WRITTEN BY: SCOTT BROWN | STAFF WRITER
Zootopia, directed by Bryan Howard and Rich Moore, is the latest Disney Animation Studios movie. It follows Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a rabbit whose dream is to become a police officer in Zootopia, which she fulfills. She then has to crack a missing person case with the help of the shady fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman).
This unlikely pairing then sends them on a journey of self-discovery that offers an in-depth and timely look into stereotypes and prejudice.
Zootopia was announced in 2013, but it seems that Disney had a crystal ball that they looked into when creating this movie, because this is the movie America needs to see at this moment in time. It is not just an endearing, funny, and heartfelt animation, but it also has some in-depth looks into what stereo- types, prejudice, fear, and hate can do to a society and the adverse effects it can have on those that have been affected.
The underlying message through- out the film is that everyone, no matter what stereotypes or generalizations can be associated with them, should be able to dream for a better tomorrow and have the chance to fulfill that dream.
Now that the preaching is over, I want to talk about the technical aspects of the movie.
Zootopia is a movie that is hard to pin into any one category. It is funny, heartfelt and dramatic, all at the same time. The reason for this lies in the strength of the script. The writers, Jared Bush and Phil Johnston, were able to balance comedy for children and adults which was evident in my screening be cause the adults were laughing more than the kids were drama, and message, which could have easily been very heavy-handed, but it was subtle enough not to be overbearing.
The way Nick’s backstory was writ- ten broke my heart. And for victims of bullying and prejudice, it will more than likely break your heart as well. This is a testimony for how well the film is writ- ten, though, that an animated fox’s child- hood story can hit me so emotionally. There is also a scene written into the film that is a total reference to The Godfather, and it is absolutely hilarious.
Speaking of animation, though, this is some of the best 3-D animation I have ever seen in my life. The character models and movements are absolutely astounding and it looks cartoonish enough to be a cartoon, but real enough for you to think of these animals on screen as real characters especially when paired with their voices.
The voice acting for this film is also superb. Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps is incredible and a perfect fit for the character. The same goes for Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde. Both of these actors brought a sensitivity and realness to their characters, and the fact I am saying that about an animated rabbit and fox should tell you how good the performances are. The supporting cast as well, namely Idris Elba as the hardened buffalo police chief and JK Simmons as the arrogant lion mayor, add humor to the film and are welcome additions.
Overall, Zootopia is a funny and heartfelt film with a timely message about stereotypes and prejudice that I believe everyone needs to see.
photo by Wikifur.com