Zootopia: Movie Review

"Zootopia" could have been a sordid case of being a typical animation film. A cash grab of sorts that preys on the innocuous young crowd that couldn't care less as long as they get their fix of Disney branding and cute-looking characters. Success should have been an easy road to pave but "Zootopia" isn't like that. It's a mish-mash of young and adult themes perfectly interspun to tickle a whole spectrum of audiences. It is a high-quality standout animation that oozes creativity in a time where the genre output is usually less than the norm.
The modern metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like the Sahara Square and the ice-cold Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together. It's a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery.
The standout thing about "Zootopia" is how it surprised us in a myriad of ways. First things first is the impressive cinematography and graphics. Zootopia as a metropolis was a beautiful concept to begin with and the artists were able to translate this in a jaw-dropping way into the big screen. The photo-realistic pop is both jarring and amazing - and to think the characters and settings aren't human at all. Although we did feel that parts of the Metro were under-utilized. We only get a few glimpses of Tundratown or Sahara Square for example. Second, the humor was excellent and well-balanced at that. It's probably the biggest factor that brings the film full circle as both a film that kids and adults will enjoy. Subtle pop and cultural jabs for the adults and quirky colorful characters for the young ones. As for the story, "Zootopia" caught us off guard with its neo-noir style. It's a story that's light yet thrilling at times. It also had a few surprises in tow so expect the unexpected. Overall, Disney did a great job with "Zootopia". It has a great cast of characters, a colorful setting, well-balanced humor and a fresh story to tell.
Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the humor was second to none in execution
- the graphics were jaw-dropping to say the least
- the story was excellent and had a few surprises in tow

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the setting felt under-utilized
- not really sold on the soundtrack featuring Shakira

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