Zootopia is surprisingly deep for a kid’s movie

March 6, 2016

 

No, seriously. I would say it has a stronger political message than Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. More on that later.

 

Zootopia follows Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a rookie rabbit cop who enlists the help of a bootlegging fox, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to find a missing otter. As they piece the clues together, the duo uncovers a plot to unravel the delicate balance between predators and prey.

 

I walked into this movie expecting cotton candy- Cute, but little substance. What I got was a lot meatier. Beneath its adorable surface, Zootopia is actually an allegory for racial tensions in America. There’s a lot of talk about “species stereotypes”, and yes, our delightful hero Judy is breaking glass ceilings in a “predator dominated” field.

 

This movie couldn’t be more topical than right now. Which makes every joke hit so much harder.

 

But Avatar, this is not. The political message is there, but the movie’s too self-aware and funny to be preachy. There are plenty of pop culture jokes, including a spot on Godfather reference. Also, that sloth scene is brilliant. Much like Inside Out, this is a film that can be appreciated on a deeper level as kids get older.

 

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