MOVIE SYNOPSIS :
In the animal city of Zootopia, a fast-talking fox who’s trying to make it big goes on the run when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Zootopia’s top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends.
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together — a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde, to solve the mystery.
ABOUT THE MOVIE :
The year’s best film so far, “Zootopia,” is a Walt Disney Animation Studios ’toon set in a brilliantly imagined animals-only city where the first bunny on the police force tries to solve a crime with the reluctant help of a con-artist fox.
More like the best offerings from sister studio Pixar than recent WDA offerings (sorry, “Frozen’’ fans), this is very sophisticated entertainment that will appeal to a wide range of ages — a pointed parable about female empowerment and racial tolerance that makes its message go down with less than a spoonful of sugar.
Judy the bunny (excellently voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) leaves her 225 siblings behind on the farm thanks to an inclusiveness initiative by Mayor Lionheart (J.K. Simmons), who is running for re-election.
But Bogo (Idris Elba), the cape buffalo who is Judy’s gruff commander, doesn’t think the tiny bunny — there are many great sight gags involving scale here — will be as effective a crime fighter as the much larger animals on his police squad and relegates her to writing parking tickets.
Judy does manage to come up with a lead on a missing mammal and, given just 48 hours to pursue it by the captain, uses clever legal leverage to secure the help of the shady fox Nick Wilde (a superb Jason Bateman).
I don’t want to give away too much, but this extremely smart film manages to find new ways to hilariously riff on “The Godfather’’ and “Chinatown.’’
Buffs will also find references to many other films, ranging from the Mouse House’s suppressed “Song of the South’’ to the noir-spoofing Disney masterpiece “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.’’
It’s worth the price of admission — even the 3-D splurge — and probably more than once, just to see the amazingly detailed neighborhoods created for Zootopia, including Sahara Square, Little Rodentia and Bunnyburrow.
What’s really surprising — and utterly timely — is how dark things eventually get, as a politician uses fear to pit most of the mammals against Zootopia’s minority population of predators.
But don’t worry, directors Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush and their team provide a lot of laughs along the way, including a willowy pop idol named Gazelle (voiced by Shakira), who performs the catchiest Disney number since “Let it Snow.’’
The film has great fun skewering stereotypes — including a flamboyant, donut-loving cat cop named Clawhouser (Nate Torrence), and a DMV office run by sloths — and condescending attitudes (Judy lectures that it’s OK for one bunny to call another bunny “cute,’’ but not for another animal to do it).
“Zootopia,’’ which also takes on bullying, excels on so many levels that it stands with the finest of the Disney classics.
DETAIL MOVIE :
Runtime :108 min
Rating :Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action
Production :Walt Disney Animation Studios
Genres :Action, Adventure, Comedy, Animation, Family
Languages :English, Norwegian
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