It's a great achievement when a film has an impact on pop culture, but that happens fairly often. It's an even greater achievement when a film has the potential to change the world, something that is rarely seen outside of Best Picture nominees or award-winning documentaries that don't always reach the masses. So when a mainstream animated film for families feels as monumental as Zootopia does, it's nothing short of groundbreaking.
Continuing the winning streak that Walt Disney Animation Studios has been on, Zootopia holds up to the quality standards expected from the creative minds behind Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph and Big Hero 6. It has just as much heart as those films, but achieves a greater level of humor while carrying over the recurring underdog theme. But Zootopia never feels formulaic and is equally new and familiar.
Judy Hopps is a bunny whose dreamed of becoming a police officer since she was a child. Her hard work and determination pays off when she lands her dream job with the Zootopia Police Department, but she soon finds herself pigeonholed into meter maid duty, never given an opportunity to succeed. When a chance to prove herself presents itself, she has to partner with a con artist fox named Nick Wilde who wants nothing more than to prove that she can't be more than a token bunny.
The world and characters of Zootopia are so inviting and lovable that you buy into them within the first few frames. With a quick wit and a mix of aural and visual gags, the laughs keep coming from start to finish. But it's the story of an underdog fighting to prove herself that will resonate most with audiences and will forever bind you with these characters.
Zootopia has a clear and direct message about the harm that is caused by stereotypes. When the filmmakers began production on this project four years ago, bullying, discrimination and racial profiling weren't quite the hot button issues they are today. This film couldn't have come at a more poignant time, it's exactly what the world needs. With anti-bullying themes and a message of love and acceptance, Zootopia is a celebration of the things that make us different and unique.
The characters are unforgettable and the film targets issues in a remarkable way that resonates more than they do on the evening news. With a catchy new song that is destined to be this year's "Let it Go" (Shakira's "Try Everything"), Zootopia is a fun adventure for the whole family that will leave every viewer with a big smile. Walt Disney Animation Studios has once again proven why they are the best animation studio in the world.
I give Zootopia 5 out of 5 pawpsicles.