The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

Zootopia: It Ain’t No Utopia


I decided to check out Zootopia to see what all the hoopla was about…

First of all, I love that the main character was a strong female character.  This is great for younger female viewers.

Overall, the charaters were well developed and unique.  I liked every single one of them.  Each one had fascinating personalities, backgrounds, and interests.

My favorite part of Zootopia was the animation.  The artists went into great detail to create the world and its characters.  It was fascinating that Zootopia was divided up into different districts to allow animals from all different habitats to reside in the city.  Each district was unique and beautiful.  I definitely want to visit Zootopia, particularly the rainforest district.

The animators went into great lengths to create each anthropomorphic character: how they looked, how they moved, their size.  And the animators imagined how these different animals would interact with a modern day environment.  For example, the train had various different door sizes to accommodate all the animals.  There was also a miniature city inside Zootopia for all the petite animals, such as the moles.

Other little details that I loved: Judy’s iPhone had a carrot on the back rather than an apple.  Throughout the film, Judy’s nose was constantly twitching.  This really brought her character to life.

When Judy and Nick finally found the missing animals, they immediately knew something wasn’t right.  Not only were the animals aggressive, their eyes also glowed when the flashlight shined on them.  This was a great detail, and the animators excelled at making it look as realistic as possible.  Also, this added detail made the savage animals seem more sinister, primitive, and creepy.

I felt like a child as I watched Zootopia.  My eyes opened wide and I was on the edge of my seat.  I remember one moment when my friend looked at me with a funny expression because my jaw had literally dropped.

Zootopia was definitely more geared towards children than adults.  There wasn’t as much adult humor as I would have liked.  Instead, Zootopia‘s deep theme took over.  We get it, Zootopia was about prejudice and stereotypes, but we didn’t have to be remind of that every scene.  Here are just a few of the examples of when the theme was brought up:

“Everyone comes to Zootopia, thinking they could be anything they want. But you can’t. You can only be what you are.”

“What? Are you saying that because he’s a sloth, he can’t be fast?”

“Ooh, ah, you probably didn’t know, but a bunny can call another bunny ‘cute’, but when other animals do it, that’s a little…”

“Sir, I’m not just some token bunny.”

“Even though… you’re a fox?”

“Anyone can be anything.”

“…we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be.”

It was like it was being shoved down our throats.  The message came across loud and clear just by watching the story unfold; we didn’t need to be lectured as well.  You can learn a lesson without constantly being reminded that you are being taught.  It’s kind of a turn off.  The theme was just too strong, and while it’s an important lesson to learn, it didn’t have to be so blatantly obvious.

I wanted to enjoyed Zootopia more than I actually did.  It’s an artistic feat when it comes to animation, but the writing could have been better.

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This entry was posted on March 20, 2016 by in Movie and tagged , , , , , .
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