In Theatres: 
Mar 04, 2016
Running Time: 
108 minutes

Are animals just like us, or are we just like animals? That’s the question that was constantly on my mind as I was watching Zootopia, Disney Animation Studios’ latest animated comedy adventure involving anthropomorphic animals living together in the big city. Behind the humor and friendly faces, however, is a reflection of our own society as the film addresses real issues alongside telling a funny story. There’s no other film quite like it.


Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) has high aspirations of being a police officer, despite being a bunny whose species has only ever been known to farm carrots and other crops. Even though she works hard and graduates at the top of her class at the academy, no one seems to take her seriously when she is positioned in the central city of Zootopia, where predators and prey live in harmony together. Eager to make a difference as an officer of the law, Judy is unfortunately assigned as a meter maid handing out parking tickets despite her skillset. Still, she decides to take things into her own paws and investigates a missing otter case with the help of local street fox, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). Working together, although reluctantly at first, the two uncover a sinister conspiracy that threatens their entire way of life.


At first glance, Zootopia may look like just another great animated kids movie from Disney Animation Studios that follows its predecessors like Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6. It’s so much more than that, though. The film doesn’t shy away from addressing issues such as racism and discrimination, and the prejudices associated with them. The entire story revolves around animals being treated unfairly, whether it’s Judy being looked down upon by everyone because she’s a bunny or how predator species are feared because of their natural instincts. It’s very blunt in its presentation, but at the same time it’s also very kid friendly.


The humor in Zootopia is some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. There are so many laugh out loud moments for both kids and adults. There’s something in every scenes, whether it’s the witty dialogue or a visual gag that only flashes on screen for a brief moment. I was amazed at how much humor there is in the film, and that’s just from the jokes I understood. With subtle references to other Disney Animation Studios films and other staples of pop culture I’m sure there’s some stuff that went right over my head. Things like Alan Tudyk voicing a weasel named Duke Weaselton, a play on his character from Frozen, the Duke of Weselton, or how Kristen Bell makes a small cameo appearance as a sloth, her favorite animal in the world. Or how there are two characters named Walt and Jesse who work in an underground lab. The list can go on and on.


Zootopia surpasses all expectations and sets a high new bar for animated films. It’s funny, engaging, and real, despite starring talking animals. Even though it’s only March, I can see Zootopia being one of the best films of the year.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook