Film Review: “Zootopia”

In a world where all kind of animals dress in clothes and live together in harmony, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) works her way up to become the first rabbit police officer in history. Working with gigantic animals such as buffalos and hippos, she eagerly wants to prove that she is capable of being a “real cop” despite her petite size. She optimistically takes on an extremely difficult case that must be solved in 48 hours; fortunately, she is clever enough to get the help of Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a fox making money through tricking and cheating others. The partnership between a sly fox and a righteous bunny is a surprisingly compatible one as they collaborate to save the utopia-in-danger.

The main plot closely resembles an old-fashioned crime story in which heroes prevent the world from being destroyed by villains, which reduces the level of its originality. However, this new Disney cartoon has added many elements that make it special and refreshing. To begin with, you’d be amazed by how ridiculously funny it is — there is a laugh almost every 30 seconds. The seven writers know how to use the diverse characteristics of various animals creatively to make the story more appealing to the audience, and the next moment usually comes as surprise. The scene where Judy has to speak with slow-talking sloths when she is in a hurry is so facetious that you will recall it time after time. While it is a cartoon that easily attracts children, the film tells a few jokes that only grown-ups would understand, making it clear that this is not a work merely designed for kids.

The chemistry between Judy and Nick is intriguing because they have very different personalities. The two animals not only are intimate friends and perfect partners at work, but also have a subtle tendency towards romance. Who cares if they are different species? They are in Zootopia, an imaginative utopia where everyone of any race is equal and can be whatever they want to be.

The film’s deeper message is more political than one might perceive from the trailer: It deals with race, social justice and stereotypes. Judy is the shining symbol of justice as she attempts to save predators made savage who face the danger of losing their mind forever. Under such circumstances, the other animals become wary of the predators and begin to avoid them, a scenario speaking to the issue of stereotyping strangers.

The film would not be a hit if the voice cast had not been fantastic and well-selected. Goodwin and Bateman’s engaging performances make you feel that their voices are made for Judy and Nick, while Shakira brings a pop-star effect to the movie as a gazelle singer, alluring fans in the theatre.

“Zootopia” is a successful film and a considerable rival to the other upcoming animation movies in terms of creativity because it presents themes that speak differently, but appeal, to both adults and children. Overall, it is visually pleasant, funny and engaging. You couldn’t ask for anything more.