'Zootopia' - Movie Review

There's been a surge in the last 15 years of kids movies loaded with jokes targeting the adults in the audience. I think it started with "Shrek," which doesn't get enough credit: it was a ground-breaking movie, even if we're all tired of it and its main characters by now. "Zootopia" is the pinnacle of this trend: parents will be rolling in the aisles with their kids.

The first scene in the movie shows us our heroine Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) in a junior school performance, blatantly setting up and explaining much of what's to come: she has a flair for the dramatic, all animals live in peace (predators no longer eat prey, although it isn't explained what they do eat), Zootopia is a very big city where anybody can be anything they want, and she (a rabbit) wants to be a policewoman. But in this movie, even the blatant setup is funny, and it only gets funnier. They thought a lot about the visual design of just about everything: it's beautiful to look at, there are bits of weird logic that make you think "hey, that's right, I guess they'd have to ..." but it's already zoomed by as another visual gag comes and goes so fast you don't have time to appreciate it before the next one hits. The movie is a two hour long lesson in tolerance and accommodation - it's not subtle about that - but it's done with heart and a huge dose of humour. And the jokes never stop, including digs at a variety of other Disney properties. Even the closing credits are fun: they're set at a "Gazelle" concert (singing voice provided by Shakira), with many of the main characters in attendance, dancing and doing silly things.

Compare this to "Deadpool" which I watched three weeks ago. Equally hilarious film, but "Zootopia" has achieved the same level of humour without violence, swearing, nudity, or kid-inappropriate behaviour. Quite an achievement. As a corporation, I'm not much of a fan of Disney. As a fan of movies ... this is one of the funniest movies of the year and I'd recommend you lay hands on it as soon as you can.