REVIEW: Zootopia

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Review by Dustin Heller

Zootopia is the latest 3D computer-animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios and the 55th Disney animated feature film in its illustrious history.  The film is direct by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, and co-directed by Jared Bush.  The excellent voice cast is led by Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps and Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde with support coming from Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Jenny Slate and many others.  Zootopia is scheduled to be released in Disney Digital 3DRealD 3D, and IMAX 3D formats and has been rated “PG” by the MPAA for some thematic elements, rude humor, and action.

Judy Hopps has the dream of becoming the very first rabbit police officer in the history of Zootopia.  Without much support from her family and doubt from everyone along the way, Judy works hard and makes her dream come true.  Even though she is now officially a police officer, she is assigned to lowly parking duty and is not valued by her commanding officer or her peers.

Judy finds a way to get into trouble while on parking duty and in turn is given 48 hours to find a missing otter or else hand over her badge.  Along with the missing otter, there have been 14 other cases of missing animals recently that the police department hasn’t been able to solve.  In order to track down the missing otter and possibly break open the entire case, Judy enlists the help of the sly fox Nick Wilde, a con man who’s always on the run and trying to pull a fast one.  The clock is ticking and the only way that Judy and Nick will be able to solve the case is by working together and to never stop believing in one another.

Walt Disney Animation Studios have been on quite a hot streak of late with the massive financial and critical success of both Frozen in 2013 and Big Hero 6 in 2014.  Both of those films went on to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and the studio is hoping to keep that trend going with Zootopia.  I’ve found that children are fairly easily entertained, but keeping their attention for an extended period of time is the real trick.

There are some slow parts in Zootopia that drag on a bit too long, but there are enough laughs to keep the children engaged throughout.  As for the adults, there is quite a bit of humor directed towards the adults that the children wouldn’t understand, which makes it a film for the entire family to enjoy.  A lot of times these animated films are so dumbed down that it’s torture for the parents to sit through, which is not the case here.

The characters in the movie are well written and the voice acting is spot on.  The scenes with the sloths are worth the price of admission alone.  Another thing worth noting is the beautiful and vivid animation that pops off the screen.  I saw the movie in 3D and it was exceptionally vibrant and well worth the few extra bucks.  It seems that Walt Disney Animation Studios has another hit on their hands that will be enjoyed by children of all ages.

Grade:  B+

Zootopia opens in theaters on Friday, March 4