I finally had the chance to see Zootopia this week when it arrived on Blu-ray. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved it. The story was wonderful, filled with wisdom about avoiding prejudice and bullying, and fantastic music. Caution: This review contains Spoilers!
Disney has taken on prejudice before. The Fox and the Hound is a great example of why it's important not to hate someone, just because others do and you're expected to. In Zootopia, they've addressed this again.
Judy Hopps is a bunny from a small, rural town. She firmly believe that Zootopia is a place "where anyone can be anything." She wants nothing more than to be a police officer when she grows up, even though no one seems to believe in her. She works harder than everyone else just to prove that she's worthy of her place at the police academy.
When she graduates, she is assigned her dream job as an officer at ZPD, the Zootropolis Police Department, in the city center. Unfortunately, she still must prove that she belongs there. Through a chance meeting with an Otter whose husband has gone missing, she makes a deal with Chief Bogo: either she'll find the missing Emmitt Otterton in 48 hours, or she'll resign.
Enter Nick Wilde, a fox who's a bit of a con artist, who may be the last person to see Mr. Otterton before his disappearance. Nick has no interest in helping Judy, in part because of his own assumptions about what she's capable of. But as they work together to solve the case, both Nick and Chief Bogo come to realize what a gifted investigator Judy is. When Nick and Judy finally find Mr. Otterton, as well as the other 13 missing predators, they discover that something more is going on. And that's when Nick discovers that Judy, like many other citizens of Zootopia, has made unfortunate assumptions about him and other predators.
The rest of the movie addresses the solving of the mystery, as well as how our unconscious prejudices can affect us and those around us more than we realize. In the end, everyone must overcome their preconceived notions and prejudices and move forward together. And if that's not a lesson we all could learn, I don't know what is.
I loved Zootopia and the message it contained. The comedy and fun, mixed with some subtly disguised serious messages, make for a great family movie. I'm sure it will become a regular favorite in our house. All images courtesy of Disney