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Fantasy films aimed at kids don’t have to have political messages, but when they do, they should either be internally consistent, or work through the contradictions in terms that kids can apply to the real world. “Zootopia,” a fantasy set in a city where predators and prey live together in harmony, is a funny, beautifully designed kids’ film with a message that it restates at every turn. But if you think about that message for longer than five minutes, it doesn’t merely fall apart, it invites a reading that is almost surely contrary to the movie’s seemingly enlightened spirit: discrimination is wrong, but stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, and it’s not easy for members of a despised class to overcome the reasons why the majority despises them, so you gotta be patient.

Ginnifer Goodwin (“Big Love”) voices Bunny Hops, a small town rabbit who’s told that she can’t be a police officer in Zootopia because there’s never been a rabbit police officer. (The job tends to be done by predators and large herbivores—like a water buffalo that’s become a police captain, voiced by Idris Elba.) Hops makes it through police training anyway and gets assigned to meter maid duty, to the relief of her carrot farmer parents ( Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake ), who gave her fox repellent as a going-away present. They had good reason to give her fox repellent: the fox is one of the rabbit’s mortal enemies, and when Judy was child, a fox cornered her at a county fair, insulted her for being a bunny, and slashed her face with his paw. (This is a slightly more intense kid-flick than you might expect, given how many adorable animals are in it.)

Of course Hops ends up partnered with a red fox named Nick Wilde ( Jason Bateman ), a small-time hustler who reluctantly helps her investigate the disappearances of a dozen predators. I won’t reveal exactly what the mystery is here (it’s a pretty good one) except to say that it invites kids and parents to talk about nature versus nurture, and the origins and debilitating effect of stereotypes.

But this turns out to be not such a great thing once you get deeper into the movie. Because people are not animals, I dread thinking about the “logical” conclusions to which such conversations will lead. The film isn’t wrong to say that carnivores are biologically inclined to want to eat herbivores, that bunnies reproduce prolifically, the sloths are slow-moving (they work at the DMV here), that you can take the fox out of the forest but you can’t take forest out of the fox, and so on. If you think about all this as an analogy for the world we live in (particularly if we live in a melting-pot big city like Zootopia) and and then ask yourself which racial or ethnic or societal groups (cops, businesspeople, city bureaucrats) are “predators” and which are “prey” (for purposes of metaphor translation), you see the problem. "Zootopia" pretty much rubber-stamps whatever worldview parents want to pass on to their kids, however embracing or malignant that may be. I can imagine an anti-racist and a racist coming out of this film, each thinking it validated their sense of how the world works.

“Zootopia” is constantly asking its characters to look past species stereotypes, and not use species-ist language or repeat hurtful assumptions. “Only a bunny can call another bunny ‘cute,’” Hops warns a colleague It’s filled with moments that are about overcoming or enduring discrimination. “Never let them see that they get to you,” Wilde advises Hops. And there are acknowledgments of the destructive self-hatred that discrimination can cause. Many of the animals make self-deprecating jokes at the expense of stereotypes about their species (such as Hops volunteering to do math for Wilde, telling him, "If there's one thing we bunnies are good at, it's multiplying"), and there's a fairly intense flashback which reveals that Wilde became a hustler because other animals hazed him as a pup while repeating anti-fox stereotypes, and responded by embracing his species' caricature and becoming the foxiest fox anyone had seen. This all seems clever and noble until you realize that all the stereotypes about various animals are to some extent true, in particular the most basic one: carnivores eat herbivores because it's in their nature. (Yes, readers, I know, there are tigers who've been taught to snuggle with lambs, and I've seen the same memes with cats and dogs snuggling that you have; I mean in general.)

It might seem weird that I’m dwelling on this aspect of “Zootopia,” which is directed by Byron Howard & Rich Moore and co-directed by Jared Bush , because the movie is entertaining. The thriller plot, which borrows rather generously from “48 HRS” and every cop drama involving governmental conspiracy, is smartly shaped   It’s hard to imagine any child or adult failing to be amused and excited by parts of it. The compositions and lighting are more thoughtful than you tend to get in a 3-D animated film starring big-eyed animals who speak with the voices of celebrities. And there are a few sections that are transportingly lovely, in particular any sequence involving the pop star Gazelle (voiced by Shakira), and Hops' high-speed train ride towards and through Zootopia, which introduces the city's different terrains (including frozen tundra and misty rainforest) while leaving room for subsequent bits of spelunking (a foot chase through rodent town lets Hops know what it feels like to be a giant). Some of the biggest laughs come from obvious gags that you know the writers couldn't resist, such as the bit where Idris' water buffalo captain says they can't start the morning briefing without acknowledging the elephant in the room. If you decide not to think about the metaphor that the film is built around, it's an enjoyable diversion, made with great skill.

Still: is it too much to ask that a film that wears its noble intentions like a jangling neck collar be able to withstand scrutiny? If "Zootopia" were a bit vaguer, or perhaps dumber and less pleased with itself, it might have been a classic, albeit of a very different, less reputable sort. As-is, it's a goodhearted, handsomely executed film that doesn't add up in the way it wants to.

Matt Zoller Seitz

Matt Zoller Seitz

Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large of RogerEbert.com, TV critic for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism.

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Film credits.

Zootopia movie poster

Zootopia (2016)

Rated G for some thematic elements, rude humor and action.

108 minutes

Ginnifer Goodwin as Lieutenant Judy Hopps (voice)

Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde (voice)

Shakira as Gazelle (voice)

Idris Elba as Chief Bogo (voice)

Octavia Spencer as Mrs. Otterson (voice)

J.K. Simmons as Mayor Lionheart (voice)

Alan Tudyk as Duke Weaselton (voice)

Jenny Slate as Bellwether (voice)

Bonnie Hunt as Bonnie Hopps (voice)

Tommy Lister as Finnick (voice)

Tommy Chong as Yax (voice)

Kristen Bell as Priscilla (voice)

Katie Lowes as Dr. Madge Honey Badger (voice)

Josh Dallas as Frantic Pig (voice)

John DiMaggio as Jerry Jumbeaux Jr. (voice)

Nate Torrence as Officer Clawhauser (voice)

Maurice LaMarche as Mr. Big (voice)

Kath Soucie as Young Nick Wilde (voice)

Mark Smith as Officer McHorn (voice)

  • Byron Howard

Co-Director

  • Phil Johnston

Writer (story)

  • Jennifer Lee
  • Jim Reardon

Writer (head of story)

  • Josie Trinidad

Writer (additional story material)

  • Dan Fogelman

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Zootopia Reviews

movie reviews zootopia

Disney’s Zootopia looks at the ‘otherization’ prevalent at every step of our social structure.

Full Review | Nov 1, 2023

movie reviews zootopia

“A well thought out and very witty movie… one for the whole family to enjoy”

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | May 16, 2022

movie reviews zootopia

With equal measures of animated beauty and socially responsible intelligence, Zootopia stands among Disney's very best.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4 | Apr 18, 2022

movie reviews zootopia

It's got all the hallmarks of a great animated movie, and it doesn't fail to get laughs and give you that warm happy feeling that an inspiring film should.

Full Review | Oct 9, 2021

movie reviews zootopia

Builds a fully realized world, lands almost all its jokes and teaches valuable lessons.

Full Review | Original Score: B+ | Aug 29, 2021

movie reviews zootopia

I have to be honest and say that I actually liked Zootopia, despite its flaws, and laughed my head off at some parts.

Full Review | Aug 27, 2021

movie reviews zootopia

The message is an overt one, and they make sure to hammer it home, but it is not a false one.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | Aug 10, 2021

movie reviews zootopia

...thought provoking and funny. With time, it may actually reveal itself to be genius.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Jun 8, 2021

movie reviews zootopia

The abundance of humor and action help to mask all the underlying themes that can be construed as far too adult or mature for the family-friendly layout.

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10 | Dec 5, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

Zootopia is the rare animated Disney film that feels like it was made for adults almost as much as children.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5 | Sep 24, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

It's colorful, fun, and has a good message. Will I remember it tomorrow? Probably not, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it today.

Full Review | Original Score: B | Jul 13, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

Zootopia is a spectacular achievement on every level. It's a big, bold adventure in a remarkably rendered universe steeped in popular culture, a touching story of unlikely friendship, and a sharp critique of modern society.

Full Review | Original Score: A | Jul 3, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

The idea of multiculturalism is not acceptance but tolerance[.]

Full Review | Jul 1, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

Zootopia is your classic reluctant partners buddy cop flick transposed into family-friendly entertainment ... an intelligent animated film that will resonate with children well into their adulthood.

Full Review | Jun 30, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

As entertainment it is a very funny animated film with the fable of Judy, the new heroine of Disney. [Full review in Spanish]

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10 | Jun 26, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

It was complex in its message and yet clear.

Full Review | Apr 30, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

Totally adorable and cute.

If you only want to view Zootopia as a cheery little feature cartoon, full of the frolicking anthropomorphic critters Disney excels in creating, it works perfectly well on that level...

Full Review | Mar 11, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

Disney weaves in really important issues interlaced with humor, creativity and fun.

Full Review | Feb 4, 2020

movie reviews zootopia

Zootopia is one of Disney's best films to date and my favorite film of the year so far. It's family friendly and teaches kids so many great life lessons.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4 | Jan 23, 2020

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Film Review: ‘Zootopia’

Disney offers a decades-later correction to 'Song of the South,' in which rabbits and foxes have a chance to live together in relative harmony.

By Peter Debruge

Peter Debruge

Chief Film Critic

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Zootopia Disney Trailer Sloths

From the company that brought you the utopian simplicity of “It’s a Small World” comes a place where mammals of all shapes, sizes and dietary preferences not only live in harmony, but also are encouraged to be whatever they want — a revisionist animal kingdom in which lions and lambs lay down the mayoral law together, and a cuddly-wuddly bunny can grow up to become the city’s top cop. Welcome to “ Zootopia ,” where differences of race and species serve no obstacle to either acceptance or achievement. It is, in short, a city that only the Mouse House could imagine, and one that lends itself surprisingly well to a classic L.A.-style detective story, a la “The Big Lebowski” or “Inherent Vice,” yielding an adult-friendly whodunit with a chipper “you can do it!” message for the cubs.

Opening in several European countries weeks ahead of its March 4 domestic release, “Zootopia” is full of motormouthed characters and American culture in-jokes — no surprise, considering it was directed by Byron Howard , whose girl-power “Tangled” kicked off the recent Disney revival, and “The Simpsons” vet Rich Moore , who previously helmed “Wreck-It Ralph.” But that should pose little obstacle to its worldwide appeal, boosted by some of the most huggable Disney characters since “Lilo & Stitch.”

While her 225 bunny brothers and sisters are content to stay on the farm, aspirational rabbit Judy Hopps ( Ginnifer Goodwin ) shows an early aptitude for conflict management, stepping in when a schoolyard bully hassles her classmates. Not so surprisingly, the offender happens to be a fox, though Judy doesn’t give in to such species typing, insisting that jerks come in all shapes and sizes. So, too, do heroes, and despite the limitations of her tiny scale, Judy enlists in the Zootopia police academy, struggling at first before outwitting her larger rivals.

Graduating at the top of her class, Judy packs her bags for a job in the big city — which is like a cross between one of those shiny 21st-century Dubai complexes featuring indoor skiing and surfing, and a new Disney theme-park adjunct, complete with climate-specific subdivisions like Tundratown and Sahara Square. “There’s far too much to take in here,” as the opening scene of “The Lion King” promises (a movie whose stunning African savannah was downright simplistic compared with the world “Zootopia” has to establish), and Howard and Moore struggle to make their introduction anywhere near as impressive, despite leaning heavily on an unremarkable “I want” song called “Try Everything,” performed by Gazelle (Shakira), the veld’s sveltest pop idol (well-meaning sample lyric: “I wanna try even though I could fail”).

Doing justice to an elaborate new environment poses a familiar problem, slightly improved from last year’s “Tomorrowland,” in the sense that Judy (who probably should have grown up in town, like everyone else in Zootopia) takes a long train ride into the city, ogling the various districts as she passes. It’s a sequence worth studying a dozen times down the road just to catch all the tiny details, from the hippo-drying stations to the plastic hamster tubes, although it’s an awkward way to acquaint ourselves with the city.

In theory, Zootopia’s residents have evolved past distinctions of predator and prey, which might explain the small matter of cartoon biology: Whether tiny mice or hulking rhinoceroses, all animals have front-facing eyes, upright postures and opposable thumbs — a throwback to the delightful character design featured in Disney’s “Robin Hood” (1973), which reimagined a human world populated entirely by animals, integrating characteristics of each species into the ways different creatures move.

In progressive-minded Zootopia, a moose can co-anchor the evening news with a snow leopard without it turning into an episode of “When Animals Attack!” That said, even the most basic social interactions remain tense, as the city’s caste system matches animals to the roles that suit them best (the DMV is all-too-accurately staffed by slow-moving sloths, for example), while still adhering closely to the hierarchy of the food chain (with a few amusing exceptions, including a cameo by “Pinky and the Brain” actor Maurice LaMarche as a Don Corleone-like arctic shrew).

As far as cops are concerned, it’s the big fellas — rhinos, tigers and Cape buffalo like Capt. Bogo (Idris Elba) — who are responsible for maintaining law and order. Judy may be the first to benefit from the new mammal-inclusion initiative devised by Mayor Lionheart (J.K. Simmons), but Bogo isn’t ready to trust her with a real investigation, placing the rookie on parking-meter duty while he assigns everyone else key roles in a major missing-persons case. If Bogo’s behavior smacks of species-ism, that’s no accident: The “Zootopia” screenplay (on which the directors share credit with Phil Johnston and co-helmer Jared Bush) actually turns real-world racial sensitivity issues into something of a talking point — as when Judy notes that a bunny can call another bunny “cute,” but it’s not OK when another animal does it.

While raising the subject should help encourage kids to look past surface differences in one another, it’s a bit misleading, since the movie is less about race than gender, dredging up equality issues that might have been fresher in the days of “9 to 5” and “Working Girl”: Judy is treated differently because she’s a woman, bonding most easily with Bellwether (baby-voiced comedienne Jenny Slate), the woolly assistant mayor who serves as Lionheart’s glorified secretary, and Clawhauser (Nate Torrence), the police force’s effeminate cheetah receptionist.

What, then, do we make of the tenuous alliance between Judy and trickster fox Nick Wilde ( Jason Bateman ), which — despite the obvious design similiarities — features none of the bloodthirsty tension shown between Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox in Disney’s half-forgotten/suppressed “Song of the South”? “Zootopia’s” relatively P.C. sensibility serves as a partial corrective to that shameful 1946 toon, offering a classic screwball-comedy relationship in which the natural rivals match wits, while she carries the added protection of a spray-based fox repellent. Getting no support from her police comrades, Judy enlists Nick in an investigation that leads her down the metaphorical rabbit hole and into the seedier side of “Zootopia,” from the Mystic Spring Oasis (a clothing-optional resort where animals frolic au naturel) to an ominous research facility housing predators that have “gone savage.”

The deeper they go, the more “Zootopia” comes to resemble such vintage noirs as “Chinatown” and “L.A. Confidential,” from its increasingly shadowy look to Michael Giacchino’s jazzy lounge-music score. Disney has been down this road before with “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” although this time, there’s not a single human character to be found, while the adult-skewing jokes (mostly references to other movies) aren’t nearly so inappropriate for kids. Genre-wise, the film couldn’t be farther from the terrain of “Frozen” and other Disney princess movies, though it plays directly to the studio’s strengths, behind the scenes (we may not see every corner of Zootopia, but we know it’s been mapped out and conceptualized) and on screen, where the endearingly designed ensemble gives the animators plenty to work with.

Judy Hopps’ bright-eyed, foot-thumping energy and Nick Wilde’s cool, half-lidded reluctance offer a perfect study in contrasts, crossing what both actors gave in the recording booth with characteristics of the two species in question. In Goodwin’s case, the actress’s guileless optimism comes through loud and clear, telegraphed through her two long bunny ears, which fold back in fear and shame, but otherwise stand expectantly tall in the face of each new challenge. As her wily fox foil, Nick models a fast-changing map of Bateman’s smirks and eye rolls, his slouchy posture a deceptive cover for his slippery potential.

While it doesn’t have quite the same breakout potential as the Mouse House’s past few hits, “Zootopia” has shrewdly established both an environment that could be further explored from countless other angles (in a spinoff TV series, perhaps) and an odd-couple chemistry between Nick and Judy that carries on even after Gazelle returns for her obligatory grand finale.

Reviewed at Disney Studios, Burbank, Calif., Feb. 1, 2016. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 108 MIN.

  • Production: (Animated) A Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures release and presentation of a Walt Disney Animation Studios production. Produced by Clark Spencer. Executive producer, John Lasseter.
  • Crew: Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore. Co-director, Jared Bush. Screenplay, Bush, Phil Johnston; story, Howard, Bush, Moore, Josie Trinidad, Jim Reardon, Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee. Camera (color, widescreen, 3D), Brian Leach; editors, Fabienne Rawley, Jeremy Milton; music, Michael Giacchino; music supervisor, Tom MacDougall; production designer, David Goetz; art director, Matthias Lechner; heads of story, Trinidad, Reardon; head of animation, Renato Dos Anjos; animation supervisors, Nathan Engelhardt, Jennifer Hager, Robert Huth, Kira Lehtomaki, Chad Sellers; sound (Dolby Atmos), Addison Teague; supervising sound editor, Teague; re-recording mixer, David E. Fluhr, Gabriel Guy; visual effects supervisor, Scott Kersavage; stereoscopic supervisor, Katie A. Fico; associate producers, Nicole P. Hearon, Monica Lago-Kaytis; casting, Jamie Sparer Roberts.
  • With: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Shakira, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Nate Torrence, Jenny Slate, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake,Alan Tudyk, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Raymond Persi, Katie Lowes, Jesse Corti, John DiMaggio.

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‘zootopia’: film review.

The energetic voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman and Idris Elba lend life to Disney's amusing animated menagerie.

By Michael Rechtshaffen

Michael Rechtshaffen

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Just when it was looking like animated animal movies had run out of anything original to say, along comes the smartly amusing, crisply relevant Zootopia to handily demonstrate there’s still plenty of bite left in the anthropomorphic CG menagerie.

Boasting a pitch perfect voice cast led by a terrific Ginnifer Goodwin as a righteous rural rabbit who becomes the first cotton-tailed police recruit in the mammal-centric city of  Zootopia , the 3D caper expertly combines keen wit with a gentle, and very timely, message of inclusivity and empowerment.

Release date: Mar 04, 2016

The engaging result should easily appeal to all creatures great and small, giving this premium Walt Disney Animation Studios effort a paw up on spring break entertainment, not to mention the summer arrival of Universal’s animated The Secret Life of Pets .

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As the Zootopia Police Department’s sole bunny officer, idealistic Judy Hopps (Goodwin) discovers that breaking barriers can be an uphill climb, especially when the other cops in the force are mainly of the more imposing elephant/rhino/hippo ilk.

Although intrepid Judy can’t wait to collar her first perp , Bogo ( Idris Elba), Precinct 1’s gruff cape buffalo police chief, has other plans, assigning her to parking duty, where she proves her worth by writing 200 tickets before noon on her first day.

But when a number of Zootopia’s residents abruptly go missing, Bogo gives Judy the green light to do some big time police work and she finds herself partnering up with Nick Wilde ( Jason Bateman ), a sly, world-weary scam artist of a fox, in a 48-hour bid to crack the case.

Nimbly directed by Byron Howard ( Tangled , Bolt ) and Rich Moore ( Wreck-It Ralph ), along with co-director Jared Bush, who shares screenplay credit with Phil Johnston, the romp serves up plenty of sharply observed satire (a DMV manned entirely by sloths is played to hilariously protracted effect) wrapped up in judicious life lessons that never feel preachy or shoehorned-in.

'Zootopia' Sloth Trailer

While Goodwin and Bateman are a voice-casting dream team come true as a dysfunctional duo who learn to follow their instincts over preconceived notions, they’re joined by a nicely diverse supporting ensemble that also includes J.K. Simmons, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer and Shakira as a gazelle pop star who performs the film’s original song, “Try Everything,” co-written by hitmakers Sia and Stargate .

Also making their lines count are Jenny Slate as a not-so-sheepish sheep who serves as Zootopia’s predator-averse assistant mayor and Maurice LaMarsh as an arctic shrew version of Don Corleone named Mr. Big.

Visually, the Zootopia canvas pops — with or without the 3D glasses — thanks to a gorgeously vibrant color palette and whimsical architectural scales orchestrated by production designer David Goetz. His work is in keeping with an all-mammal parallel universe comprised of distinct microclimates like sunny Bunnyburrow , icy Tundratown and self-explanatory Little Rodentia .

Composer Michael Giacchino , meanwhile, in his first non-Pixar animated feature assignment, delivers a typically buoyant score, playfully tossing in music cues that pay affectionate homage to Bernard Herrmann and Nino Rota.

Distributor: Disney Production company: Walt Disney Animation Studios Cast : Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Tommy Chong, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Shakira, Maurice LaMarsh . Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore Screenwriters: Jared Bush, Phil Johnston Producer: Clark Spencer Executive producer: John Lasseter Production designer: David Goetz Visual effects supervisor: Scott Kersavage Editors: Fabian Rawley , Jeremy Milton Music: Michael Giacchino Casting director: Jamie Sparer Roberts

Rated PG, 108 minutes

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Review: In ‘Zootopia,’ an Intrepid Bunny Chases Her Dreams

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movie reviews zootopia

By Neil Genzlinger

  • March 3, 2016

Easter is still weeks away, but pet stores may find that the added demand for rabbits the holiday brings will come early this year thanks to the irresistible “ Zootopia ,” an animated movie with an intrepid bunny named Judy Hopps at its core. Her fox sidekick, Nick Wilde, is mighty enjoyable, too.

This film, action-packed and filled with enough savvy jokes that adults should consider slipping into the theater even if they don’t have an accompanying child, is set in a world where animals have transcended the carnivore-and-prey dichotomy and now live together more or less harmoniously.

Judy (the voice of Ginnifer Goodwin of “Once Upon a Time”), a country bunny, wants to become the first rabbit police officer in the bustling metropolis of Zootopia, but her parents are not exactly the follow-your-dreams type.

“If you don’t try anything new, you’ll never fail,” her father (Don Lake) tells her. It’s a gag that encapsulates one of the best things about this film: It trusts young viewers to recognize the clichés they’ve been fed by other animated movies over the years and to appreciate seeing them subverted.

Judy graduates from the police academy and ends up on the force in Zootopia, but her boss (Idris Elba) relegates her to parking-ticket duty while more experienced officers investigate 14 missing-mammal cases. While obsessively writing tickets, Judy meets Nick (Jason Bateman), a world-weary hustler who slowly becomes her friend and adviser as she pokes her nose into the missing-mammal epidemic despite her boss’s resistance.

If you’ve seen the trailer for this delightful movie you’ve already had a taste of what might be the greatest takedown of bureaucratic ineptitude ever filmed. It involves a trip by Judy and Nick to the Department of Motor Vehicles, with its all-sloth staff. In the context of children’s movies, it’s a fairly daring scene, since in an otherwise fast-moving story the joke takes a loooong time to roll out. But it sure is worth it.

Anyway, Judy learns some hard truths as she delves deeper into the mystery, and young viewers will, too. Chief among those is one adults know well: Being civilized doesn’t mean tension and ugly thoughts disappear. Also, bringing about positive change isn’t as easy as it seems.

“I came here to make the world a better place,” Judy laments after her good intentions backfire, “but I think I broke it.”

Funny, smart, thought-provoking — and musical, too. Shakira provides the voice of a pop star named Gazelle, and her vocals complete the package appealingly.

“Zootopia” is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested) for gently rude humor and occasional scariness. Running time: 1 hour 48 minutes.

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  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Summary The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when opt ... Read More

Directed By : Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

Written By : Jim Reardon, Josie Trinidad, Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee, Kellie D. Lewis, Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

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Zootopia Review

The fox and the rabbit..

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Zootopia is a wonderful example of how Disney, at its best, can mix its past and present together in a very cool, compelling way. It takes the classic animation trope of animals walking, talking and acting like humans, but gives it a modern spin both in terms of its humor and animation style -- while deftly showing how computer generated animation is able to look more fluid and lifelike than ever -- and also in its themes, which are meaningful and fascinatingly topical. It’s one of those movies that truly is able to entertain audiences of all ages, in different ways, and another big accomplishment in the Disney oeuvre.

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Review: ‘Zootopia’ is quite simply a beastly good time at the movies

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Bursting with a rich blend of timely themes, superb voice work, wonderful visuals and laugh-out-loud wit, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” is quite simply a great time at the movies.

At its heart, the film is a classic oil-and-water buddy comedy but set against a unique, animals-only fantasy world where predator and prey live in harmony. Still, this diverse array of anthropomorphic creatures — they walk, talk, dress and essentially think like humans — must work against their species’ inherent stereotypes and others’ expectations of them. That the animals largely have jobs that match their customary traits proves one of the narrative’s most fertile conceits.

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The movie’s endearing heroine is Judy Hopps (deftly voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin), an energized bunny with 275 siblings and a lifelong dream to become a cop, an ambition she fulfills when she leaves her devoted parents (Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake) and the family carrot farm to join the Zootopia Police Department.

movie reviews zootopia

Once in the big city, however, the diminutive Judy is overshadowed by her towering fellow cops — rhinos, elephants, hippos and so on — and summarily dismissed by Police Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), a surly cape buffalo who assigns Judy meter-maid duty instead of allowing her to assist in the investigation of a rash of missing mammals.

That is, until the resourceful Judy gets a lead in the case of a vanished otter whose worried wife (Octavia Spencer) is pleading for his safe return. Against his better judgment, the chief gives Judy 48 hours to solve the crime — or face being fired.

Then there’s Nick Wilde (a perfectly cast Jason Bateman), a con man of a fox (a con fox?) who infuriates Judy when she falls for one of his street scams. Judy, in turn, shrewdly hustles Nick, boxing him into helping her find the otter, setting these natural enemies in a race against time and each other.

What follows is an imaginative, well-plotted, fast-paced search for clues that takes Judy and Nick all over Zootopia, where they encounter a menagerie of vivid, at times intriguingly shady characters. These include the city’s blustery lion of a mayor (J.K. Simmons), his sheepish sheep of an assistant mayor (Jenny Slate), a Don Corleone-like Arctic shrew (Maurice LaMarche) with polar bear henchmen, a super-mellow yak (Tommy Chong) and a crooked weasel (Alan Tudyk).

A purposefully prolonged set piece that finds Judy and Nick at the local Department of Motor Vehicles is the picture’s highlight and a comic gem. In a genius lampoon of this government agency’s reputation for sluggish service, the office is run entirely by sloths, who move and talk so slowly the time’s-a-wastin’ Judy nearly jumps out of her bunny skin.

En route, Judy and Nick of course bond as they begin to respect each other’s stereotype-breaking strengths and emotional cores. This dynamic proves particularly instructive within Zootopia, where 90% of its population is considered “prey” and only 10% “predators.” In looking humorously — and also sensitively — at the pitfalls of bias and fear-mongering, the terrific script by Jared Bush and Phil Johnston offers a host of essential lessons for our fractious times. If the film’s messages occasionally lack subtext, so be it: perhaps better to sink in with younger viewers.

Visually, the movie, directed by Byron Howard (“Bolt,” “Tangled”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph”), is an inventive, eye-filling feast of color, design and detail. The rendering of the eclectic cast of animals, including mice, giraffes, jaguars, a particularly elastic cheetah (Nate Torrence) and a pop star named Gazelle (Shakira, performing the film’s memorable theme song, “Try Everything”), is delightfully vivid.

Perhaps even more impressive is the artistry employed to create the city of Zootopia itself, with its range of districts — habitats, really — scaled and climate-adjusted to accommodate each area’s distinct residents (Little Rodentia is a hoot). The downtown “hub” is a dazzling combo of Oz and the Las Vegas Strip. Big kudos go to production designer David Goetz for his gorgeous, whimsical, decidedly brainy feat of what-if urban planning.

