movies: zootopia

zootopia - welcome to the urban jungle
Disney's latest offering is Zootopia, the tale of a rookie bunny cop and a con artist fox teaming up in the tradition of all good odd couple stories.

Judy, the bunny, is voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, while Jason Bateman feels perfectly cast as Nick, the fox.

There isn't a whole lot of new ground covered as far as the plot is concerned... there's a mystery, the odd couple must come together to solve it... and find out they're better as a team. There's also a lot of "cop movie" clichés thrown in for good measure. And they even found space to make fun of Disney... there's a great jab at Frozen in there, and a funny reference to the "Zootopian" version of various Disney movies. Not to mention other movies (particularly The Godfather) and general pop culture references.

There's also some really subtle (or not, depending on how much you're looking for it), references to stereotyping, and basically racial profiling of people who are considered dangerous (or have been in the past). You can pretty much slot any ethnic or minority group into the story and still see the allegory.

As you would expect from a Disney movie, it looks amazing... from all the intricate detail of the fur on the animals, to just the fact that the world of Zootopia feels alive and full of movement and animals. I did appreciate the fact that they didn't go for the idea of "oh it's an animal city, all the buildings should be animal shaped or referenced" low hanging fruit. Sure, there's a number of natural world references throughout some of the buildings, but they're just beautiful buildings.

And the animals themselves are beautiful to look at... from the big luminous eyes, to the soft, petable looking fur all the way through to the personalities and animation... there's a lot to like about Zootopia's citizens.

One thing I don't really understand though it why they feel the need to shoehorn in "local content"... one of the characters is a newsreader... in the original version he's a moose and is voiced by a famous journalist, which is fine. But for the Australian version he's been replaced with a koala and is voiced by David Campbell (ie not a journalist). And in the Japanese version he's a racoon dog, the Chinese get a panda, the British version is a corgi and Brazil gets a jaguar. Seriously? Why? Anyway...

All in all it's a sweet movie, perhaps not their best from a story perspective, but a definite visual feast.

yani's rating: 3 carrot pens out of 5

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