Disney Animation has been killing it lately, in the best way possible. Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6… Its newest entry Zootopia knocked it out of the park with an incredible trailer that was literally just a scene from the movie, showing that they had faith in the writing to let it be shown without manipulating much (usually trailers don’t truly represent the film they’re advertising).
Imagine a future where animals have evolved and started to live together peacefully, predator and prey alike. We follow a young rabbit named Judy Hopps (Once Upon a Time‘s Ginnifer Goodwin) who wants to be the first rabbit police officer. She isn’t taken very seriously and decides to try to solve a case on her own, with the help of a sly con-man Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), who just happens to be a fox. Together they try to solve a series of disappearances throughout the city that threatens everyone who lives there.
We also have the voice talents of Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Jenny Slate, Tommy Chong, Nate Torrence, and Shakira.
Zootopia is among the best that Disney has ever put forth. It is surprisingly deep and adult yet totally approachable for children. As Inside Out opened the doors to discuss feelings and emotions with children, Zootopia tackles the topic of racism and societal norms. There are moments when you forget that you’re watching a Disney film, when it so perfectly encapsulates the problems of our real world. It’ll for sure be used as a learning tool to discuss race.
“Sounds intense…” you might say. Yes, it can be. But this movie also walked the delicate tightrope and managed to balance these deep undertones with some great comedic writing. It’s clever, it’s witty, and it’s unpredictable. I laughed more than I’ve laughed in a long time. The movie is also vibrant and colorful, with great animation and some stellar action sequences.
The voice acting is also really spot-on. Ginnifer Goodwin nails it as the lead Judy Hopps. She plays it innocent enough that you’re really rooting for her to succeed but she’s also strong and independent. Jason Bateman is great as Nick Wilde, with a sort of odd charisma that walks the fine line between charming and sketchy. You never quite know his intentions but it works perfectly.
What doesn’t work?
Literally nothing. I can’t wait to see Zootopia again.
Zootopia is an instant classic. I worry about such high praise because it may set your standards too high but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It’s hilarious, looks beautiful, and manages to tackle an issue so relevant and so delicate as racism without feeling heavy-handed. I found myself instantly in this love with this movie.