Walt Disney Animation Studios 1 hour 58 minutes PG
Zootopia isn’t just about Judy Hopps. She a cute bunny who wants to serve and protect as the first bunny rookie on the police force in a fantasy world that’s a big city where humans have been replaced by animals. It’s about fighting discrimination and not judging animals (or people) by what you think they are or because of what they look like. It’s also about city politics!
There are good messages throughout the film, but you’re not hit over the head by them. Basically it’s that anybody can be or do anything. You can’t tell a book by it’s cover and you can’t tell anyone they can’t do what they want to do….period.
This is an entertaining piece of original animation and the detail, especially of the animal’s hair and fur, is pretty spectacular. The 3D is nice, but not necessary. But even better, the script is smart and clever for adults and even for little children. The young ones in our screening were totally engaged throughout the film, even yelling back at the screen reacting to some scenes. And both parents and their kids were laughing together at the fun animal antics.
Poor Judy (voiced by Gennifer Goodwin) has to try to convince Water Buffalo and Police Chief Bogo (voiced by Idris Elba) that she belongs on his force. She has to work her way up the ranks, first as a Meter Maid. She seizes an opportunity to talk her way into working on cracking a big case concerning a slew of missing animals.
She runs into sneaky con-artist and sly fox, Nick Wilde.voiced by Jason Bateman. Bateman’s fox reminds us of some of the classic Bill Murray smart aleck characters. Hopps catches him red-handed and they match wits until they get involved in a case they can work on together. That takes them on a chase to uncover the facts and blow the cover on the perpetrator causing the disappearance of the animals.
Officer Hopps befriends Bellwether, (voiced by comedian, Jenny Slate) assistant to Mayor Lionhearted (J.K. Simmons) , who promises to help the bunny if she ever needs it. Their search for evidence takes them through a frustrating journey from department to department at City Hall trying to get information in a hurry. (We’ve been there, done that). But when they end up at the window with the animated slo mo sloth, everything comes to screeching halt. This is one of the funniest scenes in the movie that got everybody giggling. It is like seeing a football replay in super slo mo. It is hilarious.
Byron Howard (“Tangled,” :Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “the Simpsons”) teamed up with Jared Bush (Penn Zero:Part-Time Hero” to create this feature length animated adventure. Will Judy and Nick be able to work together? Will they figure out what’s really going on and find out where? Will they be able to get away from the bad guys in a mad chase and find the clues necessary to crack the case before they’re missing, too?
Even though we thought it might be too long for young kids to sit that long in rapt attention, they do. The film, the animation and the story work. So does the music. It adds to the action on the screen. And the Gazelle, voiced by Latin pop star, Shakira, singing and swirling those crazy hips, is a welcome distraction and a really fun likeness.
Is this worth your bucks? Judy Hopps has a chance of becoming a beloved character in what could become another Disney franchise because of all of the fun characters. We think it’s an entertaining way to spend 2 hours with the kids that can give parents food for thought for discussion. The film has been described as a “neo-noir, animated buddy adventure.” Who says you can’t be anything or anybody you want to be? Judy Hopps proved she could become the police officer of her dreams. This Disney film shows, once again, in an entertaining way, dreams really can come true.