Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three weeks, you’ve probably heard about Zootopia, Disney Animation’s newest movie about anthropomorphic animals. Released on March 4th, the family film raked in an outstanding $75 million on opening weekend and has been the #1 film for its first two weekends with a gross of just under $600 million worldwide as of March 23rd. (More box office information will be released soon.) The film also has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1/10 rating on IMDB, so if pure statistics are enough to convince you to see the film, there you go.
But if you really want to know why this movie is worth seeing in theaters, not once but multiple times, here’s a quick breakdown of the awesome things you can expect from what could possibly be the next Oscar winner for Animated Feature.
3 Reasons Why This Movie is Great
1. The film is visually gorgeous.
So much detail is imbued in the film’s character designs and environments that the viewer is instantly immersed in the world of Zootopia and feels at home with its characters. Not only do Judy’s beautiful purple eyes and infectious toothy grin light up the screen, her design as a bunny is uniquely different from that of any other rabbit in the film. No lazy recycling of female models here (ahem Frozen)!
Zootopia also takes world-building to a whole new level with its intricately designed eponymous city of biodiverse districts. Savannah Central, Tundratown, Little Rodentia, and Rainforest District are just a few of the “boroughs” of Zootopia we get to see in the film, each with its own unique environment catered to the diverse animals that live there and full of influences from New York City’s Greenwich Village, Russian Byzantine architecture, and natural swamps, forests, and countryside landscapes.
2. It’s really, really funny. Smart funny.
Zootopia achieves that coveted balance of being both funny to kids and adults by having great comedic dialogue and laugh-out-loud visual comedy laden with cultural references and wit. There are way too many gags and easter eggs mixed into the film to catch in a first viewing, so it’s going to take multiple viewings or scouring internet forums to find them all. You can find 10 pop culture references here to start you off. My favorite (that I found on my own) was the Duke Weaselton reference. I totally pointed at the screen for that one, which is my signature move for appreciating smart/cool things by the way.
This trailer cracks me up every time. It is so accurate.
3. Its moral lessons (typical a la Disney) are relevant, socially aware, and beneficial for viewers of all ages.
Everyone knows Zootopia tackles a lot of social issues in just under two hours, the most prevalent being prejudice. Lots of critics and reviewers like to put too much pressure on the film by nitpicking about its portrayal of racism, police interactions, politics, and diversity and inciting floods of raging Internet comments, but honestly, its a family film that does so much so well that you can’t help but appreciate how “woke” it is. True, the film mostly tackles individual prejudice that is manifested in predators and prey falling victim to bias and ignorance alike. But its actually refreshing to see everyone feel the pressure even if its not reflective of real life. It shows that everyone has disadvantages, unwarranted presumptions, ignorance, and room to grow. Ultimately, Zootopia handles the issue of prejudice well in that it is clear to see how harmful it is to assume certain things of people based on their species (race) and that everyone is possibly guilty.
But you are not limited by your assumptions and definitely not by whatever category you fall into (race, gender, class, etc.), because you have the power to change. Like Judy says, “-no matter what kind of person you are, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you.”
Let me know what you think!
Comment below with your opinions about Zootopia and share on social media if you liked the post. Obviously I have a lot of opinions on the film and would love to get a conversations going!