Before I kick off this post, I have to address the elephant in the room. No, not you Francine, but Happy Birthday. What I mean is the fact that in the UK, this movie is called Zootropolis. Despite being a menace to type without thinking about it, it’s just a ridiculous name. It’s not that uncommon for movies to have different titles in the UK, but there’s normally a sensible reason behind it. For example, Neighbors is called Bad Neighbours here, I’m guessing because of a popular soap opera by the same name. A bit of internet research shows that Denmark are opening a zoo called Zootopia in 2019, but I’m not convinced that’s the reason.
Anyway! Zootropolis/Zootopia is the latest animated movie from Disney, and it’s one of the great ones. Following from The Good Dinosaur (which I still haven’t seen) meant that something half decent would have been applauded, but this time round Disney have done what they do best - pack in a current, serious issue in a way that children and adults alike understand and relate to. Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) has dreamt of becoming a police officer, and against all odds, makes it as the first bunny in ZPD history.
Put straight onto Meter Maid duty, Judy is desperate to prove that she has what it takes to become a real cop, which leads her to follow a sly fox by the name of Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) as he runs an ice lolly scam. Fate brings the two together as Judy blackmails Nick into helping her look for a missing animal, and so Nick helps in the most unhelpful way he can, leading her to the DMV, a government office ran by sloths. A stroke of genius, there!
Obviously the movie is filled with laughs, but it’s Flash the sloth that wins the real comedy prize. It doesn’t matter how many times I watch that scene, it’s equal parts hilarious and painful every time. He speaks and types excruciatingly slow, and the act of him tearing off a receipt from it’s printer is making my hairs stand on edge just thinking about it. If you’ve ever had to visit an office like this, you’ll relate. It’s brilliant.
Essentially, the movie is a crime case that leaves you guessing as it goes along. For a children’s movie, it’s surprisingly in-depth and surprised me along the whole trail. There are some great references to look out for as well, for all ages. Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) pokes fun at Frozen, and there’s a glaringly obvious Breaking Bad (or should it be Breaking Baa’d?) reference in there, too. As always, the detail demands several rewatches, especially if you’re on the hunt for all those easter eggs.
The final third of the movie really drills home the message, that I swear, just like last year’s Inside Out is more for the adults rather than the children. Kids these days don’t notice things like race, nor do they judge each other on their family’s religion, it’s the adults. All too often we’re told that our gender or our age means that we can’t do certain things, which is wrong. I felt so pumped at the end of this movie, like I really could do whatever I wanted to. Okay, that feeling ended as soon as I got to work the next day, but still.
Bonus/Bragging Rights: We got to meet the adorable Nick and Judy in Disneyland for our Honeymoon! Nick was ever the sly ol' fox, after this photo he linked his arm with mine and marched me off down the road! The cast members had to chase us down!