Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba
Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore
Running Time: 108 mins
Zootopia is an American film about a budding bunny cop and a sly fox hustler who team up to crack a case that is puzzling the entire city of Zootropolis, where all animals live in harmony, or so it seems…
Zootopia is the film that really confirms that Disney’s second Renaissance is more than just a quick blip. With a heartfelt and often moving central theme, stunning animation, fantastic voice performances and an uplifting and fun-loving vibe, Zootopia had me smiling ear to ear from beginning to end.
The main thing that strikes you about this film is how much it delves into its main theme, about the celebration of diversity and combating propaganda that creates a climate of fear. It’s a very timely topic too, considering developments in the world over the last decade or so, but the thing that’s so brilliant about Zootopia is that it brings across its message in a positive and uplifting way.
Yes, it may feel a little overly preachy at times, but in the end, that doesn’t matter as much, because the way that this film looks at its main theme is so upbeat. That’s all emphasises by the wonderful main character, a budding young rabbit named Judy Hopps who manages to become the first bunny cop in the history of Zootropolis, proving all the stereotypes wrong to achieve her dreams.
That’s one side of the story, but as the film goes on, it talks about the way that fear-based political campaigns work in a slightly more dramatic, but still entertaining, simple and engaging way, which was absolutely brilliant to see, especially considering this is a kids’ movie.
That level of depth in Zootopia is really staggering, but we mustn’t forget that the main point of this film is to give you a good time, which it does brilliantly. Although starting off in slightly generic fashion, this film develops into a really interesting mystery which actually feels a lot like a film-noir.
The mystery that develops, in conjunction with the main theme about discrimination, made Zootopia play in a way that seemed oddly similar to In The Heat Of The Night to me (except with talking animals). That story is a lot of fun to follow along to, and with quite a few good jokes thrown in here and there, you won’t be short of laughs either.
Another really impressive thing about this film is the voice performances. In the lead role, Ginnifer Goodwin is absolutely excellent as Judy Hopps, bursting with happy energy that makes her character effortlessly likeable, whilst Jason Bateman, who plays Nick Wilde, the sly fox con artist, is a lot of fun too, using his comedic experience to great effect to provide a fantastically charismatic and fun character to follow.
Finally, the animation here is excellent. Disney Animation have reached levels right up there with Pixar now, and, if it weren’t for the cartoonish design of the animals, this could be an almost photo-realistic animation, which you can see in the vibrant and visually stunning backdrops throughout.
In the end, I loved Zootopia. Its most striking and original feature is of course its main theme, but thanks to using that in a positive way, and creating a generally uplifting film around that, it’s impossible to not have a good time here, and that’s why I’m giving Zootopia a 7.8.