Zootopia isn’t simply one of the most entertaining and irreverent animated films in recent memory, but a great example of storytelling that can’t be told in live action format. Not only is the film riddled with clever humor and vibrant, beautiful animation, but it also features a universal story of inclusion that cuts deeper than most animations, and is told with much more complexity and depth than many live action films could hope to manage. It’s a great double act between two strong characters, and while the film certainly has elements appealing to kids, it doesn’t pander to them either.
Set within a world where evolved animals have found a way to coexist peacefully, Zootopia begins with the story of Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a rabbit with the dream of being a police officer, despite the fact that a rabbit has never done this. After succeeding in her dream, Judy must join forces with the sly fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to uncover a mystery that plagues the entire city. The story is essential to the film, but it’s the world building and universe that makes Zootopia so vibrant.
In addition to the overall universe, the buddy cop nature of the film that pits these utterly different characters together makes the film endlessly watchable. The film’s cleverness is best attributed to the writing, but the voice talent from the entire cast is impressive. Zootopia is one of the more original films of the year, and an achievement in the art of animation. Grade: -A