by Alan Rapp on March 4, 2016

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Zootopia
  • IMDb: link

ZootopiaPart wacky buddy movie, part crime drama, part small town girl in the big city, there’s no shortage of themes in Disney’s latest animated feature Zootopia. Boasting three directors and more than a half-dozen writers, the various story elements pull the movie in numerous directions over its 108-minute running time. What the film lacks in a coherent vision it makes for in old-school animated fun.

Zootopia has two great strengths. The first is the world itself which is excellently designed and large enough to encompass far more stories than just the mystery we’re given here. The second is its leading lady in spunky new police officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) whose can-do attitude never falters, even when everyone around her scoffs at the idea of a bunny cop.

After a terrific sequence giving us a look at Judy as a kid, and some basic backstory of her cop training, the story starts in earnest once Officer Hopps hits the big city. Relegated to thankless assignments, Hopps enlists the help of a fox (Jason Bateman) to solve a series of disappearances.

Zootopia lacks the ambition to be a great movie but it does deliver an enjoyable time at the movies. The sloth sequence, shown in trailers, may be the film’s best moment (although young Judy’s play which opens the film is a close second), but the script offers several fun scenes throughout (such as a chase sequence that shows off the unique city). Zootopia is filled with several pop-culture nods, some of which work far better than others (the Shakira subplot, for example, is a complete waste of time).

The film looses a bit of its zaniness, and the plot looses steam, when the mystery and conspiracy threads take over from Judy and Nick’s (Bateman) banter and the movie gets a bit too serious for its own good, but after it sold me early on both its protagonist and setting I was happily along for the ride (even through its slower patches). I don’t know that I’d want to live in Zootopia, but the movie certainly an enjoyable place to visit.

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