Review: ‘Zootopia’ has a timely, but cliché, message

Zoë Jennings

“Zootopia” serves to entertain with a heat-warming underdog story while addressing issues in society. The story line was cliché, but the overall message made the movie worth the watch.

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Unlike other animated films about animals, in “Zootopia” all the animals live in harmony. Diet, size and background do not stop these animals from living together and following their dreams.

“Zootopia” received critical acclaim, with a 99 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie was directed by Rich Moore, director of “Wreck-it Ralph” and “The Simpsons,” and Byron Howard, director of “Tangled.”

Headstrong Rabbit, Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, leaves her family farm and 225 siblings to become a cop in the big city of Zootopia. With help from a con artist fox, Nick Wilde, voiced by Jason Bateman, Judy tackles a case of missing predators. It is her first case as a cop and her boss gives her 48 hours to solve the case. Judy needs Nick’s help with the case. This unlikely pair eventually becomes friends while solving the case. The town is shocked by their findings.

Beautifully portrayed through the animation of the film, the town of Zootopia is a whimsical and exotic-looking place. With state-of-the-art animation, the animals are portrayed in an embellished and humorous way.

Featured in the movie is Shakira’s song “Try Everything,” sung by the popstar Gazelle in the movie. The upbeat, catchy anthem complements Judy’s underdog story, with lines like “I wanna try even though I could fail I won’t give up, no I won’t give in.”

Throughout the movie, there are many moments of humor. The funniest part of the movie was when Judy and Nick, on a tight deadline, go to the DMV to run a license plate, but all of the attendants are sloths. Nick, not invested in the case, antagonizes Judy by telling the sloths a joke to waste time.

Along with its relatable and fun storyline, “Zootopia” offers relevant commentary on current social issues. Characters in “Zootopia”, including Judy, struggle with prejudices against other species. Judy is cautious around foxes after a traumatizing childhood experience and warnings from her family.

Although the big city in “Zootopia” is idealized as a city where every animal can live in harmony, some problems arise from a history of predator-prey relationships. These tensions relate to prejudices and discrimination in current society.

The storyline was enjoyable, but it has been over-done by other animated films. It was the typical under-dog story.

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“Zootopia” has the expected Disney feel-good storyline while commenting on prejudice in society. The message of the movie is timely and relevant and the movie serves to entertain and inform audiences of all ages.

Collegian Reporter Zoe Jennings can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.