Release Date: March 4th, 2016
Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
Release Format: Theatrical
While it is still early in the year, this year seems to be a big one for the movie studio, Disney. With other blockbuster titles coming out later in the year Zootopia has the potential to be a successful beginning to the first quarter. But will it be a fantastic start to the year? Or will it be mediocre?
Zootopia is Disney’s return to a cast that consists only of personified animals. Is Zootopia worth the watch? Find out in the review below. Heads up, there are minor spoilers.
Zootopia focuses on Judy Hopps, (Ginnifer Goodwin) and her desire to be the first ever bunny cop. We watch as Judy climbs the ranks of the police academy and grows into her dream job. On the first day of the job Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) doesn’t feel confident in Judy’s skills as a police officer and assigns her the job of parking tickets. On her first day of the job, Judy meets the sly con-artist fox, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and decides to help him with a difficulty he seems to be encountering. Later Judy inadvertently drags herself into a case of missing animals in which she is given 48 hours to find her missing animal. The only lead she has is through Nick Wilde and the two team up to crack the case.
Zootopia is a great movie for the young and old though the appeal may be for different reasons. To children, this is a run of the mill Disney movie. Which is fine, because that’s all it needs to be, and it’s not without humor that appeals to children. A lot of Zootopia‘s humor is lost on kids, though. While some of the humor can only be appreciated by adults, it’s not like adult humor that gets placed in so many family movies. For example, one of the movie’s funniest scenes takes place at a DMV where the only employees are sloths.
The dynamic between characters Nick and Judy really added to the film. We have two characters who, by the laws of nature, shouldn’t get along at all. This part of their characters is really emphasized at the beginning as Judy tries to not be skeptical of Nick, and Nick wants to not let Judy knows that he cares.
While the dynamic of the film focuses on Judy and Nick, none of the other actors felt out of place. Each actor fits very well with their animal counterpart in terms of their voice representing the character. Some animals even had an accent that factored in size, what animal they were, and where in the world they were. The cast was carefully chosen and it’s apparent in their work.
One area I felt that Zootopia shined was the main cast. One of the things the film goes into dives into stereotypes for certain animals and characters trying to break them. For example, before Judy, a bunny cop was unheard of. Disney put human traits the felt each animal would have into their personality, and it showed very well.
Visually, the story of Zootopia was well told. While it wasn’t eye-popping animation, it had the quality and improvement of the last film I have come to expect from Disney movies. The colors were rich and the attention to detail was fine.
Perhaps one of the downfalls of Zootopia was certain elements of the plot. I successfully predicted things that happened pretty easily, not that the storytelling is bad, but the details can be obvious. Even with its predictability for me, the plot can be complex for children. It’s not too complicated where they will lose interest, but complicated enough that they won’t understand what’s really going on until later in life.
I don’t want to give away what was predictable for the sake of spoilers, but if you pay attention to the finer details of the movie you’ll know. The complexity of the plot isn’t so advanced that kids will lose interest, but they won’t fully understand what’s going on. This isn’t a typical plot of girl meets boy and falls in love that so many Disney films have. Instead, the plot involves a case to find missing animals, and the details surrounding the case.
Not all parts of the film are going to be lost on kids. One of the big struggles that Judy faces that’s definitely moral of the story, if you work hard enough you can make your dreams come true. It may not be exactly what you thought it would be, but that’s okay.
All and all Zootopia is a great family film that will keep everyone entertained. While it may not be Disney’s strongest title ever, it is still memorable enough to be enjoyable and has its moments of comedy and heartfelt gold.
- Acting: The acting for the movie is top notch. Some acting in family movies can be terrible, such is not the case with Zootopia. Each of the actors loved the roles they took on, and it shows in their characters.
- Cinematography: The visuals of Zootopia were done well. While it doesn’t set the bar for future Disney movies, it takes the formula that is known to work and plays on it.
- Plot: The plot is both a major selling point and a downfall of Zootopia. It is predictable and complicated for children, but it’s also a step away from traditional plots found in family movies.
- Characters: The characters are what carries this movie the most. Each character has a level of depth I haven’t seen in a while. The animal aspect of each character really added another level to their character as they had struggles that others didn’t only because of their species.
- Dynamic between Judy and Nick
- DMV scene
- Zootopia's diverse characters
- The funniest parts are lost on kids
- Slightly predictable
- Complex plot for a family film