<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Byron Howard & Rich Moore. Starring the voice talent of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Alan Tudyk, JK Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Shakira
Running Time: 1 hour 48 minutes
Zootopia has a lot of the regular cutesy animated film jokes and gags along with some really fun new ones. It’s also got a great message about abandoning prejudices and stereotypes and being ‘anything you want to be’!
We’ve seen movies where animals play human-like characters in a world of their own. But in Zootopia this world is more defined and mirrors the human world in ways both good and bad.
Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a bunny living in a village with her farmer parents; she has dreams of becoming a cop in a world where the cops are these huge elephants and rhinos and bunnies aren’t usually welcome. And even though predators and prey live in harmony, there are some stereotypes that remind us of the human world we live in today.
But Judy, through her determination, gets ahead at the Police Academy and joins the big city police force. But Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) isn’t too sure of her capabilities and assigns her to meter maid duty where she bumps into the smooth talking hustler Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), the fox. A hate-love relationship is established as the two get caught up in a mystery that Judy decides she’s going to solve. And the adventure begins.
There are some awesome characters in Zootopia like Flash the Sloth (Raymond S Persi), Weaselton (Alan Tudyk) and Mr Big (Maurice LaMarche). Mr Big’s first scene is a copy of an iconic scene from the Godfather and will have you in splits. And the scene when Judy and Nick go to the DMV that’s full of sloths at the counters (probably mirroring the actual DMV in America) and asks Flash for info on the case is utterly hilarious.
Apart from the ‘you can be anything you want to be’ thread there’s also a message in Zootopia about stereotypes: a bunny can’t be a police officer and foxes are always cunning, and how sometimes it’s hard even for the best of people not to resort to stereotyping. Any prejudice on the basis of looks or race or religion is almost always wrong, and in the film we see how these animals look past all that to become a lot more ‘human’ than humans are nowadays.
Zootopia’s mystery isn’t all that interesting, but the message and the characters that deliver it are all worthy of an adult tail… oops tale that even the kids will enjoy.
PS: Shakira’s Gazelle is pretty awesome too and so is the music in the film.