It’s going to take a lot to beat “Zootopia” for this year’s animated film Oscar.

---------------------------

MPAA Rating: PG, for some thematic elements, rude humor and action

Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Playing: In general release

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Movie Reviews

'zootopia': a nimble tale of animal instincts and smart bunnies.

Andrew Lapin

movie reviews zootopia

Zootopia's first bunny officer Judy Hopps finds herself face to face with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox in Zootopia . Featuring the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy and Jason Bateman as Nick. Courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios hide caption

Zootopia's first bunny officer Judy Hopps finds herself face to face with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox in Zootopia . Featuring the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy and Jason Bateman as Nick.

The wild and furry landscape of Zootopia , Disney's new self-contained world of talking animals, is a remarkable place. In this land, mammals have evolved beyond their traditional predator/prey relationship to form a fully functioning society. Their capital city, Zootropolis, is an intricate network of a dozen ecosystems, from a rainforest to a frozen tundra, and residents of all sizes and species are integrated into daily life. This, as our intrepid bunny hero Officer Judy Hopps constantly asserts, is a place "where anyone can be anything."

And Zootopia is a movie that can be anything, whether that's a succession of adorable rabbit jokes, a buddy-cop (bunny-cop?) flick for the tots, or—this is the big surprise—a remarkably prescient allegory of our time that comments on prejudice, urbanism, tokenism, politics and the role of the police in today's society. It's got the cuteness and childlike creativity you expect from Disney, while the story has some real bite for the adults. And if you needed more convincing, Shakira voices a Shakira-like pop star named "Gazelle," who is a gazelle, and whose backup dancers are shirtless tigers.

Even with three directors and more "screenplay" and "story" credits than you can shake a carrot at, the film doesn't feel cobbled together from spare parts. Instead, it tells a clear and engaging narrative about Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), an idealistic but naive newcomer to Zootropolis who fulfills a lifelong dream to become the first "bunny officer" on the police force. Leaving behind her mom, dad and 275 brothers and sisters in Bunny Borough, Hopps arrives in town with open arms, but receives only big-city dream busting: a bullheaded police chief (Idris Elba, as an actual bull) who has her write parking tickets all day; unconscious bigotry from co-workers who demean her as "cute"; and the run-around from a con artist fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), whose schemes remain one step ahead of the law.

But Hopps stamps her feet and declares, "I'm not just a token bunny," and suddenly we see the true promise of Zootopia . It may be approximately the 321st Disney movie about talking animals, but the film is exhilaratingly fresh: an irreverent product of our current era and an unmistakable satire of race relations. Dig the way Hopps condescends to her new fox friend by calling him "articulate," or the speculation that the mayor of Zootropolis (a lion voiced, naturally, by J.K. Simmons) hired a woolly assistant because he "needed the sheep vote." Over the course of investigating a missing otter, Hopps and Wilde—at first a reluctant partner, but later revealing a softer side—uncover a vast government conspiracy to pit predator against prey once more, by using the tried-and-true weapon of prejudice. Years of harmony between rival species are suddenly under threat, thanks to rushed assumptions about "biology."

This makes the film sound about as heavy as an elephant-sized popsicle, which couldn't be further from the truth. Zootopia nimbly turns its subject matter into a great deal of fun, with riffs about animal "nudists" and a goofy Godfather parody featuring a Marlon Brando shrew. The colors are bright, the animation is crisp and the design elements of Zootropolis itself are clever and future-perfect, everything we wanted from that other recent big-budget attempted Disney utopia, Tomorrowland .

It wasn't until late in Zootopia 's development that Disney elected to make Hopps the focus of the story over Wilde, but it was a wise decision: her spunky farm-girl personality is a throughline we readily identify with, as with Rey in the new Star Wars . Hopefully the merchandising team will make some toys featuring their heroine this time around. And with any luck, soon Hopps can get busy investigating the other great mysteries of Zootropolis, such as what happened to all the non-mammalians, and what the heck do predators eat if not their natural prey?

If Zootopia becomes fortunate enough to fall into Frozen -style heavy rotation for kids of a certain age, its messages of rejecting prejudice and embracing the complicated nature of multiculturalism could do some good for the world. Just be prepared for the invasion of a new "Let it Go"-style earworm, courtesy of Shak— er, Gazelle.

movie reviews zootopia

Zootopia Review

By Alan Cerny

7 out of 10

Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps (voice) Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde (voice) Idris Elba as Chief Bogo (voice) Jenny Slate as Bellwether (voice) Nate Torrence as Clawhauser (voice) Bonnie Hunt as Bonnie Hopps (voice) Don Lake as Stu Hopps (voice) Tommy Chong as Yax (voice) J.K. Simmons as Mayor Lionheart (voice) Octavia Spencer as Mrs. Otterton (voice) Alan Tudyk as Duke Weaselton (voice) Shakira as Gazelle (voice) Raymond S. Persi as Flash (voice)

Zootopia Review:

On the surface, Zootopia is perfectly enjoyable, riffing on cop movies of the 1980s, featuring cute animals and full of witty humor. But dig a little deeper, and there is a wonderful moral and socially aware movie underneath, one that attempts (and sometimes falls short) to make our current racial and cultural issues more palatable and relevant to children and their families. Stories have been doing that since Aesop’s fox jumped to snatch some out-of-reach grapes, so there’s no shame in Disney doing the same thing. Zootopia , directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore with spark and tempo, succeeds in being wildly entertaining as well as informative, funny as well as culturally sensitive, but not cloyingly so. Some parents may consider Zootopia ’s message to be delivered in a stealthy manner, but that’s a matter of perspective – we all want to live in a world where everyone gets along, and everyone overcomes their prejudices and suspicions to make it all work… don’t we? Perhaps children don’t have to worry about such things. Perhaps it is parents who need the lesson Zootopia provides more than their kids do.

It’s the candy coating that makes the medicine of Zootopia go down smooth – the animation is fantastic, with the spectacle and artistry we’ve come to expect from Disney Animation. The city of Zootopia – inhabited by both predator animals and prey animals, and yet somehow able to live together harmoniously – is visually stunning, both riffing on our reality as well as showing us something new. The animators have outdone themselves here, giving us animals that are believable and sight gags that warrant repeat viewings.

The voice talent is impressive as well, especially Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps, the rabbit with aspirations of becoming the first police officer of her kind in Zootopia. Most of the police in Zootopia are larger in stature than Judy, like Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), and while Judy graduated top-honors from police academy, she’s just a little rabbit in a very large warren. Zootopia is populated by all kinds of animals, and a tiny rabbit doesn’t make much of an impression. Her naïve nature also doesn’t help, and when she gets grifted by clever fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), this starts Judy on a path to find some missing animals that seemingly “went savage” before disappearing. Even Mayor Lionheart (J.K. Simmons) is worried – Zootopia exists due to a delicate balance between predator and prey, both in a symbiotic relationship that benefits everyone. When that societal structure suddenly becomes threatened, Judy and Nick must get over their differences to figure out the mystery of the missing animals.

It may seem a little problematic to use the predator/prey relationship of cute Disney animals to attach a metaphor for modern race relations, especially in light of Ferguson, Treyvon Martin, and Black Lives Matter. It’s a simple analogy for a far more complex, weighty issue. But, like Aesop and the Parables, the simplest stories, stripping all pretense, can get closest to the heart of the matter. Zootopia  is easy to understand, and its heart is true.  The message has been stated in many ways over the years, but the intrinsic truth of “Can’t we all just get along?” never changes. Judy Hopps wants to be a good cop. She may have her difficulties, but she wants to help people. One can’t help but juxtapose her struggle with the struggles of police officers everywhere – we all want to be good people, and we hope that those who take the solemn duty to protect and serve want the same.

But Zootopia also takes a simplistic approach when it correlates the animal predators with racial minorities. Obviously it’s the film’s way to use symbolism to frame the argument, making it easier for children to understand, but the problem is that it doesn’t quite work. Zootopia  wants us to look beyond such titles, but it also establishes a world around the entire predator/prey relationship, and it can’t have it both ways. These are difficult, sophisticated themes to attach to a family movie, but it’s impressive and brave for Disney to even have this conversation at all. Zootopia  could simply be about selling Happy Meals, but it’s a family movie that has something on its mind, and although sometimes it fails to impart these ideas in a concise manner, the fact that Disney is doing so at all is inspired and courageous. The best art comments and informs, and respect must be given to screenwriters Jared Bush and Phil Johnston for approaching these subjects with humor, sensitivity, and earnestness.

But Zootopia  is at its best, oddly enough, when it becomes a cop movie. If Shane Black had ever written a Disney movie, it would be a lot like this. All that was missing was the Christmas setting. The relationship between Judy and Nick is endearing, funny, and genuine, and although it’s voiceover Goodwin and Bateman have a nice chemistry together. It even uses 1980s cop movie vernacular – from the rookie cop who discovers the big case, to the tough-as-nails police chief, to even the sly thief who secretly wants to do the right thing, Zootopia takes the cop movie tropes and makes them fun again. There are many laugh-out-loud moments in Zootopia , including a scene at the DMV that gets more hilarious the longer it goes. Rich Moore is no stranger to great comedy, having worked on “Futurama” and “The Simpsons,” and Byron Howard knows how to make Disney movies work, as he demonstrated with Tangled and Bolt .

The Disney animation wing seems to be doing remarkably well these days, and Zootopia is no exception.  Although sometimes it stumbles when dealing with intricate social issues, Zootopia  gets far more right than it does wrong. If nothing else, Zootopia can open up some interesting and necessary conversations with the kids on the drive home, and that’s always a discussion worth having. Zootopia  is entertaining, playful, charming, and challenging.

Zootopia

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R): Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured: Judy Hopps. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R): Judy, Bonnie, and Stu Hopps. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – RAINFOREST DISTRICT. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – TRAIN STATION. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R): Nick Wilde, Judy Hopps, Mr. Big. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R): Judy Hopps & Clawhauser. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R): Assistant Mayor Bellwether & Mrs. Otterton. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R) Mayor Lionheart, Assistant Mayor Bellwether. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R): Nick Wilde, Judy Hopps. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R): Chief Bogo, Judy Hopps. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured: Gazelle. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

RELUCTANT PARTNER -- Fast-talking, con-artist fox Nick Wilde is not really interested in helping rookie officer Judy Hopps crack her first case. Directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, and produced by Clark Spencer, Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" opens in theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured: Judy Hopps. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – Pictured: Chief Bogo. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – TUNDRATOWN. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Zootopia

A WORLD FOR BIG AND SMALL — Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" features a vast world where humans never existed. With advanced transportation systems that accommodate mammals of all shapes and sizes, the modern mammal metropolis was built by animals for animals. Directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, and produced by Clark Spencer, "Zootopia" opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

MR. BIG — The most fearsome crime boss in Tundratown, Mr. Big commands respect—and when he feels disrespected, bad things happen. A small mammal with a big personality, Mr. Big is voiced by Maurice La Marche. Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

A NEW VIEW — Unlikely partners Judy Hopps, Zootopia's first bunny cop, and Nick Wilde, a con-artist fox, find themselves riding high above the modern mammal metropolis while working together to solve a mystery. Featuring the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps and Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde, Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

SUPERSTAR — Revered worldwide by herds of fans, Zootopia's biggest pop star Gazelle is a socially conscious celebrity with equal parts talent and heart. Shakira lends her Grammy®-winning voice to the phenom. Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Zootopia

ZOOTOPIA – ASSISTANT MAYOR BELLWETHER, a sweet sheep with a little voice and a lot of wool, who constantly finds herself under foot of the larger-than-life Mayor Lionheart. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – (Left) BONNIE HOPPS, mother of Judy—and her 275 brothers and sisters. Mrs. Hopps loves and supports her daughter, but is a hare nervous about Judy moving to Zootopia to become a big-city police officer. (Right) Judy's father, STU HOPPS, a carrot farmer from Bunnyburrow. Along with Mrs. Hopps, he is worried about Judy moving to Zootopia and the untrustworthy big-city mammals who live there—especially foxes. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – CHIEF BOGO, head of the Zootopia Police Department. A tough cape buffalo with 2,000 lbs of attitude, Bogo is reluctant to add Judy Hopps, Zootopia’s first bunny cop, to his squad of hardened rhinos, elephants and hippos. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – The Zootopia Police Department’s most charming cheetah, BENJAMIN CLAWHAUSER. Clawhauser loves two things: pop star Gazelle and donuts. From his reception desk, he greets everyone with a warm smile and a helpful paw—covered in sprinkles. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – DUKE WEASELTON, a small-time weasel crook with a big-time weasel mouth, who tries to give Judy the slip during a police chase. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – FINNICK, a fennec fox with a big chip on his adorable shoulder. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – FLASH, the fastest sloth working at the DMV—the Department of Mammal Vehicles. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – JUDY HOPPS, an optimistic bunny who’s new to Zootopia’s police department. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – MAYOR LEODORE LIONHEART, the noble leader of Zootopia, who coined the city’s mantra that Judy Hopps lives by: “In Zootopia, anyone can be anything." ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – MRS. OTTERTON, a desperate otter who turns to Officer Judy Hopps for help in solving her husband’s mysterious disappearance. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – NICK WILDE, the scamming fox who Judy reluctantly teams up with to crack her first case. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

ZOOTOPIA – YAX THE YAK, the most enlightened, laid-back bovine in Zootopia. When Judy Hopps is on a case, Yax is full of revealing insights. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

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movie reviews zootopia

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By Peter Travers

Peter Travers

The last thing you’d expect from a new Disney animated marshmallow is balls. But, hot damn, Zootopia comes ready to party hard. This baby has attitude, a potent feminist streak, a tough take on racism, and a  cinema-centric plot that references The Godfather, Chinatown and L.A. Confidential. The kids, paying zero attention to such things, will love it. But the grownups will have even more fun digging in.

