Zootopia (2016)

Directed by: Byron Howard/Rich Moore

Written by: Byron Howard/Rich Moore/Jared Bush/Jim Reardon/Josie Trinidad/Phil Johnston/Jennifer Lee

Zootopia is exactly what it sounds like: a utopia of animals all getting along in peace and harmony. But…if it’s so much of a utopia, why do they need cops?

Judy Hopps is a rural bunny who wants to be a cop in Zootopia. But there’s never been a bunny cop. So I guess she just has to be the first.

Of course, she grows up to be the first bunny cop. She’s immediately put on parking duty. And, naturally, she gets caught up in a conspiracy that’s making the predators turn into…well…predators. She teams up with Nick Wilde, a con-fox who had conned her. But he knows one of the victims of whatever it is that’s driving predators wild, so she has to keep conning him into working with her.

I do love this movie. The characters are great and it’s a world that I don’t mind spending nearly two hours in. (This is weirdly long for a Disney movie.) And the story is interesting, but…

It’s sooooooo heavyhanded at times. You see, it’s all about racism. That’s definitely a message that I can get behind. I’m not a monster. And it’s really interesting to see a Disney film tackle such a huge topic, even incorporating prejudices that the good guys have. It’s good to see that no one is immune to being a dick at times. But there are definitely some times that I kind of rolled my eyes at the obviousness of it all.

I really like how real Judy and Nick’s friendship is, though. The apology scene, while maybe a tad overdone, ends with a very realistic joke that two very good friends would play out. It was just a fun little bit that made me giggle.

As with all Disney movies of this period, the animation is great and the vioce actors are pitch perfect. (I honestly didn’t know that Nick was Jason Bateman. It doesn’t sound like him at all.) And it really is a great movie. It just has a few moments of being a bit pushy.