Zootopia (2016) – movie review

zootopia

Zootopia is Disney’s latest A-project movie and it follows Judy Hopps, a bunny attempting to be the first of her kind to become a police officer in Zootopia, the metropolis of the wild where predators and prey live in harmony. When she is assigned her first missing-persons case, along with a sly fox named Nick, she discovers something happening in the titular city that’s much bigger than herself.

I honestly couldn’t find anything to complain about with Zootopia. The story was very well constructed (as expected), the animation was insanely detailed and colourful (as expected), the voice acting was very good (as expected) and the social commentary on racism was quite troubling (as expec… maybe not so much).

There are some key plot moments in Zootopia (which I will not specifically identify for spoiler reasons) which revolve around certain animals’ distrust or expectations for other animals. Sounds kind of like people’s distrust or expectations for other people. Oh.

This reservation for racial commentary in the story will probably fly over the heads of most children and Zootopia being a children’s’ movie, makes it all the more peculiar. Also with Zootopia being a children’s movie, I’ll move away from the content only visible to teens and older.

The story for some reason reminded me of Chinatown. I know they’re not even close in terms of quality (Chinatown‘s story is miles ahead of every other movie ever made) but the structure of Zootopia made it feel like that kind of detective movie. The technique of making the movie look like it’s over and then suddenly opening up a whole new leg of the story really did remind me of Chinatown. And Brazil.

Zootopia (very unlike Chinatown) also manages to be very light and watchable. The combination of colourful animation, every character (including background) beholding a quirk, the well-paced story and the general Disney feel make Zootopia a very watchable movie and one that I definitely wouldn’t mind watching again.

Speaking of the characters and their quirks, this movie is very cute. Zootopia being an expansive world with thousands of animal species and each one having a stereotype-based quirk, is very cute and entertaining. The fox con-artist, the shrew godfather, the sloth DMV employees among many other tiny jokes provide tiny entertainment in the moment but because there are so many moments, Zootopia becomes very entertaining.

The voice acting was adequate. Every character seemed believable from both the voice acting itself and the lack of recognisable tone, meaning that I heard a character and didn’t instantly think “that’s Christopher Walken!”. Instead, I heard a character and thought “that’s (insert character name)”.

If Zootopia was attempting to make the characters seem relatable as the voices weren’t instantly recognisable, then good job, you succeeded. But if Zootopia was trying to use voices that were recognisable by every moviegoer who walks the earth, congratulations, you failed, I didn’t know anyone in this movie without Googling them up.

Except Idris Elba. You can recognise his voice from a mile away.

The animation is insanely and very unnecessarily detailed, the voice acting is great despite the voices not being familiar (I’ve just concluded that it is a good thing), the story is very well structured and surprisingly reminded me of Chinatown, the racial commentary was… you can make up your own mind on that, the characters were aplenty and the movie was very colourful and cute. So basically, Big Hero 6 with more animals.

What did you think of Zootopia? Leave your comment on the side and don’t forget to follow my Instagram page for movie posters.

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