ZOOTOPIA (movie review) at FORCES OF GEEK

Produced by Clark Spencer
Story by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, 
Jared Bush, Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee, 
Joshie Trinidad, Jim Reardon
Screenplay by Jared Bush, Phil Johnston
Directed by Byron Howard,
 Rich Moore, Jared Bush
Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman,
Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Tommy Chong,
Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, Shakira

Disney’s Zootopia is the latest from the main mouse studio to anthropomorphize animals and have them burrow into our hearts.  Jason Bateman stars as fantastic fox Nicholas P. “Nick” Wilde opposite the real star of Zootopia, Ginnifer Goodwin as Zootopia Police Department’s first bunny rabbit officer Judy Hopps.

In a world where predator and prey have put aside their differences and mostly live in peace side by side in the city of Zootopia, some mammals have gone missing and Judy sets out to get to the bottom of the mystery in fear of losing her job.

The resolution and detail of the best animation technology and talent in the world is on display here with Zootopia, as the Disney machine keeps on rolling. 

Zootopia is a funny movie but not without drama, as the city of Zootopia is revealed to us as a whole new world where animals dominate!

Cleverly, the movie sets us up with young bunny Judy in a school play that reflects the rules of the new society we are introduced to in Zootopia. If only more fantasy movies gave a wink and five minutes of exposition at the top we’d all leave the theatre a little less rattled!

Sure, that’s for the kids who will no doubt be watching this over and over on iPads in the backseats on road trips, but for an adult, the explanation serves to rationalize our own obsession with scooping up Zootopia toys from the aisles of Target. We adults will be able to say, “I love THE MESSAGE Zootopia has to teach kids, that we can all GET ALONG”, in the same breath as we snatch the last plush Judy Hopps off the shelf—leaving a snot-nosed kid in a carriage crying because we took his favorite new toy.

Moving on, Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) is mocked by her parents and her 237 rabbit siblings that she wants to become a police officer. These jobs are typically occupied by bigger, stronger species. Through pure will and determination she trains her way through Police Academy (in a Full Metal Jacket montage) and earns her stripes to move away from her parent’s carrot farm in Bunnyburrow to the big city to be assigned to Zootopia Police Department.