Our star is a bunny, scrappily voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin: She’s Judy Hopps, whose parents and 225 siblings are having trouble keeping this firecracker down on the farm. Judy has dreams of being a cop and kicking ass in Zootopia, a kind of barnyard metropolis where predators and prey live in segregated harmony. I didn’t say peace; the town isn’t perfect, though the animation is. A tour through the byways of Zootopia is a bracing blend of color and richly detailed design, especially during a chase scene in Little Rodentia where Judy gets to lord it over prey much tinier than she is. Otherwise this bunny is constantly on the defensive, trying to crack the glass ceiling erected by a Cape buffalo police chief named Bogo, voiced with vibrant gruff by this year’s should-have-been Oscar winner Idris Elba .

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Bogo and a lot of other male beasts — hippo, rhino and elephant — in this nation want to stop Judy’s ambitions at meter maid. Luckily, Mayor Lionheart (J.K. Simmons) has begun a new mammal-inclusion initiative. Judy puts on a brave face. But first day she’s scammed by Nick Wilde ( Jason Bateman ), a fast-talking fox  happily possessed of Bateman’s delicious comic snark. Still, this odd couple makes a dynamite team when it’s crisis time. (Come on, you knew it was coming from the first notes of Michael Giacchino’s noirish score.) Predators revert to  nature and go on snarling, violent attacks. Animals go missing. And Judy and Nick find a research facility that jails predators that have “gone savage.” Impressionable  tots may hide their eyes.

Directors Byron Howard ( Tangled ) and Rich Moore ( Wreck-It Ralph ), along with co-director Jared Bush, who shares screenplay credit with Phil Johnston, know how to keep things light. There’s a nifty scene at a DMV exclusively staffed by sloths. But they also know how to take a deep dive when necessary, especially when certain species are treated as threats and cause public panic. Listen up, Mr. Trump. Like I said, this big-city crime caper puts a lot on its animated plate. Zooptopia takes chances and doesn’t play it safe. Is it too soon to talk about next year’s Oscars?

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movie reviews zootopia

  • DVD & Streaming
  • Action/Adventure , Animation , Comedy , Kids , Mystery/Suspense , Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Content Caution

movie reviews zootopia

In Theaters

  • March 4, 2016
  • Voices of Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps; Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde; Idris Elba as Chief Bogo; Bonnie Hunt as Bonnie Hopps; Don Lake as Stu Hopps; J.K. Simmons as Mayor Lionheart; Tommy Chong as Yax

Home Release Date

  • June 7, 2016
  • Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

Distributor

  • Walt Disney

Movie Review

Judy Hopps was always what you might call a go-getter. You could even say she was an eager beaver, if that didn’t sound so offensive to less-industrious semiaquatic rodents. Her 200-plus brother and sister bunnies might have been more than content to stay down home on the farm. But Judy had bigger plans!

You see, animals have now evolved beyond all that useless “predator and prey” bloodlust of their past. Indeed, they’re all part of a very civilized and conversant society these days. So why shouldn’t a tiny bunny have the opportunity to be something like, say, a cop when she grows up? That’s right, a little puff of whiskers, feet and fluff called Judy Hopps has always had the lion-sized dream of joining the rhinos, buffaloes and moose on the police force.

So she signed up for the police academy. And while her limited scale, shall we say, made things a bit difficult, with a little extra hop-to-it-iveness the little rabbit bounded all the way to the top of her class. And right after graduation she was assigned the job of her dreams: She was to be the first bunny cop in the big city of Zootopia!

Of course, even that plum assignment had its share of frustrating toe stubs and tail tugs. Since she’s the first to benefit from Mayor Lionheart’s new mammal-inclusion initiative, well, the other cops on the force haven’t been all that welcoming. They look right over and past her.

Why, Captain Bogo barely growled in her direction long enough to assign her parking meter duty. He wouldn’t even consider her doing anything else. And Judy just knows she could be helpful in a big missing-animals case that everyone else is working on. But if it’s going to be parking meter duty, well, Judy will be the best parking meter cop you ever saw. They want 100 tickets handed out in a day? She’ll do 200! Before lunch! Then … maybe she can spend the afternoon, well, kinda lifting an ear in this direction or that.

She’ll keep a keen lookout for any slippery weasels or shifty foxes who might pass her way. Not that she’ll be species-profiling or anything. No sir. Judy has a way of sniffing things out, is all. And if there’s any back-alley beastie badness going on, she’ll find it. You’ll see.

Positive Elements

Judy is a lovable and hard-working sort who refuses to give up and strives to be the best she can be. She also works diligently at doing the right thing. For instance, when she realizes that she holds a bit of deep-seated prey-vs.-predator prejudice against some other animals (especially a fox she meets named Nick), she apologizes for her feelings and actions. In a public speech, Judy implores her listeners to “try to make the world a better place. Change starts with you, it starts with me, it starts with all of us!” Indeed, the movie makes it crystal clear that bullying or pre-judging others because they’re different from you is a wrong and hurtful choice.

Though Judy’s parents are terrified of what might happen to her if she becomes a cop, they repeatedly express their love for her and their pride in her accomplishments. Nick has some underhanded, con-mammal character flaws to work through. But eventually his friendship with Judy makes him rethink his choices and even decide to join Judy on the police force.

As mentioned already, Judy shows us that the only things we should be doing when we’re facing a job we don’t much like is to do it better than anyone else. Do your best, even (especially) when you’re feeling low, she teaches us.

Spiritual Elements

A polar bear crosses himself at the mention of his boss’s deceased mother. When Judy’s parents learn that she is in a less-dangerous position at the police station, they exclaim, “Our prayers have been answered!” A confused animal says, “I thought she was talking in tongues or something.” An exuberant character calls out “Hallelujah!”

Sexual Content

When Judy teams up with the street-smart Nick to try to solve a crime, he leads her to a place called the Mystic Spring Oasis—where none of the animals wear clothing. They’re all covered in fur and display no sexual features, of course, but Judy cringes and covers her eyes at their “nakedness,” and the clear implication is that they’re mirroring a human nudist colony. (Camera angles call special attention to “certain” parts of their bodies as they obtusely bend and flex.) A singing gazelle dances and shakes her tail onstage (like a human pop star), wearing a halter top and short skirt.

Violent Content

There are some dark, roaring moments of peril in the course of Judy and Nick’s investigation that could leave the youngest of popcorn-munchers feeling a little afraid. Drugged animals, for instance, go wild and rabidly rip and tear at the environments around them. We see a small beast rake his claws across another animal’s forehead and eye. An angry fox scratches Judy’s face when she’s just a baby bunny. Larger animals threaten bodily harm to Judy and Nick.

A speeding railcar crashes and erupts in an explosion. A running weasel criminal causes havoc and destruction as he crashes through a tiny town of mice and shrews (with Judy barely able to save some of the tiny creatures). Kids perform a short play depicting mammalkind’s past predatory bloodlust—ketchup and red ribbons subbing in for spurting blood.

Crude or Profane Language

Two exclamations of “oh my god!” And “sweet cheese and crackers” can also be heard as a profanity. There are several uses each of “heck” and “darn” and an “oh cripes.” Name-calling includes “loser,” “dumb,” “moron,” “jerk” and “fluff-butt.”

Drug and Alcohol Content

Animals injected with a mysterious drug revert to their wilder predatory natures. Though we see nothing ingested, one character sounds and acts stoned (with a ‘60s hippie vibe).

Other Negative Elements

In a show of raw speciesism, an elephant clerk in an ice cream shop refuses service to a fox. Judy falls into an oversized toilet. Oh, and the good folks at the DMV are much maligned for being so slow. (They’re represented by sloths.)

Let’s come right out and say it: Children’s movies aren’t just for children anymore. Yeah, we still have the occasional kiddie pic that will have parents wishing they’d brought a pillow or a bottle of aspirin to the theater. But more and more, animated fare at the moviehouse is a multilayered, playful-yet-thoughtful contrivance that leaves parents buzzing in the front seat on the drive home as much as the kids are in the back.

Zootopia is a pic that definitely fits that bill.

On the surface it is a bright and delightful comedy about a cute, foot-thumping little bunny who won’t give up. She overcomes the biggest of bunny trail roadblocks to become exactly what she believes she was meant to be, while making lots of unlikely friends along the way. In other words, she stays true to herself and is kind to others. That’s as old-school a Disney theme as you’re gonna find.

But this good-vs.-evil tale set in a world of anthropomorphized animals is more that surface sweet. For the grown-ups it proffers a surprisingly hard-boiled (at least from a cartoon perspective) film noir detective story, featuring a cop and her CI ( confidential informant for those of you who aren’t up on your gumshoe lingo) who endure each other and wade together through the mobbed-up underworld of shrews, polar bears and wolves, all in hopes of saving a city from a horrible and despicable wrong.

There’s even gratuitous nudity in the mix!

OK. Not really. But read on …

Because on top of all that, Mom and Dad will easily see that there is yet another layer here. This bouncy pic is designed to deliver a thump-the-pulpit sermon against any form of discrimination in our world. Zootopia’ s particular brand of “species sensitivity” pushes onscreen critters—along with human moviegoers—to face up to their innate uncertainty (read: prejudices) about anyone not like them.

So far so good. But even when healthy tolerance peeks around the corner into the idea of accepting what people do (living as a nudist, for instance) and not just focusing on who or what they are (a particular body type or race), the movie seems to say that negative thinking still isn’t allowed.

Those are more carrots than you might expect to chew on while cabbing the kiddie crew home.

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After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.

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  • Consequence

Film Review: Zootopia

A cute, manic Disney movie that has a little extra to say

Film Review: Zootopia

Directed by

  • Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
  • Ginnifer Goodwin
  • Jason Bateman

Release Year

movie reviews zootopia

Zootopia might not be the best of Disney’s recent in-house movies, but it’s easily the most political film the Mouse House has turned out in a good while. Just in time for an especially bitter American campaign season, here’s a movie about the dangers of ignorance and institutional discrimination. But you know, for kids. With cute animals and stuff.

Judy Hopps ( Ginnifer Goodwin ) grew up on a quaint carrot farm, but from a young age Judy’s dreams have outpaced both her family’s means and her physical stature. Zootopia takes place in a world completely populated by anthropomorphic animals, where predators and prey live together in relative harmony and have suppressed their more savage urges. And in this universe, Judy knows and believes that she can be anything she wants to be, not just what she grew up being told she’s supposed to be. If lions and lambs can be coworkers, who says Judy can’t be a police officer, tasked with making the world a better place?

Well, everybody does. After struggling her way through police academy, Judy’s assigned to Zootopia, where she packs her bags and arrives in the big city, literally bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, to start her new life in the glamorous world of urban law enforcement. What’s striking early on in Zootopia is how quickly and firmly it’s established that Officer Hopps is out of her depth. It’s not that she’s incapable, not by a long shot. Even if that’s what Chief Bogo ( Idris Elba ) immediately assumes when he puts her on meter reading duty as the smallest animal on the force. It’s that there’s a doe-eyed innocence to Judy that borders on irresponsible, particularly when she falls for an elaborate con by Nick Wilde ( Jason Bateman ), a morally wayward fox who pegs Judy for the uninitiated transplant she is from the second they meet.

Until it reveals the larger game at hand, Zootopia treads familiar ground with its story of a young upstart learning the ropes of the urban jungle (get it?) the hard way. The film’s expansive cast of characters, from J.K. Simmons ‘ lion of a mayor to Shakira as a socially concerned pop star, eventually becomes exhausting when over halfway through Zootopia is still layering on ever more nutty (and let’s be honest here, toyetic) appearances, whether to move the film’s central mystery along or to make an extended Godfather reference that’s funny, if sort of inexplicable. Zootopia does an above-average job of making its many disparate setpieces feel more cohesive when compared to most other animated family films like it, but the film still falls into the Shrek trap of attempting to shoehorn in something for every possible viewer, whether or not it fits.

When the film gets to play around with the innate comedy of animals sporadically doing animal things while otherwise acting like people, Zootopia has a goofy appeal to it that particularly pops in the exchanges between Goodwin and Bateman as reluctant partners attempting to solve the disappearances of over a dozen animals, some of which have seemingly reverted to their basest instincts. Given that the film is structured as a kind of police procedural, with Goodwin and Bateman as the respective good and bad cops, some of Zootopia ’s best bits are couched in the little throwaway jokes as they pursue the increasingly complicated case. The sloth DMV sequence that’s been on every television channel for the past month is a highlight, as is a sub-neighborhood within Zootopia for small rodents, where adorable hamsters commute from building to building through colorful tubes and a rabbit and weasel essentially start a kaiju fight in the heart of downtown. And wolves attempting to stop other wolves from howling in fear of “a howl” breaking out is the kind of easy gag that still just works .

It’s a fleet-footed movie, and even if some of its jokes land a lot better than others (FaceTime is now MuzzleTime, and there’s a fair number of bits in that corny vein as well), Zootopia is still a cut above the average CGI comedy. This is due to the animation as much as anything; the film has a few genuinely breathtaking moments, which come at a premium in a market so oversaturated with animated family movies. One extended chase sequence through a rain-soaked jungle at night makes striking use of moonlight effects, and an early introduction to Zootopia via monorail is structured like a video game cutscene introducing the world but still manages to flood the screen with appealing flourishes of visual innovation in long, confident shots. There’s a depth to the city that shows how far the form has come in a short time, and Zootopia is better off for it, especially when it still ultimately doesn’t break away from the familiar Disney formula as much as some of the studio’s other recent films have managed.

But the one distinct way in which Zootopia does break against the grain is in the other story the film tells, the one that builds underneath the investigation. It’s a seed the film plants early, when Judy’s worried parents force her to take fox repellent with her to the city, just in case. And when Judy meets Nick for the first time, and instinctively reaches for that repellent before they’ve even exchanged a word. And later in the film, when Judy’s asked to deliver the press briefing about the case of the “savage” animals, and learns that the way she talks about other animals in public can affect a lot of them in a very real and negative way. Judy laments that “I came here to make the world a better place, but I think I broke it,” and it’s around that time that Zootopia proves itself to be firing on a deeper, more thoughtful level as well.

