Ever since she was a little girl, bunny Judy Hopps dreams of becoming a policewoman in the big city: Zootropolis. The place where you can be anything. Judy is the first rabbit who logs on to the police academy, and while her parents have their doubts, Judy puts does her very best to prove herself. In Zootropolis it does not matter whether you’re a small prey animal, or a large predator. Both groups live together in harmony: from the small mouse to the great polar bear. But is that really so? As large predators go missing, it is Judy’s job to find them.
Zootropolis, also known as Zootopia, is the 59th film from the hands of Walt Disney Studios. The directors – not unknown in the world of Disney – are Byron Howard, who previously worked on Rapunzel and Bolt, and Rich Moore, who was the director of Wreck-it Ralph. Like in any Disney film, there are also in Zootropolis elements for both young children and adults. The film is generally pretty funny, but the film discusses serious and modern themes as well. In the introduction we see a young Judy Hopps in a play. Here she shows that everyone should be what they want and who they want, and that their choice should be respected. In other words: follow your dreams and try everything, like the gazelle – Shakira – sings.
However, we learn that in the big city of Zootropolis prejudices play a major role. 1000 years ago the predators hunted on their prey, but now they live together in a big city. Zootropolis consists of different climates so that all animals can live together. Even the train is adapted to the various animals, by doors of different formats. The creators clearly had an eye for details. The animals are also emancipated: they walk upright and wear clothes. However, prejudices remain. Rabbit Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) is not always taken seriously as a police officer in the city. At first she has to work as a parking attendant, though she better can grow more carrots – according to some. But armed with a orange pen in the form of a carrot – which is a voice recorder as well – Judy definitely is a spirited lady. But also she struggles to put prejudices aside. Rabbits and foxes are traditionally enemies, and when Judy meets swindler Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), it turns out to be difficult for Judy to ignore the prejudices of a fox. Once Nick and Judy know each other better, the two are actually quite a good team.
For the adult viewers, there are moments when the film refers to other films and series such as The Godfather and Breaking Bad. The well-known slogan from Frozen – “Let it go” – is used, and Judy’s phone looks a lot like an Apple, but with a bite out of a carrot. These moments be laughable, but the serious aspect predominates. When Chef Bogo (Idris Elba) gives Judy the chance to resolve a big case, the film gets also exciting. Judy enlists the help of the sly fox Nick to locate the missing mammals, and together they come into contact with other great characters. The sloth Flash (Raymond S. Persi) brings them to the mafia, which consists of an impressive group of polar bears with Mr. Big (Maurice LaMarche), a mouse, as their leader. LaMarche makes a very nice impression of Marlon Brando’s Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather.
Of course more fascinating characters live in Zootropolis, including Clawhauser (Nate Torrence), a cop who loves eating donuts eat and listening to pop star Gazelle through a special app. Clawhauser is somewhat similar to the pink elephant Bing Bong from Inside Out. The mayor of the city is Lionheart (J. K. Simmons) and his assistant is Bellwether (Jenny Slate), a cute little sheep at first glance. The English voices all fit perfectly with the characters. Small, soft voices for the smaller animals, and strong deep voices for the larger animals – usually – predators. Like any Disney film, the animation is exquisite. The colours are beautiful and the creators have a great eye for detail. Once the predators take on their instinctive behavior, they look pretty scary. In addition, the different landscapes have been worked out very well.
Both children and adults will love Zootropolis, since it’s a typical Disney film with elements for every age, like having prejudices and references to other films. The animation looks good and thought has given to every detail. The characters are diverse and therefore they complement each other. The film is both comic and serious, with the underlying contemporary issues. The film can be quite exciting as well fo the little ones. The film ends with the film’s theme song Try Everything, sung by Shakira. And that’s what is all about. Try everything and believe in yourself!