Disney knows the boxes work. After all, it’s been doing the movie thing since 1937. But sometimes you wish Disney would just take a risk. Experiment. Try something new.
Zootopia is that film.
Zootopia simply asks a question. What if all animals lived in human-like cities, with predator and prey living together in harmony? How would the animals interact? How would the government work?
The resulting film hops along effortlessly, a fully realized world just waiting to be discovered. An elephant family owns an ice cream parlor, their flexible trunks perfect for scooping cookies ’n cream. The police department employs only the toughest specimens: lions and buffalos and bears (oh my!). Foxes are wily, if misunderstood. Polite-but-lethargic sloths staff the local DMV. Every detail makes perfect sense. You’ll rarely see Disney’s human fingerprints in the animal world of Zootopia, which is just about the highest compliment I can give.
Disney’s guiding hand does intrude here and there in the film’s latter half: a plot pivot that comes too abruptly, a small twist the film telegraphs just a whisker too obviously. In these moments, Disney misses the corresponding checkbox, misfiring on the tiny details it typically hits just right.
But if missing a half dozen boxes means getting a new Disney world this fun, this imaginative, a place as full of life as Zootopia, I could give two rabbit droppings about checkboxes. In fact, here’s hoping Disney forgets even more of them in its next film.
TheCroakingFrog says: See It
See It Now: see ASAP
See It: see if you have time
Skip It: see at your own risk
Forget It: avoid at all costs