In one sense Zootopia is a family movie that manages to pull off a Breaking Bad reference that actually works in context. But in another, it’s also a parable about the dangers of judging those around you based on what’s built into their very DNA alone, and what a public frenzy built on stereotypes can do to even the most stable, idyllic ecosystems. Perhaps even more boldly, it’s also an argument against the dangers of groupthink, and how violence isn’t the only way that people harm each other. And even if it’s hard to shake the feeling throughout that this part of the film is more for the parents than for the kids they’re bringing along, Zootopia still finds ways to make these complicated, tense ideas digestible for a kid. Or for anybody who feels a little twinge at the sight of a family movie including a shot of a frightened rabbit pulling her daughter away from a tiger, just because she’s been told he might be dangerous. It’s not often a cute animal movie asks its audience to think on whether they’ve ever reached for the fox repellent a little too quickly, but here we are.

Trailer: 

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Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)

  • Vincent Gaine
  • Movie Reviews
  • 3 responses
  • --> April 17, 2016

There is something satisfying about five thirty-something men going into an afternoon screening of an animated “children’s” film that features talking animals, and noting other audience members of a similar age. That was my experience of Zootopia (re-named “Zootropolis” in the UK), as myself and four friends of a similar age found ourselves in a sparsely populated cinema where the average age of the viewer was over twenty. This must have been a bad time for young audiences, as a global box office take of over $860 million indicates that audiences have been flocking to Disney’s latest animated feature. The fact that my friends and I all enjoyed it immensely demonstrates that so-called “family” films offer something for all ages, and co-directors Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush offer a story that is inspiring, animation that is gorgeous and immersive, and an entertaining engagement with genuinely serious themes that never overwhelms the drama.

Zootopia is a brilliantly designed world in which anthropomorphized mammals have developed beyond their natural instincts of predator and prey. An opening sequence explains this and the opportunities now available to mammals of all shapes and sizes. For protagonist Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, “ Something Borrowed ”), the opportunity she pursues is to be the first rabbit in the police department of the eponymous city, a shining beacon of civilization and community. Wolves can be actuaries, lemmings can be accountants, jaguars can be limo drivers and an arctic shrew can be a crime lord (really!), but can a bunny make it as a cop? Despite being brought up in farming community Bunny Burrows by her parents Bonnie (voiced by Bonnie Hunt, “Cheaper by the Dozen 2”) and Stu (voiced by Don Lake, “Grudge Match”) and her many, many siblings to raise and sell carrots (obviously), Judy resolves to serve and protect in the city of Zootopia, where trains have different-sized doors for giraffes and mice, beavers build roads and sloths staff the Department of Motor Vehicles. But as one might expect, there is trouble in paradise, and Judy quickly learns that Zootopia is far from a utopia. Although she graduates top of her police academy class, Judy’s (literally) bullish captain Bogo (voiced by Idris Elba, “ Beasts of No Nation ”) initially assigns her to traffic duty. When she encounters a cynical con-artist fox Nick Wilde (voiced by Jason Bateman, “ Horrible Bosses 2 ”), the stage is set for a comedy adventure of mismatched buddies, hilarious hi-jinks, socio-political intrigue and instinct versus intelligence.

Cramming that much material into a family film might sound like a tall order, but the wit and brio of Bush and co-writer Phil Johnston’s script ensures that the film never feels overburdened nor its content seem jumbled. Exposition is neatly tied to theme that is itself tied to character. The narrative is a detective story in search of missing mammals, first mentioned in Bogo’s briefing to his officers. This investigation is described as a top priority, but Judy is excluded because neither Bogo nor anyone else takes her seriously as a cop. Bogo is therefore prejudiced, a theme that the film explores in relation to race, gender and even sexuality, with a very cleverly “queered” character. The film is therefore strikingly progressive in its engagement with this theme: In an era when fear and hate are so prominent in social discourse, it is truly wonderful to see a mainstream entertainment producer like Disney criticizing the evils of prejudice and celebrating the benefits of diversity. The film displays this visually such as when Judy is dwarfed by her fellow officers including rhinos, hippos, tigers and bears, and when Nick attempts to purchase a popsicle from an elephant-run ice cream store. The visual invention extends to the environments as well, as Zootopia is divided into climate-controlled districts including Tundratown in constant winter, Little Rodentia where the buildings are the same size as our diminutive heroine, and Rainforest District that is structured on many levels. These different areas offer such a wealth of visual detail, with so many blink-and-you’ll miss them moments, that the film is bound to reward repeat viewings. There are also several genuinely thrilling set pieces including street chases, tree-top swinging, surreptitious searches and a subway scramble.

If all that wasn’t enough, Zootopia is also very funny. I started laughing within the first five minutes and spent most of the film with a big grin across my face. The humor includes familiar brands such as Apple and Starbucks getting an animalistic twist, as well as riffs on “The Godfather” and “Frozen,” and hilarious character moments, such as Mayor Lionheart (voiced by J.K. Simmons, “ Whiplash ”), a gangsta fox, an out of shape cheetah, and the DMV sloths (a scene much trailed, but still hilarious). There are also triumphant moments when Judy and Nick outwit their adversaries, who come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Nor does the film talk down to its younger viewers, as the police investigation, criminal infrastructure, politics of City Hall and media reaction are all handled in a way that is informative, narratively comprehensive and, more often than not, funny. Even the end credits provide further fun, with music star Gazelle (Shakira) delivering a song that is heartwarming while also toe-tappingly enjoyable.

All things considered, Zootopia is a wonderful experience for all ages. I can’t recommend this film enough, for its wit and imagination, its clear-storytelling that intertwines micro and macro goals, its laudable message about the importance of tolerance and diversity, and most of all because it makes me happy.

Tagged: conspiracy , criminal , investigation , police , talking animals

The Critical Movie Critics

Dr. Vincent M. Gaine is a film and television researcher. His first book, Existentialism and Social Engagement in the Films of Michael Mann was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2011. His work on film and media has been published in Cinema Journal and The Journal of Technology , Theology and Religion , as well as edited collections including The 21st Century Superhero and The Directory of World Cinema .

Movie Review: It Lives Inside (2023) Movie Review: The Inhabitant (2022) Movie Review: The Man from Rome (2022) Movie Review: The Breach (2022) Movie Review: Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) Movie Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) Movie Review: The Batman (2022)

'Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)' have 3 comments

The Critical Movie Critics

April 17, 2016 @ 2:16 pm Farrah

I saw it with the kids when it first came out and loved it. Using animals was a great allegory for race relations — the kids didn’t even realize there was so more going on than met the eye.

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The Critical Movie Critics

April 17, 2016 @ 2:50 pm pay wally

The DMV scene was the funniest bit I’ve seen in years.

The Critical Movie Critics

April 17, 2016 @ 5:21 pm nadir

Good review. Like you say, there is a lot for adults to like about it.

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EARN POINTS AND UNLOCK REWARDS FOR MOVIE PURCHASES WITH DISNEY MOVIE INSIDERS

Zootopia Hero

March 4, 2016

Adventure, Animation, Comedy

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a comedy-adventure set in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. Determined to prove herself, Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on Zootopia’s police force, jumps at the chance to crack her first case – even if it means partnering with scam-artist fox Nick Wilde to solve the mystery. Bring home this hilarious adventure full of action, heart and tons of bonus extras that take you deeper into the world of Zootopia. It’s big fun for all shapes and species!

Rated: PG Release Date: March 4, 2016

rated PG

  • motionpictures.org
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Zootopia Trailer

Zootopia Trailer

Recording Zootopia With Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas

Recording Zootopia With Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas

Zootopia | Easter Eggs

Zootopia | Easter Eggs

Shakira, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jason Bateman from Zootopia | Radio Disney

Shakira, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jason Bateman from Zootopia | Radio Disney

Zootopia Red Carpet | Radio Disney

Zootopia Red Carpet | Radio Disney

"Fur of a Skunk" Clip - Zootopia

"Fur of a Skunk" Clip - Zootopia

Elephant in the Room” Clip - Zootopia

Elephant in the Room” Clip - Zootopia

Zootopia Centerpiece

Zootopia Centerpiece

Zootopia Charades

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Based on 186 parent reviews

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I love this movie, even enjoyed the music, the best movie for little kids, coexist with everyone, zootopia movie review by logan strohl.

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Zootopia parents guide

Zootopia Parent Guide

The story reminds us that no matter what our past experiences or genes may be, we still have the ability to determine how we will react and behave..

Although they are usually enemies, a con-artist fox (voice of Jason Bateman) and a law-officer rabbit (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) decide working together may be the only way to expose a conspiracy.

Release date March 4, 2016

Run Time: 109 minutes

Official Movie Site

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The guide to our grades, parent movie review by rod gustafson.

If you think your city has diversity, you haven’t been to Zootopia. It’s a sprawling metropolis that includes architecture ranging from extra-extra-small—for the tiniest of rodents—to extra-extra-large for elephants and giraffes. Even more amazing (and perhaps more impossible) are the climate zones, which go from extreme chill to desert heat, so there’s a comfortable temperature for every creature.

Of course one might wonder how all these animals get along in a high-density urban environment. Mayor Lionheart (voice of J.K. Simmons) proudly attests that Zootopia is a safe city where anyone can be anything. To prove his point he’s unveiled the municipality’s new Mammal Inclusion Initiative that gives even the tiniest critter equal access to employment. And that’s exactly why our protagonist, a little bunny named Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin), has left her home in the country and moved to the big city.

Because the plot is based on a criminal investigation, the animation may offer some concerns for little viewers. For instance, some characters are threatened verbally and physically, including rough talk about putting enemies on “ice” by a shrew of a mafia boss voiced by Maurice LaMarche. (He means he will throw them into an icy lake.) And there are also a couple of jump moments. Fortunately other possibly objectionable content is minor—mainly some rude humor in a scene where animals are practicing yoga without wearing their clothes. Within the context of the movie, it’s a funny setup.

Not surprisingly, Zootopia also investigates themes of acceptance and inclusion—popular ideas in films aimed at young moviegoers. But in this script none of the characters are without their own preconceptions. A nasty fox bullied Officer Hopps during her childhood, so it is a bitter irony that she must now depend on another fox (voice of Jason Bateman), this one with a checkered past, to help her solve the case. Other creatures possess similar shades of prejudice that are hidden beneath the city’s utopian veneer.

For me, this is the genius of this highly creative production. The story sends a positive message that reminds us that no matter what our past experiences or genetic makeup may be, we still have the ability to determine how we will react and behave. Even if none of us are perfect, we can chose to forgive others and work together to create our own ‘topias, wherever we might happen to live.

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Zootopia rating & content info.

Why is Zootopia rated PG? Zootopia is rated PG by the MPAA for some thematic elements, rude humor and action.

Violence: This animated movie portrays animal characters with human traits, sometimes in violent situations. Characters engage in verbal confrontation and there are infrequent portrayals of hand-to-hand and weapons violence. A character representing a mafia boss threatens to “ice” other characters—in this case that means throwing them into an icy lake. As a child, a small character is bullied by a larger character. Characters are often in peril and a couple of scenes depict very vicious animals that may frighten young children. A male character with only one eye explains how he lost the other in a confrontation. Infrequent startling “jump” moments occur. Some characters, including one who is a hero role model, admit to crimes of not paying taxes or selling bootleg movies.

Sexual Content: An inner city “oasis” has animals doing yoga without clothes on (within the context of a movie, where all the other animals are drawn in clothing, the contrast is intended to be humorous): While the animals are seen in awkward poses (like their posteriors in the air), there are no explicit visual depictions. In other scenes a joke is made about bunnies “multiplying”. One female character is drawn in a way that makes her look sexy.

Language: Two mild, rude words for flatulence and buttocks are heard. A character exclaims, “Sweet cheese and crackers.” Characters infrequently call each other derogatory names.

Alcohol / Drug Use: The movie depicts a poison being manufactured from a plant.

Page last updated July 17, 2017

Zootopia Parents' Guide

What parallels to city life do you think the creators of this movie are intending to portray? How does having animals play the roles of humans make these message easier for audiences to accept?

Some animal characters in this movie are depicted as having overcome their natural predator instincts. Foxes are an example of this, becoming members of the utopian society despite their once-vicious behavior. Do you agree with the movie’s message that people are capable of choosing their behavior, even when their action may be contrary to what they might “naturally” be inclined to do? How much choice do you think you have over your nature (DNA and genetic make-up) and your nurture (upbringing, social expectations)?

Many species of animals in this film reveal character flaws relating to pre-judgments of others. Is this an accurate reflection of our society? Is it possible for an imperfect human not to have some prejudicial feelings toward others? What control do we have over the way we feel about and treat others?

From the Studio: In the animal city of Zootopia, a fast-talking fox who’s trying to make it big goes on the run when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Zootopia’s top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends. Written by Walt Disney Animation Studios

The most recent home video release of Zootopia movie is June 7, 2016. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Zootopia Release Date: 7 June 2016 Zootopia releases to home video (Blu-ray Combo Pack) with the following special features:

- Zoology: The Roundtables – Ginnifer Goodwin hosts an in-depth look at the movie’s characters, animation, environments and more. The artists at Disney Animation give a rare and in-depth look at the complexities of bringing an all-animal world to life from the ground-breaking technology behind the characters’ fur and clothing to the varied and vast environments of Tundratown, Sahara Square and the Rainforest District as well as the deep thought and research given to bringing 64 unique animal species to life through animation.

- The Origin of an Animal Tale – Follow the story’s development from its origins to a big story shift that turned the film upside down. In this feature-length documentary, filmmakers give a candid look into the difficulties of creating the story of Zootopia and the bold decision to switch the main character late in the production process, putting one resolute rabbit center stage.

- Research: A True-Life Adventure – The filmmakers traveled the globe to find inspiration for the diverse characters and amazing city of Zootopia. They reflect on the importance of research and how a deep dive into animal behavior at Disney Animal Kingdom theme park and a deep immersion into animal society on the African savanna shaped and inspired the characters of Zootopia and changed the filmmakers’ lives forever.

- Z.P.D. Forensic Files – Find the movie’s hidden Easter Eggs. Every city has its hidden gems, especially when it has been created by the filmmakers of Disney Animation who love nothing more than sprinkling hidden references to some of Disney’s greatest animated features throughout the story.

- Scoretopia – Academy Award®-winning composer, Michael Giacchino spotlights five of cinema’s greatest percussionists and how they brought an organic, animalistic sound to his powerful and emotional music score.

