Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)

Released on March 4th, 2016, Zootopia received positive reviews from critics. It became the first top grossing film after Frozen, which had been released in 2013. It became one of the top ten best films of 2016 by American Film Institute, as well as earning Best Animated Feature Film at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Movie Award and the Annie Award.

Zootopia is set in a anthropomorphic world, where mammals are divided between prey and predator. The movie opens in Bunnyburrow where a young rabbit by the name of Judy Hopps, puts on a school play with her classmates about what they want to become when they are grown up. Judy says she wants to be a police officer and everyone laughs. That just made her work harder. As soon as she was old enough she went through the polic academy as the only prey animal but graduated as valedictorian. Judy is assigned to the central part of Zootopia with Chief Bogo at the helm. The Chief doubts her abilities and assigns her to parking duty. While out doing her job, Officer Hops was coned by Nick Wilde and Finnick. Later that day though, she witnesses, Duke Weaselton steal a bag of crocus bulbs. Judy drops the parking duty and gives chase, arresting him. Chief Bogo however is not pleased and reprimands her. During their meeting, Mrs. Otterton interrupts begging for help on finding her missing husband. Emmitt Otterton was one of the fourteen missing predator cases. Judy quickly volunteered when Assistant Mayor Dawn Bellwether comes in. The chief has to accept Judy’s volunteered assignment and gives her only 48 hours to solve the case or she resigns. 

Finding out that Nick Wilde was the last to see Emmitt, she starts by finding him and blackmailing him into helping by recording his hustle math. Together they find out that he was taken from a limousine owned by the crime boss, Mr. Big. They go to see the crime boss only to be told that Emmitt had suddenly just gone “savage” before attacking his driver. There next stop was to the chauffeur Mancha’s house were the only information given was that Emmitt had yelled night howlers just before he attacked. Just then, Manchas turns and chases the duo through the rainforest district before Judy traps Manchas and calls for back up. Unfortunately Manchas escapes before they arrive. Bogo at that point demands that Judy resigns right there, Nick steps in to defend her as he knows how he feels to have prejudice experiences.

Judy and Nick go to City Hall to check out the traffic cameras. They see that wolves had taken Manchas to Cliffside Assylum. Judy assumes thats what Emmitt meant by night howlers. Nick and Judy sneak into the Assylum to learn that Mayor Lionheart was locking the savage predators away to learn about their behavior. Judy and Nick out the Mayor who is arrested on false pretenses. Bellwether takes over as Mayor. 

During a press conference where she’s praised for closing the fourteen cases, she asks Nick to join the force but they states that the savage behavior was due to biology. This upset Nick and he declines the offer. The citizens use it as hateful speech and discrimination against predators. Upset by the consequences, Judy resigns and returns to the family farm in Bunnyborrow. While home, Judy learns that night howlers are actually crocus bulbs and they give a nasty side effect when exposed to the neurotoxin turning the mammal savage. Judy returns to zootopia to apologize to Nick. Together they ask Mr. Big for help with interrogating Weaselton. They learn that the stolen crocus bulbs were for Doug, a ram, who was making a drug in the subway system and using a dart gun to shoot the mammals. 

Nick and Judy find Doug and retrieve the serum but as they were on their way to the main office of ZPD, Bellwether and her minions appear in the Natural History Museum. She tells the minions to stop Nick and Judy and get the serum. She then reveals that it was all her idea to make prey mammals superior through fear. Judy gets injured and Bellwether shoots Nick with a dart. Nick turns on Judy while she secretly records Bellwether’s admission. Nick then turns on Bellwether revealing that he switched the serum with blueberries. Bellwether gets arrested and Mayor Lionheart is released and returned to his role, admitting he had no idea on her plans. The savage animals were cured and returned to their families and Nick Wilde graduates from the police academy and becomes Judy’s partner. 

Another underrated film. So much of Zootopia’s lessons are relevant today. When it originally came out, I loved it and also thought it was very bold with it’s lessons towards kids. It was actually the first feature film my son saw when he was 3.


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