Zootropolis is Disney’s latest anthropomorphic animation. We follow Judy the rabbit (Ginnifer Goodwin) who is desperate to become a police officer. Having graduated top of her class from the police academy, Judy moves to the big city, Zootropolis, where she finds it hard to be taken seriously and is relegated to handing out parking tickets. But, determined to prove herself to her boss, Judy takes on the case of a missing otter along with her new friend Nick (Jason Bateman), a fox who is more interested in making money than saving the city.
The film is set in a world in which prey and predator are no longer enemies, a world in which all animals co-exist peacefully. However prejudices still exist, and just as the rabbits are trying to prove they aren’t weak and stupid, the foxes are trying to dispel assumptions that they are all sly and cunning.
The film feels very timely considering it has been released at a time when fear-mongering and dangerous generalisations are being thrown around in the media, and the film’s message – that we all ought to stop judging one another – is one that many people need to hear.
The film isn’t as funny as I had expected it to be – there are a few very funny moments but on the whole it was underwhelming. The storyline is engaging enough and is definitely less sugary than it first appears: at times the film almost wanders into some quite dark territory, before being swiftly brought back by a few Frozen references, or the appearance of a weirdly sexualised gazelle, voiced by Shakira.
The film’s animation is of course the highlight: it’s so lovely to look at and the wider shots showing the city as a whole are absolutely beautiful. The opening scene in which Judy explores Zootropolis for the first time is particularly wonderful. The screen is buzzing with things to look at that it would be impossible to catch them all on just one viewing. Overall Zootropolis is a solid film with plenty of charm, but it does ultimately fall short of becoming the next of Disney’s classics.
Image: Miguel Angel Arnada; Flickr.com