Zootopia hops to the top


While we think it is funny when someone Photoshop’s their face onto a backup dancer of Shakira, imagine if it were an obese animated Leopard who did so with their version of Shakira, gazelle. Zootopia was highly entertaining and the personification of animals was hilarious at times.

Bunny Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, has hundreds of siblings and a dream to be a cop, but at just a few feet tall, the odds are against her. After finishing valedictorian of the police academy, her dream comes true. But with her wild spirit and dreams, the job of meter maid quickly becomes too boring for her and she ends up pushing her way into an ultimatum: find a missing person in 48 hours or leave the force. To find this missing person she recruits the hustler fox, Nick Wilde, voiced by Jason Bateman, who knows the city but is used to being on the other side of cases. The duo must follow leads and work to stay alive as solve the case.

The amount of creativity and wit in Zootopia is unmatched and the same can be said for the amount of Easter eggs. At one point in their hunt they encounter a powerful mouse in a scene that seems straight out of The Godfather. His polar bear guards do his bidding and nothing is more important to this mouse than his family. The movie also makes reference to Breaking Bad, Chinatown and Frozen. At one point the chief of police, chief Bogo tells Hopps  “Life isn’t a cartoon musical where your dreams come true, so let it go!” It is so packed with outside references and even just signs or shops that are significant that you need to watch it twice just to spot them.

Without giving away the ending, there is a twist in the second half of the movie when Hopps discovers a plot to tear the city apart. This plot pits prey against the smaller majority predators giving an eerily similar look to issues of racism today. The predators could not get jobs, and intense rioting and judgment ensue.

Although it was refreshing to see a kids movie manage to teach valuable lessons, the best part about this movie was the comedic elements. From the sly fox who had a grown man playing the role of a baby in order to run his sketchy business, to the sloth at the DMV who takes all night to help them (although that does happen in an actual DMV too), there were jokes that kids and adults could enjoy. If you are between the ages of 12-30 and not with a child, chances are you will be the only one in the theater your age, but trust me, it is worth it.

The city of Zootopia was fantastically written, animated and delivered. It had the feel of a bustling Los Angeles, and each animal matched with a traditional human occupation a person. The elephants scooped ice cream, the bunnies were carrot farmers, and the chief of police was a jacked cape buffalo. Even though the animals fit their stereotype, Hopps showed viewers that no matter what gender or size people are, they can do anything.

With his performance, director Byron Howard has this movie up with his top works like Wreck it Ralph and my personal favorite, Tangled. The movie provided an entertaining experience while shining the light on deep issues too. Zootopia, for many reasons, is the best movie, animated or not, of the year so far and you would have to be a real jack rabbit not to go see it.