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The Movie Buff March: Zootopia

The Movie Buff reviews the newest addition to the Disney Animation lineup-- Zootopia

Colby Perron, Staff Writer

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Following not far behind 2013’s cash-grab musical hit that was “Frozen,” comes a delightful tale about talking animals in a civilized society. Of course, by a delightful tale I mean a dark animated film about racism, sexism, and prejudice all set to a colorful background of talking animals. Sounds like a great time for the whole family!

As you can probably tell, the movie that I will be reviewing this month is Disney’s newest addition to their ever growing collection of moneymaking and brainwashing animated features, “Zootopia.” However, “Zootopia” isn’t the typical Disney musical that we come to expect, but instead, it’s really one of the studio’s best works of all time, boasting a fantastic 99% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing this.

So what is “Zootopia” even about? Well, it’s about a city comprised entirely of anthropomorphic animals (animals that take on human traits such as wearing clothes, walking on their hind legs, etc. Think 2005’s “Chicken Little.” Actually, don’t think about “Chicken Little.” Ever.)

Our story follows Judy Hopps (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) who is a bunny from a small carrot farm with big dreams about becoming a police officer. Despite everyone (including her parents) telling her that she can never reach her goal, she eventually does and joins the ZPD (Zootopia Police Department) and in order to prove herself, takes on a case to search for a missing person (or animal I guess). Knowing that she can’t do it alone, Hopps enlists the help of a con artist fox, named Nick Wilde (voiced by Jason Bateman), to help her out. Now we have this year’s second buddy cop film with less Hart and more heart.

Like I said in my intro, this movie is actually really deep message-wise. A kids’ animated movie put out by Disney, of all people, dealing with such topics as: sexism, racism, police brutality, drugs, corrupt politics, and conspiracy! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, this isn’t your “Happily Ever After” where the princess gets the prince after knowing him for a few days and none of their troubles seem to be a problem after they’re solved in the beginning. No, this movie is more of a real life take on humanity and civilization than the news! I don’t know about you, but to me, it’s sad when a Disney animated feature made for children captures themes and emotions that CNN won’t even try to touch.

Enough of the message and stuff, let’s talk about the important stuff: the jokes. This movie is chock-full of pop culture references. From Prada becoming Preyda to Über becoming Zuber, anything that can be parodied was. Along with the pop culture references, the jabs at other movies are excellent. There are a lot of jabs at the bane of my existence, the very reason that I have trouble sleeping at night just because I know it exists, “Frozen,” but I guess I just have to… “Let it Go.” However, many other films get recognition here including “Tangled,” “Robin Hood,” and even “The Godfather.”

But the jokes that are the absolute best have to be the ones that feature just animal gags in and of themselves. Some of the best include: sloths running the DMV (Disney getting real right here) to wolves being easily distracted by their own howling to some of the best jokes about rabbits and their, ummm, reproductive habits.

Overall, this movie has to be about as close to perfect as a Disney movie can get. Some great chemistry between characters, amazing jokes, deep content, but still a family friendly and colorful movie, I definitely recommend everyone go watch it. Take it from me, someone who was super skeptical about it, and go see “Zootopia.” I promise you won’t regret it.

Well, that’s it for March! Have you seen “Zootopia”? If so, what did you think about it? Next month, I have absolutely no idea what movie to pick, so I will be accepting suggestions. Until then, this has been the Movie Buff: March edition.

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The Movie Buff March: Zootopia