Sunday, June 12, 2016

Film Review: Zootopia (2016)

Copyright: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Here’s the key selling point to the entire Zootopia shtick – let’s imagine all animals are anthropomorphic and that they live in a single location. Sure, why not, but many kids’ animated movies already did those assemble animal casts, for example, Madagascar.

But, Zootopia smartly spun the same concept and upgraded it with a simple idea of keeping the animals in their relatively accurate scales.  For example, mice use small doors; giraffes use doors many times larger, standing side by side.

This is the main thing working for the film and the generator of 70% of the jokes. The rest come from the notion of animal affiliation, which divides all members of Zootopia, a place where all animals live in harmony, to predators and everyone else. Here, the film and its director duo of Byron Howard and Rich Moore tried to play the tolerance&animosity card, but unlike the scales thing, it didn’t really stick well to the root plot.

In it, a young bunny from the countryside by the name of Judy becomes a police officer and sets about her work. She is driven by an eagerness to show everyone that a rabbit can be as good a cop as any other animal. This quickly leads her to a fox and a street hustler named Nick. Through a rocky start, Nick ends up being her partner while they try to solve the case of animals disappearing all over Zootopia.

In its very much appreciated run-time that is less than 120 minutes, the film desperately wants to tell the audience that being a jerk towards people who look differently is not the answer. While this is a noble cause, this rainbow-Kumbaya approach constantly feels strained and overexposed, as if the authors would gladly spend more time playing with the movie’s environment and what it could provide the plot than going over “why can’t everyone just get along” issue time and time again.

Zootopia is a very good film that managed to take flight even though it had some unnecessary weight attached to it. Without it, there is no doubt that it could have soared even higher. 

2 comments:

  1. In my personal opinion Zootopia did better that expectations. I agree with you on the "unnecessary weight". but still they did a great job with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks for reading! Certainly, the film is a fun experience and none of its issues really bog it down. It could have been better, but it is by no means bad.

      Delete