Take a look at my ranking of all 55 of Disney's animated classics, and see where Zootopia stacks up with the others!
Click here to read my autism lesson on this movie.
Behold, the magical animal paradise of Zootopia, where all the inhabitants are mammals walking on two legs like you and me. Come and visit this genius creation, where everyone celebrates their differences after overcoming their historical segregation between predator and prey. They live by the slogan, “Anyone can be anything,” including a rabbit befriending a fox. Unfortunately, time has caused these citizens to forget their history, and they’ve stooped to sickening mistreatment of prey towards predators, whether it’s through elephants refusing to serve ice cream to a fox or rabbits carrying repellant for those foxes.
At Zootopia, everything catches your breath in all the right doses. All animals are built to the scale of their real life counterparts, the atmosphere surrounding them built accordingly. The express has a second door small enough for the jittery little hamsters, and the cars for the giraffes are skyscraper tall. As for the exploration of the rest of Zootopia, you might as well pack your bags and stay for a month! The variety of the world ranges from camels jogging in the deserts to volcanoes of powdery snow to gerbils making their way around town through colored plastic tubes. In the heart of the city itself, there are beaver construction workers, shrews holding wedding festivities on a table, and itty bitty buildings for mice made to the scale of a toy set.
It’s worth mentioning how the film’s animators developed a new software called, “Keep Alive” where every leaf and flake always flutters in motion to create this immersive reality. The result? A city breathing its own unique feel that will keep you grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Now meet rabbit officer Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon a Time, A Single Man). She grew up on the countryside under the direction of her parents and 275 siblings, expected to stay in the family business of carrot farming. Yet despite her cute little stature, Judy’s got the eye of a tiger. She would rather go to Zootopia and become the first rabbit police officer, a job usually reserved for larger animals like lions and tigers and bears. She refuses to look at this as an obstacle, but instead an opportunity to see pigs fly. In police training, she works hard, doesn’t quit, ignores criticism, and gets into the police academy at Zootopia with honors, at last leaving home’s comfort to enter the magical city. She gets the assignment of writing parking tickets while all the other officers get to stop crime, but her enthusiasm still won’t fade.
Judy Hopps is always quick and tappy, her nose twitching ever so snuggly like the softness of a real rabbit. She very quickly gets put to a great task at her arrival in the search for a lost otter who has expected to go savage. The clock ticking on the case lasts for only forty-eight hours; if she can’t find the otter in time, she gives up her police badge.
Here is where Nick Wilde comes in, voiced by Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Up In the Air). Nick is one clever fox who hustles others through his creation of “pawpsicles” and thus is well-known to everyone in the city. He helps in the uncovering of this wicked case, even if he’s not the most cooperative of Judy’s potential partners in crime.
Coming from the perspective of a cop, Zootopia turns out to be much darker than Judy originally imagined. With a predator to prey ratio of 1:9, some herbivores would need to take greater risks to sustain their pride of history in the manner of wolves in sheep’s clothing. So of course a horrific scandal causes the predators to slowly revert back to their primitive savage ways like they did back in the Stone Age, creating a genuinely devastating segregation between the prey and the predators. Who would’ve guessed that the one to restore what made Zootopia great would be a plain little rabbit from the countryside?
We literally see ourselves reflected in the world of a Zootopia, and we along with our children can learn to not allow segregation between predators and prey, and celebrate how things are no longer the way they used to be. It’s just like Walt always taught us for generations, “the more you like yourself, the less you are like anybody else, which makes you unique.”
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Celestino, Mike. INTERVIEW: “Zootopia” animation team members explain how they brought the movie’s characters to life. Inside the Magic. Distant Creations Group, LLC 27 Jan 2016. Web. <http://www.insidethemagic.net/2016/01/interview-zootopia-animation-team-members-explain-how-they-brought-the-movies-characters-to-life/>.
Lussier, Germain. Inside Secrets of Zootopia, the New Film From the Makers of Wreck-It Ralph. io9. 18 Dec 2015. Web. <http://io9.gizmodo.com/inside-secrets-of-zootopia-the-new-film-from-the-maker-1748640504>.
Orr, Christopher. “Disney's Zootopia Is a Giddy Delight.” Digital image. The Atlantic. Disqus, 4 Mar 2016. Web. <https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/03/disneys-zootopia-is-a-giddy-delight/472197/>.
Zootopia. Disney. Web. < http://movies.disney.com/zootopia>.