastic very well and it fits next to Goodwin’s light portrayal. But he does do excitement so well too “Ooooo it’s so fluffy! Lamb’s never let me get this close” lol.
  • The other characters. I didn’t want to sit here and go through everyone, as per usual so I’ll just mention them. Idris Elba as Chief Bogo was great, he was hilarious and with him using his real accent helped the intimidation factor and the condescending tones he used. Jenny Slate as Bellwether, her voice is amazing. I love raspy voices, especially in animation and with her being a lamb, it was such perfect casting as she’s kind of pitiful and with this gentle raspy voice it’s best it’s coming out of a lamb’s mouth. Nate Torrence as Clawhauser was adorable and a great “sidekick” type character. J. Johan Jameson as Mayor Lionheart was also great, his booming voice coming out of a slightly vain and rude lion was a great addition.
The Story. Now, this story isn’t anything new, at least at it’s basis. Young hero meets cynical rogue character and they embark on a journey the rogue doesn’t want to go on but they end up working very well together (sometimes there’s romance) and become close along the way. However, the addition to the characters all being predators and prey who live together allows for some interesting story telling. The fact that everyone lives in harmony is both cool and nerve wracking for the animals living in this world, but now the predators are going savage and the ZPD is on the case. Judy gets involved because she wants to be a real cop and do what’s she always set out to do. It’s a story of self discovery as well as breaking these mysterious cases. There’s also a lot of real world parallels here that I will touch on later.
The Sloth Scene. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at a scene every time I see as much as I do with this scene. I’ve seen the movie four times now, the first time in the theaters and I crack up every time. “Ahahahahaha omg omg omg omg hahahahahaha *chuckle chuckle* ahahahaha ohhhh”. Whoever came up with the bright idea to have sloths represent the workers at a DMV was genius and deserves a medal because that was absolutely amazing.
The Real World Parallels. When I first watched this, it was all clear. I don’t know if this was intentional or not but I got it. This comparison may contain spoilers but I’m trying not to do that and hopefully you’ve seen this movie by now. Onwards! Now, Judy represents the small town girl, with big blue eyes who dreams of changing the world, she works hard, she is determined and she’s going to make her mark no matter what anyone says. She also believes she is the most “progressive” in her family and town as she is not “afraid” of predators as they should all be living in harmony, especially in Zootopia which promotes that.
Nick represents the black guy who when he was younger, also had big dreams but after being treated wrongly but others due to him a fox/predator/black his world view darkens. He grows up upset at the world for not seeing anything past his skin color (him being a “sly fox”), so he hustles because he’s smart. He doesn’t have any hope that things will change no matter how much they promote “love peace and happiness” and he just does what he has to do. When they meet, he’s hustling her but of course she (along with some of the audience but game recognizes game amirite?) buys it after being naturally suspicious and scared of him. She even has fox repellant. After seeing how he’s treated in a public place she steps in because you know she’s so progressive but then tells him “he’s a real articulate fella”. There is another great scene where Nick easily points her closest racism. Now Judy also experiences this as she is a bunny and wants to be a cop but that just makes her work harder to prove it all wrong.
Without telling the entire movie, which I’m sorry if you haven’t seen it and you read those last few paragraphs, but I really liked how this movie pulls from those things and uses them as basic characteristics. People are people and there will always be obstacles, whether it that you’re the first woman to enter a field, or the first person of color to do so… it’s what you decide to do in spite of those obstacles, in spite of people telling you “you can’t” that makes the messages in this movie great.
Judy and Nick’s Friendship/Chemistry. lol yes two animated characters who are different species had great chemistry. Among other things, this film is also a “buddy cop comedy” and though Nick and Judy don’t start off on a great foot, they turn into a strong friendship even if Nick doesn’t want to be friends and while Judy is still maybe a little scared of him, she forces the friendship. But it naturally evolves, especially when they’re in Tundratown and Nick stands up for Judy. That was a good turning point for their friendship.
The World of Zootopia. It’s a very unique world, with the different types of sub worlds: Tundratown, Sahara Square, Rainforest District and Zootopia which is like the city center. The many doors for the different sized animals on the train, how the hamsters have their own little tubes to get around… among other things, wow, it was so creative. I love it.
The Villain. Disney has a good track record with their villains and without spoiling it, I think this one isn’t any different. Who knows, it might be easy to figure out and it may not, but either way, their motives and actions are actually pretty smart.
Not a Kid’s Movie. A lot of animated movies are directed towards young kids and while this is an animated and Disney film, it’s very much mature with adult themes. I’m sure kids will get it because they’re not all ignorant to what’s going on but it isn’t straight up aimed at them that adults can’t enjoy it, especially with the characterizations and parallels.
The Animation. Such a beautiful movie, owning the blu-ray makes it even better, but the attention to detail with the animals, and the twitching bunny noses, or the fluffy fox tails (let’s be real, someone was watching Disney’s Robin Hood when they were designing Nick’s character), the way otters move when they’re not walking on two legs, the twitch of wolves’ ears. It’s just so bright and clean. I love it.
Hmmmm, I can’t think of one. lol. So yeah. If I do, maybe I’ll edit lol.
Overall, I adore Zootopia. I think this movie contains great leading characters, represents a lot of different tropes that parallel real life, as well as containing mature, adult themes that are easily relatable. It is so layered that it’s definitely something adults would enjoy. It touches on racism, gender roles, drug abuse, relationships both friendships and familial. It’s more than just a fun animated film.
Zootopia itself is a well animated place, as well as the animals that inhabit that world. Judy and Nick carry the film with their chemistry and friendship, as well as the emotional scenes that come with their characters. The supporting characters are lovable and memorable, the music (including the main song) fits in so well with the film and it’s so beautiful to look at.
It’s so hard to talk about this film without gushing because I loved it to pieces. I think this film is one of the best Disney films since The Lion King and is part of the possible four movies that could be another “Renaissance” for Disney. It started with Frozen (no matter what you think), Big Hero 6, Zootopia and if Moana hits the way I really want it to, then we’ll have another four Disney films that were amazing (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King). Zootopia is a universal movie, it’s one of those films that will not be easily forgotten, unless you have a really bad memory. It had the possibility and chance to be dark and there’s a part of of me that wants to see that version, because it almost existed but I’m also extremely happy with what we got here.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. *sings gloriously*
Have you seen Zootopia? What did you think about it?
What is your favorite Disney film? Please answer in the comments below. Don’t forget to like and follow!
*Summary from IMDB


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