If Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) had listened to everyone in her life, she would have stayed in Bunnyburrow and worked on her parents’ carrot farm. But Judy had bigger dreams. She wanted to move to Zootopia, a city where predators and prey learned to live in harmony, and be a police officer.
When Judy graduated from the academy, she became the first rabbit officer on the force. In fact, she was the first small mammal police officer. Her superior, Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), not having much faith in her abilities, assigns her to parking duty. While it is a menial job, she takes it very seriously.
While working one day, Judy meets Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a fox who Judy later finds out is a con man. When Judy is given the chance to solve a missing person case, she enlists Nick to help her. As they start to make progress on the case, they realize that it is much bigger than any of them could have imagined.
With the exception of a minor misstep last year, when Disney puts out a movie, it is pretty much a guaranteed success. Fortunately, this year Disney gets back on track with what is set to be the biggest animated movie ever.
Directors Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush, who all are part of the team who wrote the film, create a world much like our own, if people were replaced with anthropomorphic animals.
It doesn’t hurt that the film a packed with an amazing cast. Sure, you may not actually get to see greats like J.K. Simmons, Idris Elba, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jason Bateman. But their personalities shine through in their characters.
Visually, Zootopia is everything you expect from Disney. From broad panoramas of the city, to close up, intimate shots, the world of animals comes to life magnificently. The action literally jumps off the screen in 3D, though it doesn’t add much to the film. (In other words, don’t pay extra for the 3D showing unless that’s the only one available.)
Many times, Disney movie are films to just sit back and enjoy (minus the fact that at least one of the parents usually dies). Occasionally, Disney will slip a message into their films, sometimes, so slyly that you don’t even realize it until later. With Zootopia, however, that message isn’t quite a subtle, and it has never been so important, especially these days. That message is not to discount someone because they are different. We all play an important part in society, and the misconceptions and fear we have about those who are different are exploited by people we should trust. Thankfully, that message doesn’t get preachy. It is presented in such a way that it is easy to understand and teaches kids an important lesson.
If you are planning a family movie outing, while there may not be many choices right now, this is a great one for everyone. Kids and adults alike can take something good away from Zootopia. This is a rare animated must-see film.