Zootopia movie full length review - While lacking emotional value, Zootopia still boasts hilarity and an underlying message that applies to everyone.
Zootopia starts out as a world chock full of anthropomorphic animals that go about their lives like ordinary humans, and, thankfully, the story told within that world is nearly as intelligent as the animals that populate it.
Also fortunate is the incredible way that the animals begin to feel like human characters walking about the screen; their characters are so real that it is easy to forget that they are animals.
This case could be made with many movies that use anthropomorphics, but not only does Zootopia do it especially well, it also plays a clever twist -- not all the animals are civilized! Interestingly, the human race is the same way; many of our own behave like animals inside whilst appearing as human on the out. These are animals, but free animals, not ones in a normal "zoo", and are expected to rise above the oppressive nature humans experience along with freedom. All personas displayed in Zootopia revolve around this idea, one reason Zootopia is thoroughly captivating.
Like any good story, these themes are woven through the movements of said personae, one of whom is the principal character, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin, Walk the Line), an eccentric rabbit that dreams of being a cop. Hopps has the motto anyone can be anything, and she uses this to motivate herself to become a cop. Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman, Horrible Bosses), a fox reluctant to fight for justice after being pegged as a scandalous cheater all his life, must join together to solve a mystery while fighting an uphill battle against the "speciesist" Chief Bogo (Idris Elba, Prometheus) of the police department and the clueless Mayor Lionheart (J.K. Simmons, Spider-Man), both of whom Hopps works for.
Concerning Chief Bogo, any and all actions of his speciesism that occur within the film can easily relate to the racism that happens among humans today. Of course, he still isn't actually the villain; he's not even villainous. He's more of an obstacle that Hopps has to overcome. Bogo's intentions are good. It makes sense that a small bunny shouldn't be able to be a cop. But when he is only holding her back because she is a bunny, that's speciesism. The cynical Nick says "You can only be what you are. Sly fox. Dumb bunny." These types of speciesism in the film are almost identical to the racism or stereotypical boxes that we as human beings put each other into, making Zootopia all too real.
Plus, the world of Zootopia is still entirely realistic, despite being animated and not live action! Characters have PB+J cell service on Carrot phones, with songs on them sung by the likes of The Beagles. Zootopia is gorgeous, and if the character and set design weren't enough the details supporting them are as in depth as they are in our universe. Every stone, every rain drop, every popsicle stick is painted perfectly, transcending the norm for animation.
As technology continues to grow, the animation will obviously get better along with it, illustrated by the progression between landmark films like Snow White and Toy Story. Zootopia proves technology is getting closer and closer to making that next landmark film. Even characters moving in the background offer to the scene exactly what they need to, something so often missing in animation and as frequently in live action. Zootopia stands as some of the most technically masterful material out there, surpassed only by all of Pixar's productions, particularly their most recent effort, The Good Dinosaur.
Like Dinosaur, however, Zootopia doesn't have a perfect story. Several times it becomes annoyingly predictable, and even worse, disappointing because of many cool points spoiled in the trailer. The political statements it makes are intriguing, but they begin to overshadow the story, becoming the focus of the narrative, even though such things should be displayed in the background and be representative of a magnificent story. Furthermore, just Like the political aspect, Nick Wilde takes over the story; the fox would have done better as the protagonist, boasting a dynamic character with more depth than Judy Hopps.
Fortunately, the writers built in hilarity and a fast pace atoning for the weaknesses of the film, keeping witty remarks and pop culture references always right around the corner. The Godfather, Frozen, and best of all, Finding Nemo, are either referenced or spoofed in great fun. However hilarious Zootopia is, though, it's icing on the cake (albeit a cake lacking emotional ingredients) to the thoughts that it provokes about society today. "Anyone can be anything", and that makes sense in the world of Zootopia and on Earth.
A small, apparently meek rabbit can become a cop if she works for it, even though it may be easier for a larger, more intimidating ox. Similarly, a predator isn't necessarily going to hurt you even though other predators might. That's not to say predators aren't dangerous, if they choose to be, because they can be! They have sharp teeth or long claws that can kill in seconds, but some of those predators choose not to kill. Why? The same reason that being a Muslim doesn't correlate to being a terrorist. Adults will watch and enjoy Zootopia because of its intense philosophical meanderings. Kids will fall in love with the precisely designed and adorable characters. Although all demographics will realize the lack of emotions and flawless stories Disney sometimes produces, everyone will undoubtedly fall helplessly in love with the visuals, quick pace, and the vast and uncompromising world of Zootopia.
B-: While lacking emotional value, Zootopia still boasts hilarity and an underlying message that applies to everyone.