Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Movie review: Zootopia (2016)

Zootopia is a gorgeously-animated, well-written story about Judy Hopps, a bunny determined to fulfill her dream of being a cop in the big city. The excellent voice acting, larger thematic elements, and the freaking adorable animals make this a great movie to watch with or without your kiddies.

In brief, the peaceful coexistence of predator and prey animals in Zootopia is shaken by a rash of predator disappearances. Thanks to the mayor’s Inclusivity Initiative, Judy – the city’s first bunny cop – gets a chance (eventually) to participate in the search. It’s easy to see why the force doesn’t have any bunnies: most of the officers are enormous rhinos and similar large beasts, while the chief is an intimidating water buffalo. Meanwhile, Zootopia citizens run the gamut from giraffes to lemmings – all land animals. WE’RE MISSING SEA CREATURES IS WHAT I’M SAYING, WHERE MY TURTLES AT.

Oh, Finding Dory? Got it. I'll wait.

The best part about this film, apart from my correctly identifying Idris Elba and Shakira by voice alone (not that hard, true), is Jason Bateman’s portrayal of Nick Wilde, the fox. Nick is a smooth operator, unperturbed by anything, and neither his voice nor his face betrays any hint of anything he doesn’t wish to express. But he’s also not obnoxious or smug when he drops truth bombs to the na├»ve Judy. I admire a fox like that.

Actually, I lied. The best part about Zootopia is the scene at the DMV (RMV for Massachusetts folks). Every grownup in the theater was dying of laughter. Same for the Godfather tribute – we were in tears. I can’t decide which scene won my heart harder. I could watch clips of either one on a loop all day.

The sprawling city of Zootopia itself is stunning, with its multiple climate zones (e.g. desert, jungle, tundra) – much of which got showcased briefly or went unexplored entirely. I smell a se~quel!

Finally, every good hero deserves an equally good villain, and here Judy's enemy does not disappoint. Like Judy, the antagonist is more clever than you think.

TL;DR: Sweet and smart, like its lead. Recommended for all ages! 

This post brought to you by Junior sleeping until 6am this morning! It's a spring miracle!