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‘Zootopia’ review: wild ride with Judy and Nick

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"Zootopia" pokes fun at the Department of Motor vehicles by having all the employees be sloths.

Photo courtesy of YouTube

Photo courtesy of YouTube

"Zootopia" pokes fun at the Department of Motor vehicles by having all the employees be sloths.

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On March 4, Walt Disney Pictures released its 55th animated movie, “Zootopia,” directed by  Byron Howard and Rich Moore. Howard had past experience in directing Disney animated movies “Tangled” and “Bolt,” while Moore directed “Wreck-It Ralph”.

The film received critical acclaim, with praise directed toward animation, voice acting and screenplay, resulting in worldwide gross of over $917 million, according to Forbes. It is currently the highest-grossing film of 2016.

The movie centers around a rabbit police officer named Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) and red fox con artist Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), who develop an unlikely partnership as they uncover a conspiracy that involves the disappearance of predator civilians in the mammal metropolis city Zootopia within 48 hours. These predator civilians are reported to have “gone savage,” or reverted to a feral state, which brings up a question to Zootopia residents whether they should trust predator civilians or not.

Though it may seem like a simple animation film for children, the movie has an underlying message of prejudice and stereotype. Protagonist Judy Hopps, being the first rabbit to work at Zootopia’s police department, is constantly under pressure from her boss, Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), to prove her worth and often looked down upon by her co-workers for being a rabbit. While her co-workers are involved in handling the top-priority missing predator cases, Judy is excluded and assigned to parking duty.

The movie constantly asks its characters to look past species stereotypes and not use species-ist language or repeat hurtful assumptions. Judy continues to have hope for Zootopia’s future of making all citizens equal and erase all prejudice against each species. Her partner, Nick, gets inspired by her belief and tries to stand up against stereotypes that the animals have for foxes.

The film ends as Zootopia’s top pop star Gazelle, voiced by Shakira, performs her song, “Try Everything.” With a call to end prejudice and stereotyping, the movie teaches children about current society’s issues.

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‘Zootopia’ review: wild ride with Judy and Nick