Zootopia—Disney’s newest solo animated film—continues the franchise’s legacy of spectacular animations through the use of creativity and relatable situations. Zootopia seems to do something those other films haven’t, though: create its own unique world for its inhabitants to live in. In Zootopia, directors Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush create a world similar to Disney Pixar’s Cars and Monster’s Inc.: one purely based on the creator’s imagination. The city of Zootopia is divided into multiple districts for the myriad of different animals in the world, including the Sahara Square, Tundratown, Little Rodentia and the Rainforest District. Each district has its own little quirks that fit to the inhabited animals’ lifestyles.
The film follows rabbit Judy Hopps—voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin—who dreams of becoming a cop in the city of Zootopia. Zootopia is a place where animals of all kind—prey and predator alike—coexist and have the opportunity to be whoever they want to be, regardless of their own natural instincts that pit them against each other.
Even though Hopps passes through the ranks and becomes a cop at the choice of Mayor Lionheart—voiced by J.K. Simmons—she struggles to gain respect from her superior Chief Bogo—voiced by Idris Elba—and the rest of her community because of her identity as a rabbit.
While attempting to prove herself as more than just a bunny and a “meter maid,” Judy meets the charming con-artist fox Nick Wilde—voiced by Jason Bateman—and eventually blackmails him into helping her with her case. Together, the duo attempts to solve the case of a missing otter, who is among 13 missing ex-predators from Zootopia.
The film started with a fairly corny opening, as the young animals boasted about individuality and being able to surpass the fictional universe’s limits and expectations. It seemed as if the film was going to be strictly for children, but as Disney usually proves, the film’s intended audience extended beyond adolescents.
The film steps up from its initial impression by dropping in bits of humor that will resonate for people of all ages, making the film enjoyable for everyone. Whether it’s the animal version of Shakira—Gazelle—or the extremely slow-working sloths at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the film’s clever and subtle humor sparks plenty of laughs.
Without giving away any spoilers, the ending was a bit too trite. It was a conventional, “surprise” ending with the villain who you’d least expect, but with an obvious motive that was perhaps foreshadowed too obviously. For a children’s movie, however, the plot was a bit more substantial than usual.
Regardless of any trite moments, the film was filled with entertainment from start to finish. The actors were perfectly casted, as the always sweet Goodwin—known for her role as the “goodie” Snow White on ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”—proved to be the perfect opposite for the usually snappy Bateman. I personally enjoyed the dynamic between the duo.
Although it doesn’t contain catchy musical numbers like Frozen and it doesn’t tug at your heartstrings like Big Hero 6, Zootopia is a must see for all Disney lovers.