Classic Review: Zootopia (2016)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Zootopia” which originally appeared here.

From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a wily fox who makes her job even harder.

I’ve always been a big fan of animated films. Most people associate them with kids but they aren’t just for kids as they have something for everyone. When you think of great animated films of all time, most of us will probably think mostly of Disney/Pixar films. This one is another entry which will probably eventually join the others. I will say that unlike other Disney/Pixar films, this one is not preceded by a short film. I will admit that I was a little disappointed by this but it was fine. I always found that they just add too much time to everything.

The story here is about a bunny named Judy Hopps (Goodwin). Since she was very young, she’s always wanted to be a police officer and to change the world. One she becomes the first rabbit to join the police force in the mammal metropolis of Zootopia, she immediately learns how tough it really is to enforce the law.  Determined to prove to herself and to Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), she takes on a case involving several disappearances. Over the course of her investigation, she runs into a con artist fox named Nick Wilde (Bateman) with whom she ends up working with.

This film plays as a few films at once. It is part mystery film, part suspense film, and also part buddy cop film and I thought it was great at all of these. Judy must prove her worth so people can take her seriously and you can’t help but to relate with that. I thought Judy was such a well-written character and was perfectly voiced by Goodwin that you couldn’t help but to root for her. I was invested in her character and wanted her to do well. What helps is that her size being a bunny contrasted well with all of the other animals in Zootopia. I thought the film did a great job with the excellent animation used to create Zootopia, a city made up of multiple sections for each type of animal living there.

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Because of all the different animals, the film contains themes revolving around races, race relations, racial profiling, and stereotyping. This civilized community was meant to reflect our own where these issues are also prevalent. Don’t want to give too much of the story away here but this becomes a bigger issue later on. It’s very easy to talk about these kinds of things when we’re dealing with a talking animal film and to its credit, it handles this adequately. Kids probably won’t get this but adults will. It’s probably just a coincidence as to how this is relevant as animated films take a long time to make but it works nonetheless.

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Besides Goodwin, I thought the rest of the voice acting was great here, especially Bateman as Wilde. He was great here and fit in perfectly with Goodwin’s Judy. I thought they had great chemistry together and were compelling to watch. What also kept me engaged was the animation, the humor where I found myself laughing on multiple occasions, the supporting voice cast, and the music as there was always a lot to experience here.

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Finally I present to you the new “Let it Go”:

Overall, what is surely going to be a classic, Zootopia has a great story for young and old where people can rally behind and features great production value and a stellar voice cast.

Score: 9/10

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