By Nick Hintz
Disney’s “Zootopia” tells the story of a rabbit named Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) who moves to the city of Zootopia (a place where all animals supposedly live in harmony) after becoming the city’s first bunny police officer. Unsatisfied with being assigned as a meter maid, she teams up with an unlikely partner, a fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), in order to solve a missing mammal’s case and to prove her worth as a police officer.
My first reaction to this film is that this world of Zootopia is incredibly well thought out, and stunningly drawn. “Zootopia” creates a world that I would love to go inside and just spend more time exploring. The world is colorfully drawn and well detailed. The characters created to live in this world are just as great. The two main characters of Judy and Nick are each lovable in their own way and both have strengths and flaws as well as intriguing backstories. Judy Hopps is a strong female character and truly a great role model and an example to kids to never give up on their dreams. Nick Wilde serves as a great opposite to Judy, and the two of them really play off each other well and make this film work. The rest of the supporting cast also bring a lot to the table adding their own unique elements to the crazy world of Zootopia.
The voice cast for this film is perfectly done. Disney fans will likely know Ginnifer Goodwin from her role as Snow White on ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” and in Zootopia, she brings the right amount of energy and optimism combined with a certain level of innocence for her character. Jason Bateman’s voice performance as Nick Wilde pairs up well against Ginnifer Goodwin’s Judy Hopps. The rest of the voice cast includes J.K. Simmons, Idris Elba, Shakira, Tommy Chong and more, who all bring unique aspects to their respective characters.
The main story of Judy and Nick and their adventure of solving a mystery is nicely told and very funny. It becomes a classic buddy cop story with a mystery that gets deeper and deeper as the story moves on with a few twists for good measure. The film has some excellent comedic timing as to when to be serious and when to bring in the comedic relief. A humorous trip to Zootopia’s DMV is particularly funny for anyone who has had to experience a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Where “Zootopia” really gets interesting is in its message. As stated above, on the surface the story is well done, but there are many layers to this story and as they get peeled back, the larger message comes through. The film deals with a lot of tough and particularly relevant issues such as stereotypes, prejudices, and racism. There is even a quick bit referencing the usage of the “n-word.” For a film about animals, it had a lot to say about us and how we treat each other as humans.
The bottom line for Zootopia is that it is a great movie that is entertaining, is continuously funny and has a good story with a positive message. I recommend seeing it
Image by Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zootopia)