REVIEW: “Zootopia” brings witty humor, relevant message


Carter Diggs, Staff Writer

From the studio that brought you the Japanese “Incredibles” – and the chilling success that … Just. Won’t. Die. – now comes an equally unexpected and welcome addition to the Disney vault.

“Zootopia,” primarily set in the eponymous city, is centered around two characters: Judy Hopps, the first rabbit police officer in the city, and Oscar Nick Wilde (he’s almost that clever, though), a sly fox that deals in con artistry.  Brought together through mysterious kidnappings and Nick’s misadventures, the two must solve a seemingly hopeless case concerning the disappearance of several animals in the city.

One of the most immediately striking features of the movie is the quality of the animation and visual design.  “Zootopia” might just be one of the most beautifully rendered 3D movies that Disney has put out.  

The distinctive colors of the intelligently crafted city really pop and meld well with the cheery tone.  Each character is crafted with a unique design, the models expressing a great deal of personality.  For those who are observant, the movie is also filled to the brim with hidden easter eggs and clever visual gags that serve to immerse the viewer in the world.

The writing is also a highlight, characterization running both wide and deep with the varied populace of “Zootopia.”  Credit must also be given to the voice actors, who do an impeccable job of articulating the subtleties of each character’s personalities.  Having singer Shakira as a recurring figure in the world is a little weird, though.  

The story also never felt forced as it does in some movies, with the plot moving along at a brisk pace and giving a natural sense of progression.  

As with “Big Hero 6,” humor is a strong point with the writers.  From the aforementioned visual gags to the sharp dialogue and to, well, Flash, the writers always keep the more serious moments weighted with a bevy of humor.

In a remarkable feat, instead of going with the generic, go-to message of “friendship and love overcome every struggle,” Disney set out to insert a more serious and timely moral relating to the problems of stereotyping and prejudice in today’s society.  The message is handled very responsibly and presented in a way that both adults and younger children can understand.

Bringing together witty humor from great characters, beautiful animation, and relevant messages, “Zootopia” is one of Disney’s best movies in a long time.