ZOOTOPIA continues Disney’s hot streak with back-to-back hits like WRECK-IT RALPH, FROZEN, and BIG HERO 6. Not only does it continue that streak, it is best of the bunch. ZOOTOPIA is a wonderful film filled with great characters, dazzling animation, and rich storytelling. This is a film that cannot be missed.
ZOOTOPIA follows Judy Hopps (voiced wonderfully by Ginnifer Goodwin) as she tries to solve the mystery a series of animals who have gone missing from Zootopia. Judy is the first ever bunny to become a police officer in Zootopia, and she has to fight to be heard and respected within the department and in her personal life. She is a strong willed, independent, and very determined bunny who wants to do everything she can to help make the world a better place. Judy Hopps is such a remarkable character as she shows that no matter who you are, male or female, a predator or prey, bunny or lion; if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. She is such a positive role model and the movie wouldn’t reach the heights it does if it wasn’t for her.
ZOOTOPIA is not afraid to tackle big issues, like race and prejudice, as it deals with them head on and doesn’t dumb the story down or patronize the audience. The message of being inclusive and not to judge others is so timely and the film does such a wonderful job showing how the solutions might not be as simple as you might think. I might make it seem like this film is heavy, but it very funny as well. It does a great job of balancing tone as the funny sequences are hilarious, the action scenes are exciting, and the dramatic scenes will bring a tear to your eye. There is something for everyone in this film.
The story isn’t the only great thing about the film, but the animation is absolutely gorgeous. This is the best looking film put out by Disney Animation Studios as it is rich with detail, texture, and color. I loved the world that was created and the film brings you to so many different lands and environments these animals live in that you don’t want to leave.
The cast is outstanding as it is perfectly cast. Ginnifer Goodwin is very charming as Judy Hopps as she fills her with such humor, heart, and pathos. She is joined by Nick Wilde, a cunning fox who wrangled by Judy Hopps to help solve the mystery, who is voiced by Jason Bateman. I can’t think of anyone better to play Nick Wilde than Bateman as he is able to hone in on the complexity of the character who is more than an outsider who doesn’t care about anyone other than himself. The chemistry between the two is palpable and they play off each other extremely well. The rest of the cast is just as good which includes Jenny Slate, J.K. Simmons, Idris Elba, Octavia Spenser, and Alan Tudyk (who has become the John Ratzenberger of Disney Animated Films).
I had the pleasure of seeing ZOOTOPIA in a packed theater that was mostly filled by children. Normally that would detract from the viewing of a film, but I loved hearing the reactions from the audience as I could tell they were all emotionally involved with the story and characters. I was a little worried that some of the messages might go over their heads, but they latched on and loved it. ZOOTOPIA is the perfect family film that connects with all ages as there is something there for each and every person to enjoy.