Review: Zootopia


Disney’s newest animated feature, Zootpia, follows the journey of an optimistic bunny named Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin). Instead of being a carrot farmer, Judy dreamed of being a police officer in the big city. After joining the police force years later, Judy made the trek from her small town of Bunnyburrow to the big city of Zootpia.

Zootopia is an animal kingdom separated into sections that allow animal species to live in their natural habitats – places like Sahara Square and Tundartown. Despite Zootopia being a city where anyone can be whatever they want, nobody is taking Judy seriously as an officer. Strong-willed and determined to prove everyone wrong, Judy jumps at the opportunity to help solve a missing otter case. Judy’s only lead in the investigation pairs her up with a slick talking, con artist fox named Nick (voiced by Jason Bateman). The two unlikely partners track down clues to the missing otter and uncover an even bigger crime happening in the streets of Zootopia.

Like most Disney films, Zootpia is full of gags for kids and plenty of laughs for adults. There plenty of pop culture riffs and signs for animal parodies of real companies like Hoof Locker and Zuber. There’s even a great homage to the Godfather via Zootopia’s biggest gangster, a mouse named Mr. Big (voiced by Maurice LaMarche). The film’s biggest laugh comes when Judy and Nick visit Zootopia’s Department of Motor Vehicles that’s run by sloths.

The heart of Zootopia is its messages of inclusion, community, and tolerance. Judy’s journey ties all those messages together. She has to fight for what she wants while having to learn to accept others and deal with her preconceived notions. None of the messaging feels forced or “preachy”. It’s all neatly woven into the story between the physical comedy, witty banter, and songs.

Zootopia isn’t just one of Disney’s best animated film in years, its emotionally moving and delivers a message people of all ages need to hear right now.

Grade: B+