Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2016 animated movie starring Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman.

Synopsis: Ever since she was a little bunny, Judy Hopps has dreamed of leaving her family's carrot farm and becoming a police officer in Zootopia, a city founded on peace between predators and prey. However, even though she was the top student in her police academy class, she, as the first rabbit police officer, still faces discrimination. Things get even worse when she is assigned to her first case and learns predators are reverting back to their primitive ways.

Who's In It?

The animated film uses voices from Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate and Tommy Chong.

Review

I first saw a preview for this movie last year, when at the movie theater with my kids, and, from the brief description, wasn't really sure what to expect from it. We ended up having a family movie night last night and, after finding this film on Netflix, decided to finally watch it. As it turns out, the movie was considerably better than I was expecting.

The movie really has two major plots to it. The first is a thinly-veiled story involving discrimination and tolerance. This turned out to be better than I thought it would be because, in addition to the discrimination Hopps (Goodwin) faced as a rabbit in a predator's world, foxes were thought to be criminals and, eventually, predators also faced their own discrimination. As a result of this, the movie had a lot more suspense than I was expecting simply because it was hard to tell if/when Zootopia would implode.

The second story was actually my favorite because it involved a surprisingly complex mystery that evolved from being a missing person (animal) case to one about why the predators were reverting to their primitive instincts and turning violent.

As I suspected, the second mystery was more than just a simple biological cause. But, who was behind the plot and, more importantly, why and how they were doing it kept the film interesting.

I also thought the various characters in the film were entertaining in themselves. The writers managed to have a somewhat serious story while, at the same time, keeping things family-friendly by having memorable animals ranging from a doughnut-eating cheetah (Nate Torrence) to a department of motor vehicles run by slow-moving (and talking) sloths. The latter was actually very hilarious and easily one of most memorable scenes in the film.

Final Opinion

I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie but it turned out to be a fun family film with some educational messages of tolerance. I would recommend the movie if you haven't seen it yet.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 02/11/2017, StevenHelmer
 
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judy on 02/11/2017

We saw this movie too & really liked it! Thanks for your review.

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