Disney presents a cleverly poignant film packed with references to socio-political issues, all wrapped in an animated bow perfect for all families. Below is our spoiler free review:
First presented in a vibrantly colorful trailer with an adorable bunny and a wily fox, it’s easy to overlook Zootopia as another family friendly cartoon most parents will be dragged to by their children, however it’s not as simple as that. Heed every mother’s warning and don’t judge a book by its cover. The animated film perfectly weaves together important issues such as racial tensions, stereotypes, and societal judgements into a clever script made to believe it’s “only for kids”. Heavy with symbolism, the animal kingdom represents modern society. Creators Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush teach lessons in the most fun way.
But the directors and screenwriter Phil Johnston make sure to balance the film in a manner that doesn’t make light of the issues. This way even if a viewer’s main focus isn’t to walk into a movie discussing heavy topics, they still enjoy a colorful entertaining movie. Classic to Disney, the story ties together comedy and drama, causing audiences to sympathize and relate to the animated characters. Though some of the story and character arcs can be written off as the Disney standard, nothing is done heavy-handed.
The story follows Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, a young bunny who is intent on defeating the odds and becoming the first police officer as a bunny. Through her journey she faces leering looks and rude sentiments from everyone, but stays determined to prove she is a force to reckon with. By beating a fox known as Nick Wiles, voiced by Jason Bateman, at his own game, Judy forces the hustler to partner with her on a missing person case. Unraveling a larger case at hand, the two present an intricate story to the audience. Zootopia combines classic pop culture references from Breaking Bad to The Godfather leaving audiences laughing and wondering what’s causing the once peaceful animal kingdom to be in danger. Throw in a plot twist, and what happens at the end of the case needs to be seen in theaters March 4.
Adding the usual Disney charm of musical numbers by Shakira, and a heart-warming message at the end, viewers of all ages will walk out of Zootopia happy. Proving once again that cartoons aren’t just for kids, the powerful voice cast of Zootopia invites you to an adventure you don’t want to miss.