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Zootopia Review: The Furrier, The Better

Updated on February 16, 2017
Joseph Lawrence profile image

Joseph (24) grew up in the New York area and is a recent college grad in Film Studies. He is a huge film/TV buff and enjoys discussing them.

Zootopia poster
Zootopia poster

Find a Home, At Zootopia!

The highly acclaimed Zootopia is a Disney animated film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios/Pictures. The renowned cast features some of whom are Once Upon A Time's Ginnifer Goodwin (Judy Hopps), Arrested Development's Jason Bateman (Nick Wilde), Parks and Recreation's Jenny Slate (Bellweather), Luther's Idris Elba ( Chief Bogo), and famous pop star Shakira (Gazelle). Like a utopia, the city of Zootopia is an imagined place where all critters and animals, predator or prey, live together in peace.

Anyone Can Be Anything

The film's charm is noticeable right from the beginning, where we see a Young Judy performing in a play. The play narrates the backstory of the film of how the animals all came together to live in peace. However, the story centers around Judy Hopps, who as a young child knew that she wanted to become a police officer. Everyone (even her parents) doubted her and told her she couldn't do it. After a horrifying encounter with her child bully Gideon, she becomes more motivated than ever. Judy joins the Zootopia Police Academy and graduates at the top of her class. But, real life hits her in the face and she is stuck being a meter maid. The movie then introduces us to Nick Wilde, a cunning and sly Fox who runs a popsicle hustle to support himself. One blackmail (or two) later, the Nick and Judy join forces to find a missing otter and bring down a conspiracy that threatens the safety and stability of Zootopia itself.

Judy Hopps
Judy Hopps
Flash, the sloth
Flash, the sloth
Mayor Lionheart
Mayor Lionheart

Comedic and Smart

The high points of the film lie in the combination of comedy and smart dialogue. While I wouldn't brand the film an animated comedy, there are several, really funny moments.Flash (the slot) in the DMV is a very vital part in that funniness. Everything in the Department of Mammal Vehicles moves in slow motion. The facial expressions of the sloths, their physical movements, even the speech. This scene is comedy gold as anyone who has had the displeasure of going the DMV know that it can be a painfully, slow process. Other humor filled scenes are the naked animal retreat and the weasel, Duke Weaselton (Alan Tudyk) who laughably sells Zootopia, boot-leg versions of real Disney animated movies. Also, noticeable and delightful is the scaling of the size of the animals in the film. Foxes and bunnies are visibly tiny when it comes to elephants. When Nick holds a popsicle he needs to hold it with both hands. The scaling of the animals and how they interact with the world around them keeps the allure of the film fresh and adorable.

Chief Bogo
Chief Bogo

Voice Acting and Animation

The voice acting in the film is a beauty to listen to. Any character that speaks has his/her very own personality that shines through. Judy's voice (the rabbit) comes off as naïve and nice. Mr. Big (who is ironically a rat) does a great Godfather impression. As soon as he speaks, he utters a line from the iconic movie that sounds so sweet. Assistant Mayor Bellweather voice is sweet and soft spoken. She is also the most adorable of the cast in her mannerisms.

The animation and environment in the film is superb. Every part of the film is vibrant and colorful. In one of the first scenes, Judy takes the train from the Bunny Borrow to Zootopia. On the way to Zootopia, Judy passes a lush jungle, snowy mountains and spring meadows. Each setting is bright, vivid, and pleasing to the eye.

Bottom Line

It is no wonder that Zootopia has garnered so many awards. The film is definitely a masterpiece in the Disney animated collection. The film manages to appeal to both kids and adults. The film is funny, loveable and teaches important life lessons like never giving up or becoming a bully. Lastly, the film has its twist and turns near the end which keep you watching until the last minute. The credits feature a musical number that is definitely worth sticking around to watch.

Catch Zootopia on Blu-Ray/DVD.

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