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| 24 March 2016 | Reply

Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush
Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Tommy Chong, Shakira
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
9 ½ /10

Zootopia movie

This year’s strongest role model for primary school aged kids isn’t going to be some buff Hollywood A-lister or a superhero straight from the pages of their favourite comic. Nope, it’s a twelve-inch tall rabbit named Judy Hops, voiced with real feeling here by Ginnifer Goodwin.

Determined to become a police officer in the anthropomorphic city of Zootopia, Judy is bullied as a child, but eventually becomes the first non-predator to make cop, against all odds.

Of course, Judy’s start on the force isn’t all she hoped for, and an assignment writing parking tickets isn’t the crime fighting she had hoped for. Arguing the case with her boss, Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) yells, “life isn’t some musical where they play a song and all your insipid dreams come true!” It’s a clever little wink to the adults in the audience, and proof that there is more depth in this story than your average animated tale.

Faced with all these prejudices and rudeness, Judy still doesn’t give up: instead she defies her boss to pursue a lead on a missing mammal’s case which leads her close to losing her job – and her life.

Tagging up with street-wise hustler fox Nick Wild (Jason Bateman) the two pursue the case through a series of hilarious antics with a stoner yak (Tommy Chong) at a naturalists club, a painfully slow sloth at the DMV, fearsome mob boss Mr Big (a diminutive vole) and more.

Full of heart, hilarious gags, believable characters and a storyline that is action packed and never once dumbs down its plot points or talks down to the children who will be its main audience, Zootopia is a joy that tells us all to follow our dreams, believe in ourselves and the goodness of others, and remember that positive change starts with self-belief.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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