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Zootopia: Movie Review

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Zootopia tells the story of a rookie bunny cop and a con artist fox who have to work together to solve the mystery of a missing Otter.

Disney has been on a roll with big hits like Tangled, Big Hero 6, and a little movie called Frozen.  After the huge success of Frozen and the hit song “Let it Go”, Disney has decided to be kind to adults all over and not release another animated musical this year.  Instead, they have decided to try their hand at a anthropomorphic crime procedural with some Disney magic.

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The story of Zootopia centers around Judy Hopps, (Ginnifer Goodwin) a female bunny who has always dreamed about becoming a cop to help the innocent and stop the bad guys.  Judy’s journey to becoming a cop is made even more difficult as she has to deal with everyone, including her parents, telling her she could never make it as a cop because she is just way too small and weak to ever become one.  Judy allows all these naysayers to become fuel for her determination to not only become a cop, but also prove everyone wrong about her.

Zootopia is about not letting others define you, but rather defining yourself by your actions.  Zootopia works wonders with the character of Judy, as her lively can do spirit pushes her to outperform everyone to prove the point that she is going to be the best cop she can be.  They show this without ever having Judy become obnoxious or annoying as a character but by allowing the audience to see that things actually get to her. One of the things that does get to Judy is her reluctant partner, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) a con artist Fox that always has a plan.  The chemistry between the two is both comedic and endearing as they both try to learn to trust each other.  Add to that a great cast of characters voiced by Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, and Nate Torrence who all bring so much to the movie.

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The story for Zootopia is a fun crime story with a few twists and turns that will try and keep you guessing till the end.  Kids will enjoy the funny mice, hamster characters, and the hilarious sloth characters that have already been seen in the trailers.  The adults will find entertainment with the solid story and characters that drive the movie.  The message of the film is great as it helps to teach people about acceptance and not judging a book by its cover.  Judy dealing with a world that doesn’t want her to succeed, even after she does become a cop, is a struggle that people have to deal with and this movie deals with it in a fun and entertaining manner that isn’t preachy.

The look of the film is as astonishing as one can expect from Disney.  One of the most enjoyable parts about the movie is just the environments that the movie takes you too.  As the big city has to deal with such a diverse group of animal species, the city itself is actually divided up into different sections that we end up passing through like the rainforest district, polar district (Tundratown), a desert district (Sahara Square), and so on.  It is fascinating to see the different weather effects and environments, and even architecture in the film as they provide a great change in setting and mood.

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While the movie may suffer from some usual movie tropes which should be expected from a Disney movie and the usual hero forgetting the very same message they have been preaching since the start of the film, the overall movie was just a fun watch.  If you are looking for a movie that has some great action with some solid humor mixed in then you are in for a treat.  I would highly recommend this film to anyone who really enjoyed Big Hero 6, Wreck-It Ralph, and Tangled.  Zootopia is a Mickey go-coaster ride of laughs and thrills for the whole family and one of the best movies to come out of Disney animation studio.  A big must watch for any Disney and animation fans out there.

Zootopia (2016)
Director:  Byron Howard & Rich Moore
Studio:  Disney
Genre:  Family Comedy
MPAA:  PG
Release Date:  March 4th, 2016
Author:  Steve Cienfuegos

 

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