Zootopia (2016)

DVD Cover (Walt Disney Studios)
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Overall Rating 80%
Overall Rating
Ranked #281
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From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder. --IMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: June 5, 2016
I'm a few months away from turning thirty, but I'll tell you, I'm a sucker for these kiddie animated films. I've been looking forward to Zootopia since I saw the first trailer with Flash the sloth, and it didn't disappoint.

In this world, animals of all species have evolved from their natural roles and predator and prey now live along side each other. In the country town of Bunny Burrow, a small rabbit named Judy Hopps has made up her mind that she's going to be a police officer in the bustling city of Zootopia. Naturally, the police force is typically made up of large or ferocious animals, so a rabbit deciding to be a police officer is kind of like an asthmatic midget aspiring for the position. Despite everyone telling her that she has no hope, Judy will not take 'no' for an answer. Through sheer determination, she graduates valedictorian of her class and is assigned to Zootopia. Of course, the rhinos, bears and wolves on the force are none-too-pleased to be working alongside a rabbit and she is stuck with meter-maid duty. This is not nearly the exciting career she had in mind however, and through a series of rash decisions on Judy's part, she earns both an ice-cold missing person's case and the ire of her police chief, resulting in a forty-eight deadline or she loses her job. Fortunately, she has also met an unlikely ally. Nick Wilde, a streetwise fox who makes three hundred dollars a day off the books with a brilliant chain of cons. By recording his boasting, Judy is able to blackmail him with the threat of tax evasion to use his contacts and knowledge of the city's under working to help her solve the case and save her place on the force.

What's so great about Zootopia is all the different elements it was able to marry. At its core, it's a standard story of an underdog rookie cop with an unlikely, street-wise partner. It's been done dozens of times before, but it's a cliched trope for a reason. Everything is laid out for an interesting story: you've got two vastly different perspectives working together, you've got two different worlds to check for leads and information, and you've got an easy set up for some tension between our two stars. It's the skeleton that holds up the film's main selling point, a world where anthropomorphized animals are running the world, and it's these animal traits given to the design of the characters and the city itself that give the movie most of its humor. Little things like a hamster using a wheel as a treadmill or the population ticker on the Bunny Burrow increasing by the second. Even the bands on Judy's iPod consist of classic band parodies like Guns N' Rodents and Fur Fighters. Disney even decided to throw in some pop culture references including The Godfather and Breaking Bad for the adults in the audience, but I found the movie itself to be funny enough on its own.

Disney wasn't just content to throw some animal puns on top of an age old trope and call it a wrap however. There is a very pronounced racial parallel running throughout the film with its prey and predator classifications. The prey outnumber the predator 90%, and yet the prey always have the predator's feral history in the back of their minds. In the country, it's especially pronounced, and Judy's parents load their daughter up with fox repellents when she sets out for the big city. Sound familiar? Fortunately, while it is there and is certainly a prominent motif, it's not forced down the viewers' throats. I'm glad that they realized that were able to include the message without losing the actual movie in the process.

In the starring roles, Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman had a very nice chemistry as Judy and Nick respectively. Again, their interaction borders on cliche, but they certainly owned it. As soon as Chief Bogo walked out, I immediately hoped it would be Terry Crews. Turns out I had the wrong big, black guy, but Idris Elba was still great in the role. I also really enjoyed J. K. Simmons and Jenny Slate as the mayor and his assistant, and I absolutely loved the hilarious little cameo by Tommy Chong.

I'll admit that I had some reservations when Disney and Pixar went their separate ways, but Disney hasn't been an animation powerhouse for decades just because they've gotten lucky. Zootopia is a lot of fun, and definitely comes recommended. 9/10.
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added June 17, 2016 at 3:31pm
Watched it with my kids for the first time last week and I'd give it a 9/10
George Snow #2: George Snow - added July 12, 2016 at 12:55am
Loved this. I didn't think it was as great as the Box-Office presented it.

Pixar and Disney didn't split, did they?

I paid $21 for the 3D set. They didn't send me the digital code, so I complained. They sent me a code which got me one hundred Disney points. They sent me another code which got me the digital copy and 150 points. Then I sold the DVD copy for $7. I love a bargain.
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