- “Try Everything” Music Video by Shakira

- Deleted Characters – Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore introduce citizens of Zootopia who did not make the final cut.

Deleted Scenes: - Alternate Opening – Young Judy Hopps rescues a fellow classmate and realizes she can reach beyond a life in carrot farming to a future in law enforcement. - Wild Times! Pitch – Nick desperately pitches the bankers of Zootopia on funding Wild Times!, an amusement park made exclusively for the predators of Zootopia and a sure-fire, money-making scheme for Nick and his friends.  - Alternate Homesick Hopps – After a frustrating first day on the force, Judy has a conversation with her parents.  See how this scene changed from a heartfelt conversation with her parents to tough love when her parents discover their daughter is only a meter maid and not a “real cop.” - Detective Work – Judy borrows a fellow police officer’s computer to conduct research, which turns out to be no small task. - Alternate Jumbo Pop – In this early version of the story where Nick was the main character, the filmmakers and Jason Bateman were able to take hustling to a new level. - Hopps’ Apartment – When Judy’s entire family pays her a surprise visit they are shocked to discover the company she’s keeping. - The Taming Party – In this emotional clip from an early version of “Zootopia,” Judy attends her first “taming party” and gains a deeper understanding of the plight of the predator.

DVD: - Scoretopia - “Try Everything” Music Video by Shakira

DIGITAL HD EXCLUSIVE: - International Character Reel - See the variances in news reporters in Zootopia around the world!

Related home video titles:

Disney’s Robin Hood also features a fast-talking fox. And a conspiracy is uncovered after the American and British join forces in Cars 2 .

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Zootopia (2016) Review

Belittled outsider's journey.

Phil Brown

Here’s something unsurprising: Disney has made a new animated film starring talking animals about the importance of acceptance. Now, here’s something surprising: that movie is actually quite funny, creative, and treats the subject matter with moral complexity. It would have been so easy for Zootopia to fall into variety of formulaic traps and feel like every single Disney movie that’s ever been made before. Yet the filmmakers decided to get creative with their concept.

Sure, there are countless sequences that crack jokes about how silly it would be for animals to act like humans. But there are also some rather inspired gags and an intriguingly complex look at the issue of prejudice and how it’s just as big of a social sickness when coming frem the perspective of the oppressed as it is coming from the oppressors. Bet you didn’t see that coming! Oh yeah and it all ends with a horrible Shakira music video…but hey! You can’t have everything.

Zootopia (Movie) Review 2

Zootopia takes place in a world with anthropomorphized animals living together in one big glorious city. There are neighbourhoods of rain forests and arctic tundra. Some areas are oversized for elephants and some miniaturized for rodents. Long ago a truce was called between predator and prey that allows everyone to live together despite their natural instincts. Into this world wanders Ginnifer Goodwin’s bunny with dreams of becoming a cop. There’s long been discrimination against the tiniest and cutest of animals joining the police force, but thanks to a new inclusion program (as well as a remarkable amount of talent and hard work) she makes the team.

Unfortunately, her big bull boss ( Idris Elba ) doesn’t trust her to do anything more than traffic duty. Determined to prove herself as a cop, she starts independently tracking a mystery involving a variety of missing mammals throughout Zootopia. In fact, she even puts aside her natural prejudice towards foxes to team up with a particularly sly one (Jason Bateman) who knows the Zootopia underground well enough to be an ideal guide. Together their sleuthing uncovers a strange conspiracy that just might be causing predatory animals to revert to their basest instincts—something that causes the central partnership to fracture in obvious ways.

First up, Zootopia works wonderfully in all of the simple family fun ways that it’s been marketed. The animation is absolutely gorgeous and Zootopia itself is a beautifully realized world filled with opportunities for comedy, action, and insight that co-directors Bryon Howard ( Tangled ) and Rich Moore ( Wreck-It Ralph, The Simpsons ) milk for all they’re worth. The comedy is particularly sharp, with excellent voice performances from a variety of unexpected comedians and actors cast perfectly to type.

The humour varies from child friendly visual gags and wacky animal behaviour in a civilized context (the sloths/DMV sequences is destined to be remembered and replayed for many moons) as well as more adult friendly innuendo a pop culture references (I’ll bet you never thought there’d be a Breaking Bad joke in a Disney movie, right? Well, you were wrong). As pure pleasure mass entertainment, Zootopia delights just fine. Where it really shines is in its themes.

Zootopia (Movie) Review 5

In the early going Zootopia feels like it will merely be a straightforward tale of a belittled outsider learning to believe in herself and prove the masses wrong. The predator/prey, tiny/large animal dynamic breaks down simply and the filmmakers have plenty of fun playing out their human themes in an animal world (one discussion involving how bunnies can call each other cute, but no other animal should is particularly on point). Then as the story wears on, things get more complicated.

“ Zootopia feels like it will merely be a straightforward tale of a belittled outsider learning to believe in herself and prove the masses wrong”

Without getting too much into spoiler territory, the filmmakers explore how prejudice isn’t limited to any larger social group oppressing a minority, it’s something that everyone can be guilty of. That’s a pretty complicated exploration of a social issue for a Disney film, but one that the filmmakers cover with surprising depth and sensitivity. It’s great to see a Disney movie suggest that merely believing in yourself isn’t enough and that everyone can be culpable of prejudice if they aren’t self-aware. There’s a surprising even-handedness in the discussion that almost feels like South Park without the satire.

Zootopia (Movie) Review 3

Now all that being said, as fun and smart as Zootopia might be, it’s still a massive Disney product and beset by the usual limitations of that brand of crowd-pleasing family-friendly production. Many dusty jokes land with a thud (hey, did you know you can parody The Godfather ?!) , some of the CGI spectacle blurs into unnecessary noise, the detective plot gets a little too unnecessarily convoluted, and it all ends with an advertisement for a Shakira song that’s more than a little irritating. Still, you practically have to expect these limitations of a Disney animated blockbuster, almost like genre requirements. The fact that the movie works far more often than not and delivers such a complicated message is worth showering with praise. This is Disney animation at its best, for better or worse.

Given that Zootopia is coming out in a time when a US presidential candidate is running with a campaign based on hate and irrational internet outrage over cultural sensitivity makes rational debate nearly impossible, Zootopia feels oddly like a movie of the moment. It’s strange to say that about a Disney family feature and given the loooooong production schedule of any CGI feature, there’s no way the filmmakers intended to make a movie of the moment. Yet, somehow it happened and that’s worth celebrating. Even if you aren’t a child or have access to one to take to the theater, Zootopia is actually worth checking out. In fact, it’s even a rather special achievement.

Final Thoughts

Phil Brown

Phil Brown is a film critic, comedy writer, and filmmaker who can be found haunting theaters and video stores throughout Toronto.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, CGMagazine may earn a commission. However, please know this does not impact our reviews or opinions in any way. See our ethics statement.

