Zootropolis/Zootopia (2016) directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush. Written by Jared Bush and Phil Johnston.
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, and Shakira.
Synopsis: In a world of anthropomorphic mammals, bunny rabbit Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) is a big fish (or rabbit for that matter) in a small pond (rabbit hole) and grows up desperate to be a police officer. However, her parents (Bonny Hunt and Don Lake) discourage this as they see it as dangerous and not something rabbits do. Ignoring her parents’ advice, Judy decides to move away to Zootropolis to fulfil her dream, a big city where she joins the police force. However, not being taken seriously by her boss Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), a cape buffalo, she is assigned to parking duty. As the story progresses, Judy volunteers herself for a missing mammal case to find Mr. Otterton, an otter who has mysteriously disappeared – very much against the will of Bogo. With the help of a con artist fox, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), Judy is given 48 hours to solve the case or she will lose her job.
I had the pleasure of seeing this movie in an advanced screening for free, and I had been looking forward to it due to the impressive trailer I had seen many weeks before.
Firstly, the animation is impressive, as is the plot. This is essentially an animated whodunit, and adopts the sensibilities of that genre. There is even a parody of The Godfather with a Brandoesque arctic shrew ironically named Mr. Big, as well as many other humorous events that occur.
Much like many other animated offerings, this story has strong universal themes which people of all ages can relate to. There is the theme of acceptance regardless of species, as well as stereotypes. These are embedded within the narrative, and protagonist Judy faces these obstacles throughout.
Although being aimed at the child demographic, this is very accessible to adults and an enjoyable movie for all ages. The sheer array of different animals with differing characteristics give the story endless entertaining factors. The movie will most definitely have a sequel at some point, and I highly recommend this to anyone. A sloth named Flash steals the show, so look out for this – you can’t miss him.
By Robert Spence
Photo Credit: [Disney]