Only a few amongst us would have ever come across an animation crime-thriller film, considered almost an oxymoron for most individuals. This prejudice was recently broken by Disney’s latest film, “Zootopia,” released on February 17.
The film is based in a world where mammals have finally created a civilisation, much like the one humans live in. Here, former-predators and former-prey exist in harmony together, though the prey population does outnumber that of predators by a large difference. But what is so special about this particular film?
“Zootopia” breaks the “untouched” chain that binds most animations. The audience seldom questions why Mickey Mouse is as tall as Donald Duck when in real life, the duck would be at least triple the size of a tiny mouse. Zootopia, not only through the basic setting of an animal society, has been able to create a realistic and unique world through the representations of characters as would be seen in real life, such as miniscule hamsters to towering giraffes. Of course, there are comical characters that would be heresies in the real world, such as an obese cheetah or a sloth speeding at hundreds of miles an hour.
The heroine of the film, Judy Hopps (a bunny rabbit) appears in the first scene, playing a role in a play at her primary school, which discusses how prey and predators can now exist together, and that both are able to pursue their dreams, whatever they might be. Here, each animal presents their future career plans and the audience laughs at Hopps’s naive dream of becoming a police officer.
Hopps does persevere though she is confronted with several barriers – she is only a weakling inside the Police Department, prejudice is more than prominent… On the first day at her work, after all the animals are assigned their duty on the field, Hopps is left with parking duty, meeting conman (or confox) Nick Wilde by chance, but neglecting what this will mean eventually.
However, when an emergency situation is declared at the Zootopia Police Department after multiple cases of missing predators, Hopps puts her career at stake by challenging her Chief that she can solve this series of disappearances in 48 hours. She is lost and struggles to find the start of the thread for this problem, when suddenly Wilde strikes her mind. It is from here that Hopps threatens Wilde of sending him to prison for fraud and tax evasion, extracting valuable information on one particular case of a missing otter. From here, an exciting adventure begins with the duo of Wilde and Hopps working together to solve the case, with several twists and turns.
This film is no Disney princess film. It includes a breath-taking story line and there are countless twists and turns until the audience finally finds out the underlying criminal mastermind behind the whole scheme. It is a film suitable for all ages, youngsters to adults, thanks to its solid line of events and the general quality of animation techniques, which bores neither the brain nor the eye. “Zootopia” is worthy of being compared to former animation masterpieces such as “Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc.” in that it shares the common concept of a new and fresh idea for an animation film, diverging from the hackneyed romance plot of a handsome prince and princess. With caution, it may be predicted that “Zootopia” will succeed the history of Disney masterpieces thanks to its sound bases.
BY Chanho Kim ’19
(To see the movie review containing spoiler, read https://hafsharbinger.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/disney-did-it-again-zootopia-complete-with-spoiler/ )