You can’t go anywhere without hearing about Disney’s newest release Zootopia. Target shelves are filled with merchandise and ads seem to be everywhere. If you feel like it’s being forced down your throat, you’re right. It is.
But, if you’re like me, you’re wondering what in the world Zootopia is actually about. The previews we saw before Star Wars: The Force Awakens consisted of a sloth taking 10 minutes to laugh at a joke and not much else. I knew there was a bunny cop and a fox and animals wearing clothes. To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to the film because I didn’t get it.
Zootopia is the story of Judy Hops (Gennifer Goodwin), a bunny who has dreams of leaving the country, heading to the big city, and becoming a police officer so she can make the world a better place. Problem is, in the world of Zootopia, a bunny can’t be a cop. Obviously, Judy Hops defies the odds and graduates from the police academy, only to come up against prejudice in the workplace. Her paths cross with a fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and the unlikely pairing set out to solve a missing otter case, uncovering another dastardly plan in the process. We learn it doesn’t matter what size (or species) an animal is, everyone has the potential to be a jerk or a hero.
Change out the animals for humans, species for races or religions, and you get a pretty clear indication of what Disney was going for. It’s a thought-provoking storyline which happens to come at a time where these types of conflicts are at the top of our news cycle day in and day out. Your kids might not realize what the writers were getting at, but they’ll definitely understand the lessons of acceptance, understanding, and compassion.
Zootopia also delivers lots of great laughs with tons of one-liners. We did a lot of literal LOLing during the film. There are some jokes only adults will fully appreciate (a Godfather mole, for example), but none which were inappropriate for kids.
Disney may have failed in letting us know what the film is about, a big mistake in my opinion, but if you make it to the theater, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll laugh a lot, cry a little, and be reminded a little compassion goes a long way.
We gave Zootopia 8 paws up. It’s suitable for all ages, but there is a chase scene with a “savage” panther which may frighten little ones (it made my five year old uncomfortable.) We saw the film in REAL 3D, which I highly recommend in order to truly appreciate the different landscapes created for the film.
Zootopia opens March 4th in theaters nationwide.