By Christian DiMartino
Disney’s latest outing Zootopia is a wonderful, funny, and beautifully animated animated feature, just as we’ve come to expect from this great studio. Some people are still on a Frozen high. It’s time to move on. There’s a new movie in town, and it’s way better.
I’ll say though that Zootopia isn’t necessarily your typical Disney film, in that it aims more for a comedic feel. Though the middle portion features lessons and what not. I kind of felt like that segment was a little preachy, but I admired the approach and balls it took to pull it off.
Ginnifer Goodwin is perfectly cast as Judy Hopps, a spunky rabbit with dreams of becoming a police officer in Zootopia, which is apparently the place to be. Thing is, no rabbit has ever joined the force before. As her parents (voiced by Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake) tell her early on, rabbits never really aspire for much, and in doing so, they are perfectly happy. Not Judy though.
She eventually does make it into the force, but she isn’t exactly welcomed with open arms. Her boss, Chief Bogo (a pitch perfect Idris Elba) assigns her to hand out parking tickets. She’s obviously disappointed with this, and one event leads to another, and Judy is eventually assigned to a missing animals case. Trouble is, she only has 48 hours to do so, or she’ll be forced to resign. So she teams up with a con artist fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman, a master of dead-pan), and together the two race against the clock to solve the mystery.
I found some elements of the story a tad predictable, but regardless, Zootopia is colorful, funny, sweet fun with a large heart. The actors breathe such life into this material, and they help make this ride go down smoothly. Particularly Bateman and Goodwin, two wonderfully talented actors who actually add a surprising bit of depth to these characters.
Surprisingly, there’s a message at play in Zootopia. Considering the flow of the rest of the film, I kind of could’ve done without it. But I understand the studio’s intentions, and because of that, I won’t make a big deal out of it. There is also nothing special about the 3-D, but really, when was the last time 3-D was special? Gravity? The Walk?
Is this one of the greatest films Disney has made? Eh, not quite. But it’s a grand old time, and an early contender for the Best Animated Feature Oscar next year.