Zootopia – Movie Review
Zootopia – PG
Release Date: Fri 04 Mar 2016
Zootopia is a 3D animated action/adventure from Disney set in an anthropomorphic animal city where predators and prey live together in relative harmony. The story follows Judy, a bunny (Ginnifer Goodwin) who is pursuing her childhood dream of becoming the first bunny police officer. When she stumbles into a missing persons case, she needs the help of streetwise fox Nick (Jason Bateman) to prove herself on the force and solve the case.
Boundlessly entertaining, Zootopia stays wonderfully rooted behind Judy. This is always her story, not an excuse for jokes or celebrity cameos. Her naivete serves us as an audience surrogate and we learn about the big city right along with her. It would have been easy several times for the story to derail and focus on a funnier character or side story. In fact, it’s a minor miracle that Nick never overshadows Judy’s lead being a smart character voiced by Jason Bateman. We root for Judy to succeed and find ourselves invested in the mystery she’s out to solve. Somehow Zootopia ends up being a better mystery, crime thriller and buddy cop movie than most movies focused on just one of those things.
Then there’s the visuals – lush, beautiful animation that pops to life in 3D IMAX. The character designs are wonderful and there’s a staggering amount of attention to details like scale. In another movie, mice and elephants would be relatively shifted to push through the dialogue. In Zootopia, animals that are huge stay huge and the tiny animals stay tiny. There’s a wealth of visual comedy on the screen everywhere you look; It’s not something reserved for action set pieces.
A refreshingly great movie-going experience, Zootopia remembers that animated comedies are not about star-powered dialogue and slapstick. It’s a premise that only works in animation but a story that feels great and engaging on every level. It’s worth the upgrade to IMAX 3D and certainly worth a trip to the theater.
Kelli, Aaron, Gerry, and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: