In the bustling world of animal inhabited Zootopia, the real charm in this film comes from its relatable humanity found in its characters. Complete with a well written story topped up with sprinkles of humour, the true material here is surprisingly deep; tackling social and race issues in a way that never feels overbearing but gives an important message about being accepting of others. Its this clever combination of elements that make Zootopia one of the best animations this year.
The story follow bunny Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) who enlists as the first female on the male-dominated police force. Despite her impressive credentials, she’s immediately underappreciated by the other animals and not taken seriously. When an opportunity arrives to prove herself, she reluctantly teams up with con-artist fox Nick (Jason Bateman) and together they stumble upon a conspiracy embedded deep in the foundations of Zootopia. As the story progresses and the mystery unfolds, the film effortlessly shifts its focus between genres. Whether it be the hilarious sloth scene, an exhilarating chase along the street, or dabbling in the mystery and trying to solve it, Zootopia nails every element of its story to impressive effect.
With a talented cast on board to provide voice work and some gorgeous visuals, Zootopia is a joy to watch. Beneath its shiny, slick visuals and well presented story is a moral message that dominates throughout the film. As mentioned, its never overbearing to the point of detracting from the story but the issues of sexism, racism and stereotyping prejudices is used to really good effect here. Its one of the reasons the film shines above others in this genre.
For all the gushing praise the film absolutely deserves, there are times when the film loses focus on its younger demographic in some of the more tense or dramatic scenes. Its not a deal breaker of course, but its shifted focus as the characters discuss the themes of the film may well be lost on some children. Its only a nitpick and not one that detracts from the film too much.
Overall, Zootopia is a charming, smartly written film that tackles mature subjects rarely seen in such mainstream animations. Its well paced story and great cast help to move the story along at a decent pace and its surprisingly diverse range of genres it shifts between echoes that of the diversity in the city. It sometimes shifts its focus to cater more for the adults in some of the more dramatic scenes to emphasise the moral of the story but its not a deal breaker. With a good use of humour, action and drama, Zootopia is one of the best animations released this year and well worth a watch.