“Zootopia” may end up meaning more to you than it will to most children.
The kids are going to have a great time. They will have plenty of laughs and excitement. They will cheer with delight and quote all of their favorite lines until their parents go insane.
But you might just find yourself doing something far different. You might be forced to think.
“Zootopia” presents a world where animals have been civilized into a human-like society where all of them intermingle without fear of any of the predator and prey relationships that currently exist in the animal kingdom. The overall goal of this society is to strive for peace and equality among the wildly diverse population.
And yet, there is an unfortunately stubborn and vocal pocket of narrow-minded animals who are still caught up on ignorant, outdated ideals.
Hopefully, this is starting to sound familiar.
“Zootopia” makes no attempt to hide its allegorical nature. It is a blatant yet poignant commentary condemning bigotry, and comes at a perfect time to combat the popularity of a certain pseudo-politician who wants to build walls around America and register all Muslims in the country.
The message behind “Zootopia” is thoughtful and moving, but it isn’t given at the expense of entertainment. It still manages to be a fun and charming ride even if its intentions disqualify it from being considered actual escapism.
The cast, particularly leads Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman, are pitch perfect as well, and the animation is stunning with its attention to detail.
Some may be turned off by using a children’s film for what could be interpreted as a political agenda.
At the end of the day, “Zootopia” is only talking about patience and understanding. As as crazy as it may seem to some, these should be concepts that transcend party lines.
“Zootopia” isn’t perfect even besides that issue.
It drags a bit in the middle and repeats a lot of the same types of jokes you find in similar movies. However, when the story is good, it is on level with some of the best work you could find from Pixar.
It tops “Inside Out” in many respects.
Before all is said and done, “Zootopia” may even find itself amongst the year’s best in any genre.
It hops, slithers, crawls, and flies its way to 8 “year-olds who now have a deeper understanding of human compassion than Donald Trump” out of 10.