Film Review: Zootropolis

One of Jack's favourite rainy-day-things-to-do is go to the cinema so last week the two of us went on a date to see Zootropolis.

By now, I know the drill. Fill handbag with snacks from home. Balk at ticket price. Reminisce about the good old days when you could go the cinema with a fiver and still have enough left over to buy a box of toffee Poppets and get the bus home etc etc. Sit in dark room and prepare to lose two hours of my life to garish animation and singing animals. Only this time, the film was actually really good. So good, in fact, that I decided to write a review.

So Zootropolis is a mammal metropolis where animals live together in harmony. They wear clothes, go to work and, most importantly, have evolved into no longer eating one another. Yay! Judy Hopps, a small town bunny, dreams of becoming the first rabbit on the police force and heads off to the bustling municipality of Zootropolis to fulfill her ambitions. Here, she becomes embroiled a mysterious case involving a missing otter and a bunch of predators who appear to have reverted back to their primitive, murderous ways. It seems like someone is trying to cause a divide in Zootropolis. But who? And why? Forming an unlikely alliance with con-artist fox, Nick Wilde, Judy sets about cracking the case and does so in spectacular CGI style.

At its heart this is a tale of friendship; Judy and Nick are natural enemies with preconceived ideas about one another based purely on their species (dumb bunny/sly fox). But eventually they break down these stereotypes and work together to solve a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the peace and equality that Zootropolis is built on. Adults will definitely appreciate the themes of discrimination, racism and corruption that you wouldn't usually associate with a Disney movie...but it's not all political agenda. With an arctic shrew mafia boss, an impossibly slow bureaucratic sloth and a singing Youtube sensation called Gazelle (she is a gazelle,) plus tons of pop culture references, there are lots of fun moments too.

Visually it was stunning, although as someone who grew up with a VHS copy of Mary Poppins that was so over watched it eventually wore away, I'm always impressed with what CGI can do these days.

Jack loved it - even though he said that the  police chief (a surly cape buffalo voiced by Idris Elba) was 'angry and mean' - but I think maybe I loved it a little more. Partly because in the absence of the traditional Disney love story, we are presented with a political message that is important for little people and partly because it's one of the few kids films we've seen at the cinema that hasn't made me want to claw my eyes out half way through. That alone makes it worth a watch.


Have you seen Zootropolis? What did you think?

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