Zootopia is directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore and stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hops, a rookie rabbit cop who teams up with Nick Wilde, a con man voiced by Jason Bateman who helps her solve a case in the city of Zootopia, a place where all animals live in harmony, or at least that's what is said. Yes, this sounds ridiculous. Yes, this movie is named differently in the UK to the US. However, this movie comes from an area of Disney animation that has been doing extremely well recently with films like Tangled, Wreck It Ralph, Frozen and Big Hero 6. And whilst all those movies are arguably very impressive, Zootopia might just be my favourite. Heres my take on Zootopia (or Zootropolis, depending on what country you're from).
Let me start by saying a great Disney movie must first and foremost have great characters, and the characters in this are sensational. Judy Hops is a hero for literally anyone. She's an underdog who climbs her way to the top through hard work and dedication, and is an inspiration for anyone, younger or older, that sees this film. Nick Wilde is also a load of fun, showing a cool guy who has a slick and smooth style, coming along for the ride with us. But the true strengths of these characters are not in how fun they are, it's in how emotionally involved we are with them. These are characters who society have been refusing to accept in the past or throughout the course of the film. They aren't perfect people (or animals) either. Nick Wilde is an arrogant and self obsessed criminal who enjoys screwing other people over, and Judy Hops is not entirely accepting of other certain animals, and does not always take in the full story. It's these qualities that turn these characters from good to phenomenal, and makes me connect with the film even more.
Let's talk visuals. This thing does some fantastic visual world-building with beautifully detailed and realistic backgrounds and landscapes. I don't know if Disney are planning to greenlight a sequel as of yet, but I really hope they do, because the world and universe they built in this movie was extremely appealing and I want to come back for more. And whilst Zootopia (or Zootropolis) is a vastly extensive city and great to look at, it's the ideas the city presents through it's inner communities that really caught me. Let me say this, the film is about racism. And sure, the themes are obvious, but they are not thrown in your face like other movies would. The way the social commentary in this is presented is reminiscent of films like The LEGO Movie (a film I strongly enjoyed), in the fact that the commentary is really the point of the film and it makes you know that, but it is conveyed in an extremely intelligent and modern way. However, the film doesn't forget to have a good time. It's still a family film and one that people of all ages can enjoy, and that's why films like Zootopia or The LEGO Movie are just so brilliant, they bring something for everyone, young or old.
This movie has so much heart. It's wonderful and charming, from when you first see Judy Hops interact with her parents, to the heart-breaking, but humorous hug between Hops and Wilde. And let me tell you this, the voice acting might just be the heart of this charm, with gloriously expressive voice work from the likes of the previously mentioned Goodwin and Bateman, but also from the likes of Idris Elba as Chief Bogo, Jenny Slate as Bellwether, and many more, including JK Simmons as the suspicious Mayor Lionheart. Yep, you read that right, JK-freaking-Simmons. But instead of being not quite my tempo (wink wink), this movie hits all the write notes (double wink wink). And if you think that was a good pun, watch this movie, as it's full of animal puns. Good ones too, that only add to the charm of the film.
Overall, Zootopia/Zootropolis is a fantastic film. I adore this movie and respect the sheer attention to detail within it. It's full of jokes and thrills for both adults, children and everyone inbetween to enjoy, whilst managing to create a deep and thought-provoking emotional impact on it's viewer. It's a near perfect animated flick, that warms the heart and lights up the face, and I really hope we see more of these furry friends in future instalments.
So what did you think of Zootopia? Have you seen it? Did you enjoy it as much as me? Make sure to let me know in the comments, and if you enjoyed this review, come back for more like it in the future or go to http://moviepilot.com/garwoodreviews for previous reviews.