When I had first heard that Disney was working on the movie that would become Zootopia, I was incredibly excited! It was going to feature anthropomorphic animals (which I love) and be part of the crime/whodunnit genre (which I also love)! When the movie was released, it received mass critical praise, made over a billion dollars in the worldwide box office, and was just adored by everyone! What did I think of the film? Let’s see!
Oh, there will be SPOILERS!
For those who don’t know, Zootopia takes place in a world made by, made for, and populated by animals. A bunny, Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, dreams of becoming the first bunny cop in the metropolitan city of Zootopia. But, she’s constantly met with obstacles and others telling her how no bunny has ever been a ZPD cop before. Nevertheless, she perseveres and eventually becomes a cop.
After that, she realizes that she’s not taken seriously as a cop even in the ZPD department. She tries to prove her worth by helping crack a case of 14 missing mammals. She does this with the help of a con fox, Nick Wilde, voiced by Jason Bateman, who’s only helping her because she has a self-incriminating audio recording of him.
Nevertheless, they work together in a “buddy cop/criminal” sort of way and attempt to solve the case.
So, what do I think of this film? Honestly…I don’t know. I’ve seen this film about 3 times so far, and I still don’t have a concrete idea as to how I feel about the film. I do like it, but I am not in love with this film as most people seem to be. I know many people who actually say that this film has made it into their top 10 favorite Disney films of all time, and I’m like…
Ok, let’s talk about what I think is good about the film. The thing that stands out the most is the message. The film preaches a very strong anti-prejudice message and shows how people on both sides (the side of the majority and the side of the minority) can be good or bad. They show this by linking the bad people to a vegetable known as the Night Howler. In my opinion, the Night Howler represents bad ideologies. They can corrupt anyone regardless of race, gender, religion, or species.
The other good thing about the film is its technical aspect. The animators and screenwriters do a wonderful job in creating such a colorful and inventive world! Almost every mammal that you can think of makes an appearance in this film! Also, let’s not forget the voice actors and the amazing jobs they did, especially Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman!
So, what do I dislike about this film then? Firstly, while I did enjoy the message of the film, I sometimes did feel that it was too preachy. It just reminded me of how I felt about Frozen pushing down our throats the idea that you can’t marry someone whom you’ve just met.
Secondly, there are some things that I didn’t quite understand. For example, there’s a scene where Judy Hopps says that bunnies can call other bunnies, “cute”, but when other animals do it, it can be awkward. I honestly don’t know what this is referring to in real life. The only thing I can think of that reflects this in real life is terms like the “n-word”, i.e. only African-Americans can call each other that, but when others do, it’s offensive. So, are we saying that the term, “cute” to a bunny is equivalent to a racial epithet? I don’t know.
Another thing that I wondered about was, how did the animals in Zootopia not know about the dangers of Night Howlers before? Granted, the villains treated the Night Howlers to make them deadlier, but animals outside of Zootopia were well aware that Night Howlers were capable of bringing on some bad behavior! I just would assume that the animals in Zootopia would have known about these dangers!
I think the biggest problem that affected me was the hype this movie had. Everyone loved it! Everyone was praising it! It had like an A on Rotten Tomatoes! I guess I was expecting to see a movie like Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King. And I don’t think anyone would disagree with me in saying that Zootopia was no Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King! Even one of my fellow Rotoscopers writers wrote an article about the danger of hype surrounding animated films, this one in particular.
Summing up, I do like this film, I do. But, how much do I like it? I’m still unsure about that. I definitely don’t love it nor is it a favorite film of mine, but it’s one that I’m glad to have seen.