Zootopia: Review / by Kenneth Buff

Zootopia is Disney's latest animated film, and boy, is it a great comeback (Pixar had no involvement here). It's a film where animals stand in for humans in a world that looks very much like our own, only this one, at first glance, appears better than our own. Predators and prey live side by side now in peace, but the old prejudices of prey being weak animals that should stay on the farm, and predators being hateful bullies, still exist, and affect every part of society.

The film follows a female rabbit named Judy Hopps. She dreams of leaving her small town farm to become a police officer in the big city of Zootopia. She's laughed at by the town, and begged by her parents to not go through with it. She ignores them and embarks on her journey to Zootopia where she meets an assortment of different characters that add to her understanding of the world, and of course, push the story forward.

I really liked this movie. It's one of the best animated films I've seen, probably in at least ten years. I enjoyed Frozen, I enjoyed Inside Out (my favorite Pixar movie after Toy Story), but neither of them has as strong of a message or are as smart as Zootopia. There are so many great adult jokes in this movie, referencing daily dysfunctions in adult lives (um hum, things like the DMV, for instance), race relations, and popular films and television shows (these references to film and TV are much more subtle than what we've come to expect from most cartoons, so keep your eyes open), and it's all appropriate for children. There are no body function jokes (farting, puking, pooping, etc.), sex jokes, or any of the other garbage we've come to expect from a film marketed for children. This is a film that is truly worthy to sit next to The Lion King, The Land Before Time, and the other timeless children's classics on your video shelf.