Friday, March 4, 2016
Review: Zootopia (2016)
'Zootopia' Made Me Wild With Emotions
Before I saw the film, I got back a less than stellar grade on my essay for class. I was immediately discouraged but then I said to myself: "Well, it wasn't for a lack of trying." Now, it reminds me of the message that Zootopia has which is to try your best even if your goal doesn't always work out.
Zootopia follows the story of a bunny named Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) who decides to join the police department of the metropolitan city Zootopia despite those around her not having much belief in her due to her stature. But Hopps gets the chance to prove herself once she solves a mystery along with a sly fox named Nick (Jason Bateman).
I'll start off with the voice actors. I really loved Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps, a small bunny trying to make her dream of making the world a better place come true. Goodwin is very believable as a character who is very optimistic yet still tries to fight through another day. I also loved Jason Bateman as Nick. Even when his character makes a funny grin, I would be in stitches. Both he and Goodwin have great chemistry and I would hope to see them reteam in a sequel.
I also would love to give a shoutout to Idris Elba as Hopps' chief officer Bogo, a buffalo who is very straight-laced and his cynicism and doubts about Judy making it in the force create some funny humor. Jenny Slate is also a delight as the sheep assistant mayor Dawn Bellwether. J.K. Simmons even has a role as the lion mayor of Zootopia which is perfect casting. The whole cast was great.
Next, I want to dive right into the film's message. As I said in my first paragraph, it deals with the message of always being willing to try. Even if you reach for a goal that doesn't quite pan out, you can say that you tried, dust it off and come up with a way to try again, or aim for a different goal that may lead to something better. I thought the message was perfectly realized and it doesn't just shine through the character of Judy, but mostly Nick. I won't give away how he learns the message, so I'll leave it at that.
The message of trying is handled well thanks to its screenplay. But not only does the screenplay find room for its message, along woth the traditional humor of an animated film, but it draws a unique metaphor for prejudice. We see characters being cast aside for their various attributes, from their stature to their categorization as predator or prey, and it is like the way people are treated for their skin color, gender, or even their sexuality. Since the film is also a mystery, I really enjoyed trying to solve it myself and watching the two main heroes being taken on this adventure.
Overall, Zootopia is a jam-packed adventure that is packed with the traditional mix of humor and heart in a Pixar movie.