Zootopia (2016) Review


Verdict: Adorable

Engaging animation, great characters and interesting story.

Review

Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a small town bunny with the dream of becoming a police officer. She manages to achieve this, however, on her first day of the job she is assigned to parking duty by Chief Bogo (Idris Elba). After initially falling for Nick Wilde’s (Jason Bateman) con, she links him as a witness to her case.  Chief Bogo gives her 48 hours to solve a case brought to their attention by Mrs. Otterton (Octavia Spencer) and she has to prove herself as her only friends in the system seem to be Bellwether (Jenny Slate) and Clawhauser (Nate Torrence). Shakira is also in this as popstar, Gazelle. Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush.

I generally do not like watching movies in 3D, but I think that my prejudice against it is quite outdated. Perhaps it is because I am in a different country (this is my first 3D film experience in Canada), but this was quite nice to watch. It isn’t so much about the popping out effects that is generally attached to the idea of 3D, but rather this updated technology creates a more aesthetic appeal to its visuals. There is some aspect of depth to it which creates the sense that the characters and settings on screen extends further out from the screen, but it is done in a subtle way. Props to the animation/digital team for not giving me a 3D induced headache.

The film displays many discourses on real world subjects and for that I give this a thumbs up. Though it may not explicitly refer to the real world, there are definitely similarities in Zootopia in which children growing up can extend to their world. The stereotyping based on appearance and ‘biology’ was a big theme in the film, and ultimately hints at race (that is how I interpreted it anyhow). I feel that the film did a great job at discussing the stigma attached to certain appearances, as well as finding a resolution to this way of thought. Appearances do not govern who we are, and biology does not dictate who we become.

Additionally, the script is superb and keeps audiences engaged. The voice actors did a great job – as did the animators, to create the life of these characters. I also really loved (and was also somewhat annoyed by) the addition of the sloths. They added a comedic and recurrent comedic effect, and their slow motion is both hilarious and frustrating to watch.

Though I do think the characters and voice actors complemented each other well, I noticed that certain characters would have accents. For example, the ‘mafia’ like character, Mr. Big (Maurice LaMarche) has a typical Latino type accent and the yoga instructor Nangi (Gita Reddy) has an Indian accent. I was quite taken aback by this and though it is great to have diversity in the cast, the film should not encourage the stereotyping of race and character. Also, large characters seemed to have loud booming voices that correlated to their size, and smaller characters tended to have softer, squeaky voices. Size does not determine pitch of voice, and this reinforces the idea that people who do not conform to this ideal is abnormal.

Overall, this is a fun and engaging film with good discourses but disappointing voice stereotypes.

To sum-up:
PROS: Visuals, script, sloths, discourses
CONS: Voice stereotypes

I give this an 8/10.

Have you seen Zootopia? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!

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