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Zootopia

  • In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.
  • From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder. — Jwelch5742
  • From the biggest elephant to the tiniest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a beautiful metropolis where all animals live peacefully with one another. Determined to prove her worth, Judy Hopps becomes the first official bunny cop on the police force. When 14 predator animals go missing, Judy immediately takes the case. Partnering with a smooth talking fox named Nick Wilde, Judy must piece together all the clues as to where the predators are and who is behind it all. — Blazer346
  • Being the first one is never easy, especially for Judy Hopps, the first bunny cop. When strange things happen in the city, Judy decides that she will try to solve the case, but she only has 48 hours to do so. To help her, she partners with a con artist fox named Nick Wilde, even though he makes the job harder. — Aken Purnomo
  • In a world where animals have no intention of eating each other, a little bunny named Judy Hopps who grew up on a farm leaves her family to pursue her dreams of being the first bunny cop in Zootopia. While there, she runs into a con artist fox named Nick Wilde, and they have to work together after an incident threatens Zootopia.
  • In the town of Bunnyburrow, 9 year old bunny, Judy Hopps ( Della Saba ) is performing in a school play. Her theme explains that animals, once primitive and wild, have now evolved to where predators and prey can live side by side in harmony. The founding mammal city, Zootopia, is hailed as a place where anyone can be anything. Judy then announces that she wants to be a police officer. A kid fox in the audience, Gideon Grey ( Phil Johnston ), sneers at the idea and even Judy's parents, Bonnie and Stu ( Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake ) tell her that there's never been a bunny officer. However, Judy is willing to try against all odds. When Judy sees Gideon bullying some kids by taking their fair tickets she boldly confronts him, but Gideon responds by taunting Judy's dreams and slashing her in the face. He leaves and, though she's hurt, Judy shows her friends the tickets she got back and declares that she doesn't know when to quit. Years later Judy attends the Zootopia Police Academy. Judy is tiny compared to the other recruits and faces difficulties managing the obstacle courses run by the drill sergeant ( Fuschia! ). But through sheer determination, and by using her wits, Judy makes it to graduation as valedictorian. Zootopia Mayor Lionheart ( J.K. Simmons ) oversees the ceremony and Assistant Mayor Bellwether ( Jenny Slate ), a sheep, formally congratulates Judy as the first bunny police officer, saying it's a big day for all small animals. She is assigned to Precinct 1 in the heart of Zootopia, much to the apprehension of her parents. A few days after, Judy, her parents, and many siblings head to the train station. Stu convinces Judy to take a can of fox repellent with her before she gets on the train to Zootopia. Judy listens to a hit by pop singer, Gazelle ( Shakira ), as she zooms through the diverse districts of the city, from the frozen tundra to the sultry rainforest. She finds her apartment, a run-down single room with a rickety bed, paper-thin walls, and two noisy neighbors, Bucky and Pronk Oryx-Antlerson ( Byron Howard and Jared Bush ). Despite this, she's all to excited for her first day. She gets up bright and early and makes it to the police station where she is directed to role call by the pudgy desk sergeant, a cheetah named Benjamin Clawhauser ( Nate Torrence ). All the other officers (elephants, rhinos, hippos, and bears) tower over Judy. Police Chief Bogo ( Idris Elba ) calls them to order and explains their first priority is handling the case of fourteen missing animals; all predators. Bogo divides everyone into teams but assigns Judy to parking duty. Judy is disappointed but sets her standards high and uses her sharp ears to help her write 200 tickets before noon. Around then, she notices a fox who appears to be up to something enter a local ice cream shop run by Jerry Jumbeaux Jr. ( John DiMaggio ). Though suspicious at first, Judy then sees the fox, Nick Wilde ( Jason Bateman ), is just trying to purchase a jumbo-pop for his son who is wearing an elephant costume. Jerry refuses service to the fox with sneering bigotry and this angers Judy who steps in and proposes a compromise; she'll let the elephants off with a warning for the health code violation of serving ice cream without gloves on their trunks if Nick can have a jumbo-pop. When Nick confesses he doesn't have his wallet, and apologizes to his son for the worst birthday, Judy goes further and pays for the treat. She tells Nick she can't stand it when people are mistreated for being predators or prey and walks away with a spring in her step, happy to have helped someone in need. Later that day, Judy is writing more tickets when she notices the little fox in his elephant suit. She approaches to say hello but then notices that he and Nick are melting the jumbo-pop from the roof of a building and letting the drippings collect in large jars. They drive away together, with the little fox at the wheel. Judy follows them into Tundratown and sees them making mini pops with the melted juice. They take them into the Savannah District and sell them to hamsters coming out of work. The hamsters chomp on the pops and leave the sticks in a recycling bin. The little fox collects the sticks and he and Nick take them to a construction zone in Little Rodentia where they're sold as lumber. Later, Nick and his 'son', a full-grown fennec fox named Finnick ( Tom Lister Jr. ), part ways and Judy confronts Nick. Nick doesn't deny that he's a hustler but provides Judy with all the paperwork he needs to make his endeavors technically legal and humbles her by saying that the city is not a magical land where dreams come true and a meter maid can never be a real cop. Judy returns to her apartment, sullen, and bears through an inadvertently insulting call from her parents who are thoughtlessly relieved to see she is not a "real cop" in their eyes and has instead the safest job on the force. The next day, Judy is writing more tickets and enduring unending verbal abuse from the citizenry for her duty when she is approached by a frantic pig ( Josh Dallas ) who tells her he's just been robbed. Judy springs into action and chases the thieving weasel ( Alan Tudyk ) through the city square and into Little Rodentia. During the chase, in which Judy has to take considerable pains to avoid accidental harm to the tiny citizenry and their property, Duke kicks a plastic doughnut from a shop toward Judy and it nearly crushes a lady shrew, but Judy stops it in the nick of time and uses the doughnut to apprehend the weasel. Judy rolls him into the station but is called to Bogo's office. He reprimands her for leaving her post and endangering the public to retrieve a bag of moldy onions. Judy objects, saying that the 'onions' are actually flower bulbs called Midnicampum holicithias and that she only wanted to serve as a real cop. However, Chief Bogo responds that she had her orders as a parking attendant and disobeyed them, making a political appointee like her intolerable to him. Just then, an otter named Mrs. Otterton ( Octavia Spencer ) barges in, begging Chief Bogo to find her husband, Emmitt, who has been missing for ten days. Bogo offers empty assurances until Judy steps up and promises to find him. Bogo escorts Mrs. Otterton out of the office before firing Judy for insubordination. However, when he opens the door again, he finds Mrs. Otterton speaking with Assistant Mayor Bellwether who promptly sends a notice to the mayor about Judy's willingness to take the case and tells Judy to come to her for any assistance. Bogo reluctantly allows Judy to take the case but gives her a 48 hour ultimatum; she finds the otter or resigns. Judy agrees. At the front desk, Clawhauser gives Judy the case file but there are no leads or witnesses and, since she's new, she has no technological resources. However, Judy notices in the lone photograph they have that Emmitt is eating a familiar looking popsicle. She locates Nick on the streets and demands his help but he refuses. When she says his ten dollars' worth of mini pops can wait, he claims to have made two hundred a day since he was twelve. Judy records Nick on her carrot pen recorder and puts his own words against his tax files which show he's claimed zero income. Judy says she'll report him for tax evasion, a federal offense, unless he helps her. Finnick, who was asleep in the stroller Nick was pushing, laughs at the reverse hustle and wishes Nick good luck working with the fuzz before walking off. Nick takes Judy to Mystic Springs Oasis, the last place he saw Otterton going. They're met by a yak named Yax ( Tommy Chong ), doing yoga behind a desk. He recognizes Mr. Otterton but says he hasn't seen him in a couple of weeks. He then takes them into the oasis to find Emmitt's yoga instructor, an elephant named Nangi ( Gita Reddy ), and Judy is shocked to find the oasis is a haven for naturalists; nude animals. Nangi has no memory of Otterton, but Yax unwittingly gives Judy all the information she needs, including the plate number for the car Otterton was picked up in the last time he was there. Nick says he has a friend at the DMV who can help them run the plate number. There, Judy is disheartened to see that the DMV is run solely by sloths. Nick's friend, Flash ( Raymond S. Persi ) is able to run the plate number for them but, naturally, takes forever to do so. This isn't helped when Nick, in an attempt to push Judy's buttons, delays them with a joke. By the time they exit, it's nighttime. Judy finds out the car in question is a limo in Tundratown but, by the time she and Nick arrive, the lot's closed. Without a warrant, Judy cannot get in. Defeated, she holds out her recording pen to Nick but flings it over the fence. Nick goes to retrieve it and Judy meets him on the other side, slyly saying that she doesn't need a warrant if she has probable cause - and a shifty-looking fox climbing over the gate qualifies. They locate the limo and search it, finding polar bear fur, claw marks all over the back seat, and Otterton's wallet. Then, Nick recognizes an insignia on a drinking glass and panics; he knows who's car this is. When they open the car door to leave they're confronted by a couple of polar bears who shove them into a car. Squeezed in the back seat between two polar bears, Nick explains that the car belongs to a thug boss named Mr. Big with whom he's not on good terms because Nick sold him an expensive rug made from the fur of a skunk's butt. Nick and Judy are brought into a study where Mr. Big ( Maurice LaMarche ), a shrew, is carried in by his polar bear guards. He berates Nick for tarnishing his trust and the hospitality of his grandmother who he recently buried in the skunk rug, and scolds him for returning on the day of his daughter's wedding. Unafraid, Judy steps forward and tells Mr. Big that she knows Emmitt Otterton was with him last and will find out what happened to him if it's the last thing she does. Unfazed, Mr. Big orders his bears to 'ice' Nick and Judy and they're held over a trap door in the floor that reveals icy water. Mr. Big's daughter, Fru Fru ( Leah Latham ), then walks in wearing her wedding dress and recognizes Judy as the bunny that saved her the previous day from being crushed by the doughnut. In gratitude, Mr. Big releases Judy and Nick and invites them to Fru Fru's wedding reception where he explains that Otterton was his florist but, before meeting with him to discuss something important, went crazy in the limo he sent, attacked his driver, and disappeared. Mr. Big directs them to speak with the driver, Manchas ( Jesse Corti ), in the Rainforest District for more information. Manchas, a melanistic jaguar, cracks open the door when Nick and Judy arrive, showing scratches all over his face and acting fearful. He tells them that Otterton kept talking about the 'night howlers' before he went wild and savagely attacked him. Nick says they're there to talk about the night howlers too and Manchas agrees to let them in but, just after he unlocks the chain, Judy and Nick hear him groan followed by a thud. They push the door open to see Manchas on all fours, growling viciously at them. Nick and Judy run for their lives, pursued closely by Manchas. Judy manages to call for backup as she and Nick tumble and fall through the slick canopy. Finally, Judy is able to cuff Manchas to a light pole near a gondola station and throws herself and Nick off it into some vines away from the jaguar's claws. They meet up with the responding police units and Judy explains to Chief Bogo that she believes Manchas, like Otterton, went 'savage'. However, when she takes them back to the gondola station, Manchas is gone. Bogo, irritated and not believing Judy's story demands her to hand over her badge for failing to complete her assignment, but Nick stands up for Judy. He says that Bogo gave them 48 hours, which means they have ten left to find Otterton. He takes Judy onto a gondola and they leave. Over the rainforest, Nick explains that he was idealistic like Judy once. As a kid, he wanted nothing more than to join the Junior Ranger Scouts. His mother bought him a new uniform and he was excited to become part of the group, despite the fact that he was the only predator to join. Upon arriving, however, the other animals bullied and muzzled him, saying that he was stupid for thinking they'd trust a fox. After that day he decided he would never let anyone see that they had gotten to him and if people only thought of foxes as shifty and untrustworthy, then that's what he would be. Judy consoles him but Nick deflects from her affections by looking at traffic below. He then realizes that there are traffic cameras all over the canopy and they can use them to find out where Manchas was taken. Judy recalls that Assistant Mayor Bellwether offered to help them. They meet her at City Hall and she takes them to her office which is nothing more than a janitor's closet. Despite her upbeat personality, it's no secret that she's woefully mistreated by the Mayor. She opens the database for the Rainforest District traffic cameras before being called away by Lionheart. Judy and Nick find the footage of Manchas and see that he was netted and hauled away by timber wolves. Judy realizes that the wolves must be the Night Howlers. They watch as the wolves' van drives through a tunnel but fails to come out the other side. Nick says that there's a maintenance tunnel and, if he were to do anything illegal, that's the route he'd take to avoid observation. They relocate the van and go to where it was headed - an old building outside of town called Cliffside Asylum. Nick and Judy make it past the guards by inciting a group howl; something the wolves can't resist. Inside, they find new equipment in an old hospital ward. Following claw marks on the floor, they find fifteen cells inhabited by various predators, all feral and savage, including Manchas and Mr. Otterton. Judy realizes she's just found all of the missing mammals but, just then, Mayor Lionheart enters with a badger doctor ( Katie Lowes ). Judy and Nick hide in an empty cell and Judy records Lionheart as he demands to know why predators are going savage. The doctor has no answer and says that they must come forward to Chief Bogo but the Mayor refuses, saying his reputation as a predator official is at stake. At that moment, Judy's phone rings with a call from her parents. Lionheart is startled and the doctor orders security to investigate before locking off the wing. Nick and Judy escape by flushing themselves down a toilet just before the guards arrive and they manage to get the evidence Judy recorded back to Bogo. The ZPD arrive at the asylum and place everyone, including the Mayor, under arrest. Lionheart protests that they still don't know why predators are going savage and he was trying to protect the public. Later, Chief Bogo, deeply impressed at Hopp's achievement, holds a press conference where Judy gives Nick her pen recorder and offers him the chance to sign up as her partner. Nick is flattered and watches as Judy is called to the stand to answer some questions. Judy starts simple, mentioning that all the savage mammals are predators, but when pressed as to why, she speculates that it could be something to do with their DNA. As predators, the inflicted may have reverted back to their primal origins. The reporters go into a frenzy before Bellwether shuts down the conference. Judy is relieved to be off the podium but Nick is angered by what she said. Judy says she was just stating facts but Nick asks her if a fox such as himself should indeed be trusted. When he raises his arms, asking if Judy is afraid of him, she instinctively puts her hand on her fox repellent. He hands her back the application, telling her that it's best she doesn't have a predator for a partner, before leaving. A wedge is driven between the predator and prey populations, with prey acting fearful against all predators. Gazelle hosts a peaceful protest against discrimination, despite backlash, and savage attacks continue in the city as more predators go primal. Judy feels responsible for the ensuing tensions between the animals and goes to see Mrs. Otterton where she's watching Emmitt meander mindlessly in his hospital room. At the police station, Judy is summoned by Bogo to see the new mayor, Bellwether. Bellwether explains that with the population in Zootopia being 90% prey, she wants Judy as the face of the ZPD to inspire hope. But Judy claims that she's no hero and says she's done the opposite of what she wanted; to make the world a better place. She says a good cop should help the city, not tear it apart, and hands over her badge before leaving. Judy returns to Bunnyburrow where she manages her parent's vegetable stand. She wonders aloud to them how she ever thought she could make a difference but they console her as a pie truck pulls up. As the driver, a grown Gideon Grey, gets out, Judy's parents explain that they've partnered up with him and never would have done so had Judy not opened their eyes. Gideon apologizes to Judy for what he did when he was younger, stating that his own insecurities manifested into unchecked rage, but Judy forgives him and says she knows a thing or two about being a jerk. Just then, some bunny children run through the field behind them and Judy's father warns them to stay away from the growing Midnicampum holicithias near the edge. Gideon laughs and says his family just called them night howlers. Judy perks up at this and her father explains that the flowers keep away pests but are toxic. His brother Terry ate one and went into a rage, biting Judy's mother. Judy realizes that the night howlers weren't the wolves - they were flowers. Not only that, but they make animals go savage. She grabs the keys to the truck and races back to Zootopia. She finds Finnick and he points her to Nick, sitting in the sun beside a small bridge. Judy runs up to him and reveals the truth about the night howlers but he walks away. Desperate, Judy apologizes to him and says she needs his help. She begins to cry and admits that she was a jerk to him and really is a dumb bunny as he once said. Nick doesn't seem to react until he replays a recording of her repentance and holds up her pen recorder enabling that and smiles, saying he'll erase it after 48 hours, before embracing a profoundly relieved Judy. They climb into the truck and Nick helps himself to some of Judy's blueberries while she shows him a picture of the weasel thief she caught stealing the Midnicampum holicithias; Duke Weaselton. They find him on a street corner selling bootleg DVDs such as 'Wrangled', 'Pig Hero 6', and 'Meowana'. Judy confronts him and demands to know what he was doing with the night howler flower bulbs, but he says he won't talk. Judy and Nick smile slyly and take the weasel to Mr. Big. Duke is incredulous as to why Mr. Big would help a cop, but Mr. Big smiles and says Judy is the godmother of his future grandchild. A very pregnant Fru Fru says she's going to name her daughter after Judy. On threat of being iced, Duke relents and confesses he sold bulbs to a ram named Doug who works out of an abandoned rail station. Nick and Judy follow the directions to a rusty subway car underground. They sneak inside and find Doug ( Rich Moore ) in a yellow jumpsuit preparing the blue flowers and harvesting them chemically to produce a serum which he puts into fragile pellets. He loads a pellet into a gun as his phone rings, telling him his next mark is a cheetah in Sahara Square. He assures the caller he can make the hit since he was able to get an otter in a moving car. He places the gun in a briefcase and goes to answer a knock at the back of the car, saying that Woolter and Jesse have come back with coffee. Judy takes the opportunity to knock Doug out of the car and locks the door before ordering Nick to get the car moving. With some finagling, they're able to start it and the car moves down the track, slowly gaining speed. Judy is intent on bringing the evidence to police headquarters but two rams jump onto the moving car. They manage to knock Jesse off the car inside the tunnel, grazing him as he hugs the wall and shaving his belly pink. Woolter head-butts his way into the front of the car as they make their way outside but they soon face another oncoming train. Judy tells Nick to speed up and kicks Woolter into a switch lever just in time, but they are traveling too fast around the next curve and the car derails into the next empty station. Judy and Nick jump from the car as the friction causes it to go up in flames and watch from the platform as it explodes. Judy thinks all the evidence is destroyed but Nick holds up the briefcase with the gun inside. They run upstairs out of the station and into the Natural History Museum, empty due to renovations. As they near the exit toward the police station they are called from behind by Mayor Bellwether, accompanied by two rams in police uniform. Bellwether thanks Judy for discovering the perpetrators behind the predator conspiracy and reaches for the briefcase but Judy wonders aloud how she knew where to find them. They edge toward the exit but are blocked by a disheveled Woolter. Realizing Bellwether was behind the plot all along, Judy and Nick run and attempt to hide down a corridor. Along the way Judy runs into a protruding mammoth tusk and cuts her leg. Nick pulls a handkerchief out of his pocket, blueberries spilling everywhere, and bandages Judy's leg but she tells him to leave her since she can't walk. They try to think of something as they are surrounded by the sheep. Bellwether calls out to Judy, saying that in the city prey outnumber predators 10 to 1. They need to band together to end their mistreatment against the more powerful and loud predators and, once united, will be unstoppable. Judy and Nick run for it but are knocked into a sunken diorama and Nick drops the briefcase. Bellwether retrieves it and looks down on Nick and Judy before taking aim with the gun and shooting Nick. The blue solution covers his neck and he trembles while Bellwether calls the police and feigns alarm, saying Officer Judy is down and being attacked by a savage fox. Judy tells Bellwether her plan won't work as Nick advances on her, growling. Bellwether says that fear always works and, with a predisposition to savagery, predators will be forced out of Zootopia and she'll dart every one to keep it that way. Nick then lunges at Judy and puts his jaws around her neck, but just as quickly releases her as Judy puts on a dramatic performance. Nick and Judy then reveal they switched out the serum in the gun with blueberries and have recorded everything Bellwether said on Judy's pen recorder. Horrified, Bellwether backs up to flee only to be stopped and arrested by the responding ZPD. On the news, an anchor reads that Bellwether was charged for masterminding the savage predator conspiracy. Former Mayor Lionheart gives an interview where he says he didn't know about Bellwether's plot and only caged the savage predators to protect the city, citing he did a wrong thing for the right reasons. It is announced that an antidote has been created with positive effects. Judy goes to the hospital where she sees Emmitt Otterton recovering and embracing his concerned wife. Months later, Judy, a police officer again and much wizened by her experience, addresses the new police academy graduates, one of them being Nick Wilde. She says, "When I was a kid, I thought Zootopia was this perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, real life's a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes, which means...hey, glass half full! We all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. No matter what type of animal you are, from the biggest elephant to our first fox, I implore you: Try. Try to make a difference. Try to make the world a better place. Try to look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with all of us." Nick approaches the stage and Judy pins on his cop badge. The next day, Chief Bogo hands out assignments, giving Nick and Judy the task of catching a hot-rodder tearing up the roads downtown. Judy and Nick come across the speeder in their patrol car and pull him over, surprised to see Flash the sloth behind the wheel. Flash smiles slyly at Nick and the credits roll as Gazelle (Shakira) performs 'Try Everything' at a concert in Zootopia with everyone in attendance save for Bellwether who watches the show on TV from prison.

