Let’s get one thing straight: Zootopia is a movie for adults, cleverly disguised in the guise of a children’s film. Kids will appreciate the animated characters, yes, but the plot caters to the adults, making this a film that the whole family will enjoy.
A bunny named Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) has wanted to be a police officer her whole life. There’s never been a bunny police officer before – but that just means that she’ll have to be the first. She finally get admitted to and graduates from the Zootopia police academy, and is thrilled to find out that she’ll be working in the city itself (she’s from a rural area) … only to find out that she’ll be a glorified “meter maid,” as they’ve assigned her to parking detail. Judy is determined to be more than just a meter maid, though, and with the help of an unlikely ally, Nick the fox (Jason Bateman), she sets out to solve a missing persons case, in order to prove herself.
This film is one of the funniest animated movies I’ve seen in quite some time. The animals are all adorable, from Judy Hopps (a bunny) to Ms. Bellwether (Jenny Slate), the assistant mayor of Zootopia, to all of the small moles that also inhabit the city. Not only that, but the dialogue is smart and self-aware; one of the jokes that had my mom cracking up was when Nick points to Bellwether (a sheep) and asks, “Do you think she counts herself at night to get to sleep?” The film even throws in a very subtle Breaking Bad reference midway through the movie, too, when Judy is trying to catch the bad guys.
Yes, see this movie, and see it in 3D if you can – the 3D was done very well. Do be aware that this film might be a little scary for younger kids; there are a few scenes that might make you jump in your seat, and although Zootopia is now a very civilized community, Judy sometimes refers back to the past when animals were categorized by prey and predator, and a few of those scenes were a little violent. This film also has a great voice cast – Goodwin and Bateman play the leads, and some of the smaller roles are voiced by Octavia Spencer, J.K. Simmons, Idris Elba, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Alan Tudyk, and Shakira. Zootopia is worth paying full price for, and it’s a movie that I could definitely see myself rewatching in the future.
Zootopia is in theaters today, March 4th, and is rated PG with a runtime of 108 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.