You know you’re in for a treat when Disney offer up another of its amazingly animated features, and Zootropolis – or Zootopia as it’s known in the U.S. – delivers on all levels.
Bright, exciting and fast-paced with plenty of humour throughout, it’s reassuring to know that you can rely on the franchise to meet fans’ expectations.
But there’s more than meets the eye to this tale, as it dips into current issues witnessed in the world today, namely racism and stereotyping, but through cute CGI animals and a narrative suitable for kids.
The lead in Disney’s latest offering is bunny Judy Hopps, whose dream is to leave her town of Bunnyburrow and become the first ever rabbit police officer in the nearby city of Zootropolis. After impressing during training under the force’s diversity scheme she’s straight off to the city centre, her area allocated by mayor Leodore Lionheart (J. K. Simmons).
But Judy’s met with disappointment as she arrives at police headquarters only to be put on parking duty by African buffalo boss Chief Bogo (Idris Elba). It’s during her ticket run that she stumbles across Nick Wilde, a con artist fox smoothly voiced by Jason Bateman, who is caught red handed melting and re-selling an icicle.
To make matters worse, it was Judy who bought the lolly after Nick tricked her into being a broke dad who couldn’t pay his son’s birthday treat.
Her luck doesn’t stop there as she abandons her parking duty to chase a thief, leading to her almost being fired on her first day. Before she can be kicked out though, an otter called Mrs. Otterton (Octavia Spencer) comes into the office begging for officers to find her missing husband.
Desperate to win back her boss’ respect and earn herself a good reputation in the business, Judy volunteers to find the otter, but she’s given only 48 hours to do so, or she must resign.
Judy’s fight to be seen as equal is arguably the most prominent theme throughout the film, which is a struggle even when living in the diverse New York-style city. It’s fluffy enough for the youngsters to enjoy and vaguely understand, but it’s what Zootropolis offers to adults which really makes it memorable. With no humans featured whatsoever, what directors Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush have managed to create is a topical tale about prejudice, crime and discrimination, in a light-hearted and easy-to-watch way.
Like Wreck It Ralph, Big Hero 6 and all the other Disney movies before Zootropolis, the laughs are countless. Perhaps one of the funniest scenes is when Judy and Nick are waiting to get a licence plate checked sloth-run Department of Mammal Vehicles as Judy slowly runs out of time. “It’s night!” she exclaims as they leave the office after what appears to be hours of slow-motion actions. Likewise, mobster shrew Mr. Big (Maurice LaMarche) having polar bears as security makes a hilarious watch, especially as they stand around a table watching the boss’ daughter have a wedding party on a table.
So if you don’t fancy watching that nitty-gritty crime flick in the cinema at the moment, we suggest Zootropolis as a happier, but just as enticing, alternative.
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