Who’d have thought that one of the most layered stories about human bias would come in the form of a little hyped animated film called Zootopia?
Zootopia (Zootropolis for those of us who got the British release) is the story of Judy Hopps, a cute bunny from the sticks who dreams of being a police officer. She moves to the Zootopia to join the Zootopia police department so that she can make a difference. She soon discovers that the Zootopian dream is not all it’s cracked up to be.
- Being born in the 80s and having grown up on Disney cartoons, the great character designs in Zootopia also had a certain nostalgic appeal to me
- Incredibly well cast voices (special mention to Ginnifer Goodwin, who had me in tears in one scene, and Jason Bateman, who really got the “sly” part of the sly fox Nick down)
- A surprisingly deep story that deals with cultural/racial bias
- Funnier that I expected it to be (some of the parody elements are fantastic, and it gets away with “racial” jokes that would probably have upset some people if it involved human racial groups)
- Way more mature than I expected it to be (really, adults will probably get more for this film than kids)
- Incredibly relevant to the South African context right now
- The story ties up a bit too neatly for my liking (it feels like there should have been more collateral damage, but I understand that there wasn’t because this is a family film)
- Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
When I saw the first trailer for Zootopia I thought it looked nice, but there was absolutely zero interest from me otherwise. It didn’t really sell why I, an adult with no offspring (that I know of), would want to go see it. I didn’t bother to keep up with it at all until the reviews came out and it sat at a very healthy 99% one week after its release (it still does by the way).
99%. Again. 99%.
That means almost nobody disliked this film. This set my expectations pretty high.
After leaving the film, I wasn’t giddy with excitement, but it’s still a fantastic film that hits some great emotional beats that I hope to catch a second time. It is surprisingly deep, funny, and is probably only let down by its mystery/buddy cop story that ties together a bit too cleanly for my liking.
Overall, just go see it. It’s a really fun and fulfilling film.