Review of 'Zootropolis'

zootropolis.jpg Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a rabbit living in the countryside who dreams of travelling to the big city - Zootropolis - to become the first rabbit member of the police force. When she grows up despite being tiny beside her fellow candidates she works hard and makes her dream come true becoming the first rabbit officer in the big city. Her excitement is dampened in her first daily briefing by Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) when after hearing of a series of missing creatures in the city she is assigned traffic duty. Judy is determined to make the best of the situation issuing a large number of traffic tickets on her first day when she meets Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a fox con-man, who scams Judy. When it becomes clear that Nick was seen just before one of the disappearances he is reluctantly recruited by Judy who has taken it on herself, with the reluctant approval of Bogo, to solve the crime but little do they know that there are sinister forces at work that threaten the long-held peace between the hunters and prey species that serves as the basis of their civilisation.

This is a great looking fun movie from the masters of animation, Disney (through their acquisition of computer-generated films, Pixar Animation Studios) which envisions quite a vivid world of talking animals. There is a lot here for both children and adults which is a trademark of their approach. This movie is slightly grittier than other Disney films so is all the better for it, lending to it a bit more weight than their other films. The characters are all fun with personalities very much true to the species they belong (the sloths running the DVLA are particularly amusing with the stereotype of bureaucracy taking forever). Judy is, of course, likeable as we will her to succeed despite reality crushing down on her along with her encouragement of Nick to become a force for good. There is a lot of heart here though some may find it perhaps a bit sickly though I think this is countered with the grittiness I mentioned previously.

I found it slightly annoying that the story has an obvious nod to future films as we are shown a tour of the world in which it is based, particularly the different climates of Zootropolis itself. This seems to be a bit of a cynical commercial ploy - Get us to really buy into things so that we will go to the next movies…In any case, perhaps it is just my cynicism?

There is a lot of story here which is quite refreshing with the twists and turns largely a surprise. I really enjoyed it finding myself chuckling on many occasions (though very few “laugh out loud” moments). Grab some kids (if you need an excuse) and have a watch - You will both have a lot of fun.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2016-07-30

Directed by: Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Year: 2016

Length: 108 minutes

Genre: Animation

Other reviewed films by Byron Howard and Nathan Greno:

Other reviewed films by Byron Howard, Jared Bush and Charise Castro Smith: