Ok but…why was Zootopia so freaking good?
It seems like it would be silly, another random animated “kid” Disney movie. It seems like it would be cute, definitely—but juvenile. Ok, it was obviously adorable…but “juvenile,” shallow? Far from it. The storyline was full of twists and turns, full of action and adventure.
And holy cow were there twists and turns. (See what I did there?) I got more antsy during this movie than I have for an episode of CSI or any Bond movie in forever. It was well-paced, smart. I had no idea what was going to happen next, and I was shocked and pleasantly surprised by how complicated and well-thought out everything was. Like, the animation was great, obviously, but the STORYLINE! The storyline won.
It was really heavy on low-key (and ok, maybe not so low-key) life lessons, as well as action. This is typical of animated films, but each point was so thought-provoking, so valid. “Predators versus prey” easily translated into “the big kids and the bullies versus kids, little people.” It also emphasized determination and perseverance. The main character, Judy Hopps, for example, is one of these said “little people”—she’s a rabbit, she’s prey. But she wants to be a police officer so badly that she lets nothing stop her. It doesn’t matter that she’s the First Bunny Cop Ever (an official title), it doesn’t matter that Zootopia, her idealistic haven of equality and justice, is not as fair and perfect as she imagined. Judy keeps trying, keeps sleuthing, keeps working hard. She tries to prove the “big guy” wrong. And, not even spoiling anything, she does. She gets two-hundred parking tickets in one day. She catches a bad guy on her own. She out-wits a fox. And she’s so sassy all the while, it’s great.
This movie also emphasized teamwork, and not judging others based on how they look. Which goes back to the whole “animal-instincts/predator-prey thing:” the predators are not always the bad guys. Foxes can be kind. Lions can be weak.
…And moles can be the Godfather. Because ok, OH MY GOD THE GODFATHER REFERENCES. Sorry to change the subject completely from morals and everything, but there were so many Godfather references! Entire scenes, the mole daughter getting married off, the “deal [they] couldn’t refuse”…. This was one of many of the movie’s clever highlights for me, one that absolutely no little kid would get (except maybe mine one day, obviously).
There was a Frozen reference as well, which I really appreciated (*cough* Weaselton *cough*). And the SATIRE. There was a whole thing on cops generally being big tough males, and THAT got slammed. Oh, and SLOTHS RUNNING THE DMV? Perfect. It was these little dialogue details and connections, this satire, as well as Judy’s quick banter, that was essentially icing on the already excellent metaphorical cake.
I highly recommend this movie with a target audience of less than half my age, a movie that made me yell at the screen, a movie that I wish I had written and designed, a movie that I was blown away by and can’t wait to watch and marvel at again. Zootopia was wild. Pun intended.
Rating: 9/10 stars