Ben Oliver

Banner image for Zootopia


We might be dumb bunnies but we’re good at multiplying…
29 July 2016

A bunny tries to make it as a cop in Zootopia, a big city where all animals live in harmony. Scratch beneath the surface however and not everything is as Zootopian as it seems.

I’ve not been all that impressed with the recent run of Disney animations. Frozen, Wreck it Ralph and Tangled are all decent but don’t come close to Pixar’s offerings. With that said, there’s a whole lot to love about Zootopia.

At its core lie some tricky themes of race, prejudice and equality. This seems to have been praised most about the film but it was one of my least favourite parts. When it all boils down, spoiler alert, the main message is ‘go for your dreams no matter who you are’ - like almost every other kids film out there. I don’t see how it’s that ‘ambitious’ or ‘groundbreaking’.

However, almost every other aspect of the film is definitely ambitious and groundbreaking. The set design and art direction are sumptuous and vibrant, it makes you want to be there. Zootopia is teeming with life and it’s beautiful.

The plot is surprisingly compelling. Judy (the bunny) embarks on an investigation into missing animals and it really gives the whole film some purpose, and stops it getting bogged down. As the case unravels we run into new people every step of the way.

Zootopia is a perfect blend of funny jokes, great acting and fantastic direction. It’s no masterpiece and won’t make kids understand why Donald Trump is bad but in a world of bland animation and tame writing, it’s a real diamond in the rough.

As a side note, I think this was released as Zootropolis in the UK but the version I watched had all Zootopia in it so now I’m just confused. I found this quote1:

A spokesman for Disney explained: “In the UK we decided to change the US title (Zootopia) to Zootropolis to merely allow the film to have a unique title that works for UK audiences.”

What a load of cods.