Serg Beret’s Best Disney Animated Films – #13 Zootopia (2016)

Directed by Bryon Howard & Rich Moore

Surprised, aren’t you? It is not even a year old yet and it is already high up on the list. No one saw this coming. That’s not even a hyperbole, most of expected a typical buddy cop movie with Disney, who is hot in their Disney Revival kick-started by The Princess and the Frog at this time of writing. What everyone got was a mature story about prejudice and acceptance of others with allusions to racism and sexism. It exceeded all expectations set by the audience, including myself.

Judy Hopps (Gennifer Goodwin) is a bunny from Bunnyburrow trying to make it in Zootopia on the police force, despite her size, being a woman and being a bunny. While being set to do parking duty by Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), she is soon on the chopping block for capturing a criminal until Mrs. Otterton (Octavia Spencer) approaches the chief about the disappearance of her husband that seems to be linked to a larger case of disappearing animals. Hopps takes on the case and has 48 hours to solve it alongside a con man, err, fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) who was present during his last disappearance. These two must look past their difference and sides of the law in order to solve the biggest case in Zootopia history.

This movie is absolutely amazing from its design to its story . It is more clever than what it is on the surface. The plot reveals a deeper story that shows what happens when one side is blamed due to their history and stereotypical traits associated with them and the aftermath of such statements. It is relevant to our current state of affairs in the States and the constant back and forth between one group and another. This handles that subject with a maturity that most movie aimed at an adult market have trouble doing without falling into a cliched route. It’s an interesting case in how that standout the most. No discussion of this movie can avoid bringing it up.

The performances by Goodwin and Bateman help bring it to the forefront with rich humor, a strong bond and a chemistry that oozes from the two. The humor helps balance the heavy subject matter that is throughout including the infamous DMV scene that is an absolute riot. The design of this world is phenomenal. It has the typical puns on the animal kingdom, but the world combines the modern metropolis, the rain forest, the frozen tundra and the deserts of our world. It is far beyond what Disney has ever dreamed into reality. Zootopia is an absolute marvel of animation and deserves its high placement in its short time of release.

Critic’s Quote: “”Zootopia,” like its heroine, is zesty, bright, and breakneck, with chase scenes and well-tuned gags where you half expect songs to be.” – Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, March 7, 2016

Signature Moment: That damn DMV sequence trumps most. Personally, the speech Judy gives after a break in the case on predators brings the film to its true message.


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