Zootopia

With The Voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrance, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, JK Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, Shakira

Directed By: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

Yo, this film has THREE directors. Seems unusual. Zootopia is that movie that pretty much everyone has unanimously agreed is “good”. 99% on Rotten Tomatoes is really hard to do. However, I would argue that most of the critics say the film is good, without being great. So, everyone unanimously agrees that this is not a bad film. Is it an instant classic? No. Could it be? Possibly. I think there’s a really good story and heart in Zootopia, but it falls short of the true greats for me. It doesn’t even come close to Inside Out, or Wall-E, or Up.

Zootopia has an interesting arc about predators vs prey that plays well into the social political atmosphere of current times. You can’t stereotype an entire race as bad, people can change, people can be whatever they want to be, you can’t judge a book by its cover, all those things. That’s Zootopia in a nutshell. Judy Bunny (Goodwin) is the first bunny cop on the force in Zootopia, and after initially being assigned parking duty, she works her way into a missing persons case, and uncovers a larger plan in Zootopia. Some of the animals (all predators) have been going back to their “primal instincts”. But why? Along for the ride is a sarcastic fox (Bateman), who promos might have led you to believe was the main character. He’s not. He’s the sidekick.

I think the film works well for children, who won’t be bothered by the rather simplistic plot structure, where everything seems to have happened for a reason. Judy is the luckiest person in the world, running into a weasel in a seemingly unrelated plot only to need him later, and also running into a tiny mole-lady, only to have that benefit her later as well. It’s amazing how little detective work she actually has to do in this film. If all policing was this easy, every case would be solved… ever. Clues just pop up in front of her eyes. A chance meeting with Nick the fox turns out to be a big break for her case. Who knew?

Aside from that, Zootopisa is enjoyable. It’s funny, an the commentary on society hit home at several points in the film. Definitely the DMV scene. That hit home the most. An all sloth DMV? Priceless.

Adults without kids might still enjoy Zootopia. I did. Adults with kids, your kids will love Zootopia. Judy is a good role model, for the most part, and the ideals behind Zootopia are worth having a discussion about with your kids. I do have a feeling this will not be the best animated film I see this year.

FINAL GRADE: B+

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