Who says family films only have children to preach to? Well, actually I’m not entirely sure if anyone’s ever said that, but it sure sounds like they would though, huh? That debate aside, Disney gets it with its newest installment. Without sounding cliche and trite, Zootopia is literally fun for the whole family.
It takes place in a world where animals, both predator and prey, live together in harmony–except not really. Although things have seemed to change, all the animals still have their reservations and fears about one another. Obviously mirroring a place where our own society is right now, as far as race and religion.
The whole movie features various species facing intolerance, while digging into and showcasing possible responses to the prejudices against them–perhaps containing the true depth within this film. The themes are obvious to the adults, but subliminal to the kids. Which is a good thing. It deals with a dark subject matter, and the filmmakers aren’t afraid to give us that respective tone either.
The main character is Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a bunny rabbit who is finally living her dream of being a police officer in the big city. But she faces adversity since the job is usually held by rhinos or elephants. She’s given a case where she has to find an otter who’s gone missing–a mystery that adds another fun feature to an already interesting concept. However, it doesn’t come until about 35 minutes in–right when you’re starting to wonder to yourself what the setup is for.
In a refreshing fashion, the writers aren’t talking down to their younger audience. It’s funny without being over-the-top and irreverent. When the jokes don’t work as well, it’s never in an embarrassing way. In fact, there may even be more jokes for the adults in this one. However, there are plenty of aesthetic visuals to keep the children entertained for the full runtime
Animation alone, Zootopia is beautifully detailed. There’s so much of it that it’s not even possible to see it all in one sitting. And while you’re watching it, you wish there were a place just like it where you could visit as soon as the movie finishes.