John Hanlon Reviews

Film Reviews

Zootopia Review


Genre: Comedy, Action and Adventure

Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore

Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Don Lake, Bonnie Hunt

MPAA-Rating: PG

Release Date: March 4th, 2016

Creed as a 90s VHS Release
Reminiscent of Toy Story, viagra 60mg
Zootopia is a film that brings a majestic crew of distinct characters to life. In Toy Story, the main characters were children’s toys who burst to life when their human counterparts weren’t watching. In Zootopia, the characters are animals. From the bunnies who farm to the sloths who run the DMV, the story unfolds in an enriched environment that is made all the more impressive because of the colorful characters who dwell in it.

Ginnifer Goodwin voices Judy Hopps, a young rabbit in the suburbs who hopes to become the first bunny police officer. No one believes in her not even her parents, who are too used to giving up to give their daughter a chance. “We gave up on our dreams and we settled,” Judy’s father (Don Lake) notes. Judy is different though. She doesn’t give up and within the movie’s opening minutes, she becomes a full-fledged officer in the diverse and colorful city of Zootopia.

When the film moves into Zootopia, where Judy is stationed as a meter maid in the heart of the city, the world is much bigger and Judy is surrounded by animals of all sizes and a colorful palette of shops and homes. Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore (and co-director Jared Bush) really do an amazing job slowly realizing the breadth of the city they created. Like many metropolises, there are many districts in this city — many of which have specific characteristics that define them.

After Judy gets caught up in a robbery, a chase scene in Rodentia — a small district of rodents in the city — is both fun and visually exciting as we catch a glimpse of this small but remarkable community.

Much of the story surrounds an investigation into missing animals in the city. Judy teams up with Nick Wilde (a perfectly-cast Jason Bateman), a mischievous fox with a great sense of humor, to solve the case.

At the beginning of the story, it seemed like the film was simply about an underdog bunny who wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before. However, during Judy and Nick’s investigation, the film becomes about much more. The film’s unmistakable themes about diversity and prejudice arrive subtly in the midst of the plot and personally affect the main characters. While some children might not catch up these powerful messages, adults likely will.

It’s worth noting that during the film’s opening moments, Judy quotes President Franklin Delano Roosevelt saying “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Later on, a villain turns that phrase around arguing “Fear always wins.” Embedded in this animated cartoon is a powerful message about fear and it’s a message that truly makes this movie stand out. With such an important message, this is a film that seems perfectly made for our times.

Zootopia is a thrilling and eye-opening cinematic experience featuring great comedy (a scene at the DMV is one of the funniest scenes I’ve seen onscreen this year) and a tremendous script. Screenwriters Jared Bush and Phil Johnston (who developed the story with Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jennifer Lee, Josie Trinidad and Jim Reardon) have truly created a rich story here. It’s funny, visually engaging and packed with undeniable themes of inclusion, self-worth and diversity.

Families will love it and adults will be pleased that the movie also speaks to them, both thematically and with a few great references to The Godfather and Breaking Bad.

Review by: John Hanlon