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movie reviews zootopia

Jason Bateman (Nick Wilde) Rolando Davila-Beltran (Red Panda Crosswalker) Ginnifer Goodwin (Judy Hopps)

Young rabbit Judy Hopps becomes a cop in a big city. After a disappointing first day, she meets con-artist fox Nick Wilde. Together they uncover Dawn Bellwether's plan to divide the city and team up.

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Screen Rant

Shrew from zootopia: why the godfather-like disney villain is darker than you think.

The shrew from Zootopia is not some timid rodent, Mr. Big is the most fearsome and respected crime boss in the city, so why is he a diminutive mammal?

  • Mr. Big in Zootopia is a clever parody of powerful mob bosses, with his tiny Arctic shrew species symbolizing his vicious nature.
  • The character's references to The Godfather and mafia movie cliches add humor and depth to his portrayal in the film.
  • Fru Fru, Mr. Big's daughter, is a parody of The Real Housewives, adding another layer of pop culture humor to the story.

The shrew from Zootopia is named Mr. Big and there's a reason the diminutive animal was picked to represent a violent and powerful underworld boss. The Disney animated buddy (bunny) cop film Zootopia is packed with inside jokes and clever references that reward watching the film and pausing on certain scenes just to get a laugh or reference the animators and writers managed to squeeze in. Zootopia pulls from both Disney's own expansive catalog of movies and film history to parody without distracting from the main story.

When officer Judy Hopps volunteers to investigate the disappearance of Emmitt Otterton, she coerces Nick Wilde, a common crook, to take her to the place Emmitt was last seen: Mr. Big's car. After being captured by polar bears, Judy is surprised to discover that the sinister and powerful head of this major crime family is a tiny Arctic shrew. Despite almost being frozen in ice by the crime boss at first, Judy and Nick gain his confidence and the powerful mafia-like figure becomes an ally. While the characterization of Mr. Big is obvious, the choice of animal is less so.

Zootopia 2: Release Date, Story & Everything We Know

The zootopia director made mr. big a shrew because they're "the most vicious predators on earth".

Mr. Big's species, an Arctic shrew, is juxtaposed against his large polar bear bodyguards to great comedic effect, and even Judy is shocked when she figures out his real identity. Zootopia director Rich Moore explained to CinemaBlend why he and his staff went with an Arctic shrew to play Mr. Big,

"We chose the shrew because, through our research that we did about animals, we found out that the arctic shrew is the most vicious predator on earth. It’s true, that little tiny shrew needs to eat three times its body weight to stay alive. So that means, if you put four shrews in a bucket tonight, when you get home, if you cover that bucket, you come back in the morning, you’re going to find one fat shrew. So, find four shrews on your way home tonight, get a bucket, you’re going to love what you find in the morning."

As far as animal facts go, that is one of the more grizzly, but it perfectly explains why Mr. Big is a shrew. Only an animal so vicious it would eat its own kind in a pinch, would be capable of intimidating even polar bears into working for him.

This shrew-like viciousness gets put on display every other couple of lines by Mr. Big, who is fond of snarling " Ice 'em ", whenever someone bothers him. With a trapdoor to a near-freezing pond in front of his desk, there's no doubt Mr. Big has gone through with his threat many times before. This mafia-like " sleeping with the fishes " idiom is just one way Mr. Big is a parody of mobsters, specifically those found in the Godfather movies. With his bushy eyebrows and whispy voice, Mr. Big is a clear reference to Don Corleone and even quotes him .

When Judy and Nick first meet Mr. Big, he is insulted that they would accuse him of harming Emmitt on his daughter's wedding day, which is how The Godfather starts, with Connie Corleone's wedding. References to respected matriarchs and lively Italian music make the mafia movie parody blatantly clear.

Mr. Big's Daughter Fru Fru Is Also A Parody — Of The Real Housewives

Mr. Big isn't the only pop culture parody in the family. His daughter, Fru Fru, is a reference to The Real Housewives reality TV franchise. Fru Fru is the one that saves Judy and Nick from being "iced" when she goes to ask her father to dance during her wedding and recognizes Judy as having saved her life earlier in the film. With her bouffant-style hair, demand for a lavish wedding, gaggle of doting friends, and love of shopping, Fru Fru is the perfect reality TV parody to go along with her father in Zootopia .

The Disney+ series Zootopia+ expands on The Real Housewives parody in episode 2, titled "The Real Rodents of Little Rodentia". Shot in documentary format, Fru Fru fights with her friends during wedding planning, just like in the reality show she's parodying, though Zootopia 's Fru Fru makes up with everyone at the end, a rarity in The Real Housewives .

Watch on Disney+

Disney's Zootopia takes place in the titular city, a place where anthropomorphic animals peacefully coexist. Following Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a rabbit,  as she strikes up an unlikely partnership with a con artist fox (Jason Bateman). Working together, the pair discover a criminal conspiracy that involves the disappearance of predators, and follow it all the way to the heart of the city.

Deadline

‘Zootopia 2' Lands 2025 Theatrical Release, ‘Alien' Movie Gets Title

Sundries coming out of Disney CEO Bob Iger's Q1 earnings call:

Zootopia 2 is hitting cinemas over the Thanksgiving break on November 26, 2025. The 2016 first movie grossed more than $1 billion and won the Oscar for Best Animated Film.

20th Century Studios' Alien reboot movie from Fede Alvarez is now known as Alien: Romulus. Here is pic's blurb: Young people from a distant world must face the most terrifying life form in the universe. The movie is still set for Aug. 16 this year and stars Priscilla's Cailee Spaeny, Isabela Merced, Aileen Wu, Spike Fearn, David Jonsson and Archie Renaux. The new feature creature from outer space movie is not connected to the FX series that Noah Hawley is behind .

Also as Iger mentioned, Moana 2 , assembled from a Disney+ series , will be hitting cinemas on November 27 this year. Disney already had that holiday five-day stretch on reserve for a family animated movie.

More from Deadline

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  • ‘Moana 2' Is Happening In November, Disney's Bob Iger Says
  • Kelly Rowland Praises Jay-Z After Calling Out Grammys For Beyoncé Snubs: "His Words Ring So Loud To Me"

‘Zootopia 2' Lands 2025 Theatrical Release, ‘Alien' Movie Gets Title

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Marvel favorites, Jack Skellington, Dolly Parton, and more Funko Pops you can only score at Amazon

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movie reviews zootopia

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  2. Review: Disney's 'Zootopia' is a must-see that rivals the greatness of

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  3. ‘Zootopia’ Review: Disney’s Most Important and Political Film

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  6. Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)

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COMMENTS

  1. Zootopia movie review & film summary (2016)

    It might seem weird that I'm dwelling on this aspect of "Zootopia," which is directed by Byron Howard & Rich Moore and co-directed by Jared Bush, because the movie is entertaining. The thriller plot, which borrows rather generously from "48 HRS" and every cop drama involving governmental conspiracy, is smartly shaped It's hard to ...

  2. Zootopia

    Audience Reviews for Zootopia. Dec 29, 2017. A little wonder of an animated film that refuses to stick to characters constantly doing slapstick, singing or dancing but instead tells a coherent cop ...

  3. Zootopia Movie Review

    Our review: Parents say ( 186 ): Kids say ( 310 ): Clever and heartwarming, this animated adventure is equal parts buddy-cop comedy, fish-out-of-water tale, and whodunit mystery. With its vibrant visuals and simple but evocative storyline, Zootopia is a talking-animal pic worth watching with the whole family.

  4. Zootopia

    Full Review | Original Score: 7/10 | Dec 5, 2020. Danielle Solzman. Zootopia is the rare animated Disney film that feels like it was made for adults almost as much as children. Full Review ...

  5. 'Zootopia' Review: Disney's Latest Animal Kingdom

    Film Review: 'Zootopia'. Disney offers a decades-later correction to 'Song of the South,' in which rabbits and foxes have a chance to live together in relative harmony. By Peter Debruge ...

  6. Zootopia (2016)

    Zootopia is a 3D animation movie produced by Walt Disney. Zootopia is a big city over there. Like its name, this city contains all animal characters such a zoo as well. We can find so many animal characters here and of course they bring their own characteristics. They are rabbits, foxes, goats, sheeps, wolfs, lion, sheep, rhinoceros, and any ...

  7. 'Zootopia': Film Review

    Movies; Movie Reviews 'Zootopia': Film Review. The energetic voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman and Idris Elba lend life to Disney's amusing animated menagerie. By Michael Rechtshaffen.

  8. Review: In 'Zootopia,' an Intrepid Bunny Chases Her Dreams

    Funny, smart, thought-provoking — and musical, too. Shakira provides the voice of a pop star named Gazelle, and her vocals complete the package appealingly. "Zootopia" is rated PG (Parental ...

  9. Zootopia

    The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it's a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps arrives, she discovers ...

  10. Zootopia Review

    Verdict. Zootopia is a wonderful example of how Disney, at its best, can mix its past and present together in a very cool, compelling way. It takes the classic animation trope of animals walking ...

  11. Review: 'Zootopia' is a beastly good time

    March 3, 2016 4:20 PM PT. Bursting with a rich blend of timely themes, superb voice work, wonderful visuals and laugh-out-loud wit, Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" is quite simply ...

  12. Movie Review: ZOOTOPIA : NPR

    Movie Review: ZOOTOPIA Disney's latest talking-animal picture is a surprisingly deft film about prejudice and divisiveness that manages to avoid the heaviness that delivering a message can bring ...

  13. Zootopia Review

    Zootopia runs 108 minutes and is Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action. Now playing in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D theaters. Let us know what you thought of the film in the comment section below. Zootopia is filled with lovable characters and a heartfelt message for kids, along with a layered subtext for adults, that is both timely ...

  14. Zootopia Review at ComingSoon.net

    Zootopia Review: On the surface, Zootopia is perfectly enjoyable, riffing on cop movies of the 1980s, featuring cute animals and full of witty humor. But dig a little deeper, and there is a ...

  15. 'Zootopia' Movie Review

    Disney's new animated movie 'Zootopia' may be the most subversive movie of the year — read Peter Travers' rave review.

  16. Zootopia

    Movie Review. Judy Hopps was always what you might call a go-getter. You could even say she was an eager beaver, if that didn't sound so offensive to less-industrious semiaquatic rodents. ... She was to be the first bunny cop in the big city of Zootopia! Of course, even that plum assignment had its share of frustrating toe stubs and tail tugs ...

  17. Film Review: Zootopia

    March 3, 2016 | 2:00pm ET. Zootopia might not be the best of Disney's recent in-house movies, but it's easily the most political film the Mouse House has turned out in a good while. Just in time for an especially bitter American campaign season, here's a movie about the dangers of ignorance and institutional discrimination. But you know ...

  18. Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)

    All things considered, Zootopia is a wonderful experience for all ages. I can't recommend this film enough, for its wit and imagination, its clear-storytelling that intertwines micro and macro goals, its laudable message about the importance of tolerance and diversity, and most of all because it makes me happy. Critical Movie Critic Rating:

  19. Zootopia

    Zootopia. Rating: PG. Release Date: March 4, 2016. Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a comedy-adventure set in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. Determined to prove herself, Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on Zootopia's police force, jumps at the chance to crack her first case - even ...

  20. Parent reviews for Zootopia

    This is not a sweet, cute little story about bunnies and foxes. There's crime, violence and a lot of action. It's like a big kid action movie. This movie certainly is not a classic in my opinion, but it wasn't terrible. Just know that tiny kids might not enjoy it. This title has: Great messages. Great role models.

  21. Zootopia Movie Review for Parents

    Why is Zootopia rated PG? Zootopia is rated PG by the MPAA for some thematic elements, rude humor and action. Violence: This animated movie portrays animal characters with human traits, sometimes in violent situations. Characters engage in verbal confrontation and there are infrequent portrayals of hand-to-hand and weapons violence.

  22. Zootopia Review

    Premiere Date: 03/01/1970. Runtime: 108 min. Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy. Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba. MPAA Rating: PG. Review Score: 8.5. Here's something ...

  23. Zootopia (2016)

    Synopsis. In the town of Bunnyburrow, 9 year old bunny, Judy Hopps ( Della Saba) is performing in a school play. Her theme explains that animals, once primitive and wild, have now evolved to where predators and prey can live side by side in harmony. The founding mammal city, Zootopia, is hailed as a place where anyone can be anything.

  24. Zootopia 2 (2025)

    Film Movie Reviews Zootopia 2 — 2025. Zootopia 2. 2025. Adventure/Animation/Comedy. Cast. Jason Bateman (Nick Wilde) Rolando Davila-Beltran (Red Panda Crosswalker) Ginnifer Goodwin (Judy Hopps)

  25. Shrew From Zootopia: Why The Godfather-Like Disney Villain Is Darker

    The shrew from Zootopia is named Mr. Big and there's a reason the diminutive animal was picked to represent a violent and powerful underworld boss. The Disney animated buddy (bunny) cop film Zootopia is packed with inside jokes and clever references that reward watching the film and pausing on certain scenes just to get a laugh or reference the animators and writers managed to squeeze in ...

  26. 'Zootopia 2' Release Date Set For Fall 2025

    The first Zootopia movie made over $1 billion dollars at the global box office when it was released in theaters back in 2016, with the property instantly becoming a priority for the studio.

  27. 'Zootopia 2' Set for Release in 2025

    Ready to go back to "Zootopia?" Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the sequel as part of the investors' call and the studio announced a November 2025 release date. The original film followed Judy Hopps ...

  28. 'Zootopia 2' Lands 2025 Theatrical Release, 'Alien' Movie ...

    Sundries coming out of Disney CEO Bob Iger's Q1 earnings call: Zootopia 2 is hitting cinemas over the Thanksgiving break on November 26, 2025. The 2016 first movie grossed more than $1 billion and ...

  29. Disney CEO Bob Iger Admits to Secretly Canceling Movies

    "Looking to our 2025 theatrical slate, we're excited to bring audiences Captain America: Brave New World and Fantastic Four for Marvel, Pixar has Zootopia 2, and then there's Avatar 3," Iger ...

  30. These 12 Funko Pops are only available at Amazon

    Funko Pop collectors will want to check out these Amazon-exclusive figures. We rounded up the 12 best Funko Pops shoppers can only find at Amazon, including a newly-released Dolly Parton Funko Pop ...