"Zootopia" stars Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, and Jenny Slate. Released on March 4, 2016, the film is about a rookie bunny cop who teams up with a sly fox to solve the case of the missing otter.
The film is directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, and it is the 55th animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Disney has found its footing once again with creating films that inspire kids and adults with wonderful storytelling and beautiful animation, starting with Tangled back in 2010. Two of their last animated features, Frozen and Big Hero 6, had earned Oscar wins for Best Animated Feature, along with last year's Inside Out with the cooperation from Pixar, of course. For their 55th feature (Geez, that's a lot.), Disney decided to make a film about a city filled with anthropomorphic animals living together in peace and harmony. Now this isn't the first time Disney made a film about animals acting like human beings. 1973 saw the release of Disney's own take on the legend of Robin Hood that's filled with anthropomorphic animals, and in 2005, Disney made its first computer-animated feature Chicken Little and it features, you guessed it, anthropomorphic animals. So that would make Zootopia…the third Disney film that features anthropomorphic animals. But enough with Film History 101, it's time for me to share my thoughts on Disney's latest feature.
Let's start off with the pros: pretty much almost everything. The cast did a brilliant job bringing the characters to life. Goodwin voices Judy Hopps, a bunny who dreams of becoming a police officer in the city of Zootopia. What I love about Disney is that they make characters that are not only memorable, but also relatable at the same time, and I believe Hopps is a great example. She's dependable, loyal, and determined to make her dream come true despite her obstacles. Jason Bateman voices Nick Wilde, a red fox con artist who helps Hopps with her case. Bateman has been successful with last year's surprise hit, The Gift, and in here, this might be his best voice acting role in his career. He brought so much charisma, heart, and humor into his character of Wilde that it makes us care for him, even though he likes to con people out of their money. The animation in the film was once again amazing and colorful. The world of Zootopia felt very fresh and original in terms of the locations such as Sahara Square and the Rainforest District. Another thing I would love to point out is the execution of the story. This film focuses on the importance of race and culture. Before seeing this film, I asked myself, "How can Disney create a story that has a theme about diversity that'll entertain both kids and adults alike?" Turns out they handled this type of story very well. It's heartwarming, engaging, and best of all, important for kids to learn. There were also some funny moments that had me bursting with laughter. The humor was handled perfectly for both kids and adults, and yes, I laughed out loud during the sloths at the DMV scene. The buddy comedy formula and its third act do seem a bit predictable at times, but that's not much of a threat.
Overall, "Zootopia" is Disney's answer to Pixar's Inside Out. Gorgeously animated, relatable characters, smart humor, and a story that brilliantly relates to our culture while also keeping it simple and entertaining, Walt Disney Animation Studios shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If you're a fan of animation and Disney films in general, this is a must-watch for kids and adults alike. To the folks at Disney, great job and keep on believing.
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