A superb animated adventure from Disney that will delight both adults and kids, Zootropolis (or Zootopia in the US) is a cleverly-constructed, charming mismatched cop comedy set in a human-free world where mammals live in a vibrant, bustling metropolis.
It’s here that country bunny Judy Hopps (Goodwin) goes to become a big city police officer despite her size and cuteness making her stand out from her fellow officers, who are rhinos, tigers and elephants led by gruff buffalo Chief Bogo (Elba). He assigns her to traffic duty, but after crossing paths with wily con artist fox Nick Wilde (Bateman), Judy uncovers a conspiracy linked to the disappearance of some of the city’s residents.
As you’d expect, this has lots of pop-culture references for adults (including terrific nods to The Godfather and Breaking Bad and for the kids, Frozen) and sharply observed jokes (the Department of Motor Vehicles being run entirely by sloths) throughout, as well as fun banter between Judy and Nick. It’s got a stunning visual setting, too, with the city divided up into districts to suit its mammalian residents – there’s a frozen Tundratown, Little Rodentia for the mice and rats, a rainforest district, etc – while the characters themselves are neatly realised, from the leads to supporting players like the sheepish deputy mayor sheep, a gazelle pop star (Shakira) and a lion mayor (JK Simmons).
There’s even a moral message that is expertly weaved throughout the story – not being judged by what type of mammal you are, showing tolerance for others and believing in yourself – that is refreshing and heart-warming without being preachy. It all adds up to a fun, cuddly, clever and utterly adorable movie that shouldn’t be missed.
Is Zootropolis (Zootopia) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Very young viewers (under-6s) may be frightened when Judy and Nick are exploring the dark rainforest area.
They may also be scared by the creatures that have turned wild, as the animals snarl and scratch.