Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)

zootopia

Directed by the trio of Byron Howard (Bolt, Tangled), Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) and Jared Bush (creative lead on Big Hero 6), Zootopia is a 2016 animated film, and the 55th original film from the Disney Animated Classics collection. Judy Hopps (voices by Ginnifer Goodwin) is a small-town rabbit who dreams of being a police officer in the titular city of Zootopia. Jason Bateman voices Nick Wilde, a sly fox who resides in the city, and Idris Elba voices Chief of Police Bogo, a buffalo, and JK Simmons voices the Mayor Lionheart, who is not surprisingly, a lion. Hopps will need to overcome racial biases between the ‘predators’ and ‘prey’ in the city, to prove that any animal, male or female, can achieve their dreams if they work hard enough.

+ the voice work was fantastic. Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde, the fox, was particularly enjoyable. Ginnifer Goodwin was able to protray Judy’s conflicting feelings about things effectively, matching with her character’s wide eyes. Although only minor characters, JK Simmons and Idris Elba as Mayor Lionheart and Police Chief Bogo were great to hear, as both have especially noticable and unique voices
+ I was not blown away by the animation, compared to something like recent Pixar offering The Good Dinosaur, but the film has the high-quality Disney animations you’d expect. The animals’ fur, for example Mayor Lionheart’s mane, was impressive, and the subtle twitches of Hopps’ nose were great character quirks
+ I had a few genuine laughs, particularly from the sloths. Sloths are so cute

– I found the plot started to drag after the mid-plot reveal. What I thought would have been the climax of the film was roughly the halfway point, which meant there was little emotional stake in the remainder of the movie
– I understand the themes the film was going for (racism, sexism etc) but I found it to be very heavy handed throughout. Either more subtlety, or going all-out would have been preferable

> the posters/Blu Ray covers are slightly misleading; only Judy and Nick have any substantial role, with the others being glorified cameos at best. Not really a negative, but don’t expect a wild ensemble cast

Should you see this film: I can’t say I understand the extreme hype it has been given in some circles, but this was an enjoyable film. The racism/sexism allegories were not subtle, at all, but the sleek animation and great voice work made for an enjoyable viewing either way.

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3 thoughts on “Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)

  1. Initially I heard only great things about Zootopia but some of my friends also didn’t understand the hype. I think I’ll watch it at a later time but I do think it looks very fun. Thanks for this review. Are you currently sharing your writing on any other movie/tv platforms?

    Like

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