If I were given only two words to describe this film it would be: ‘Awfully Convenient’.
Of course this statement by itself is ‘Awfully Convenient’, normally such a scenario would be a word rather than two, but I think that it sums up what I think of the film well enough that I’ll use it.
Directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, ‘Zootopia’ is an animated film from Disney, about the partnership between a rabbit police officer (Ginnifer Goodwin) and a con – artist fox (Jason Bateman) within a fictional world where animals are the dominant species rather than human beings.
At the film’s best, it is an highly entertaining film featuring a progressive theme about prejudice and racism, great, expressive character animations, a fully realized fantasy world that doesn’t skim on the many details of how it’s society works and numerous characters that are both likable and charming that one might find it hard to not like them.
Majority of the film focuses on the film’s plot which consists of the rabbit and the fox working together to solve a conspiracy within the city but sadly such is the weakest aspect of the film. Many details of the plot are just too convenient for their own good, the twists and turns the film takes with it’s story are also predictable making it at times a rather tiresome watch. At a certain point, near the film’s end, there is a set – up where both the rabbit and the fox have a conflict and basically stop interacting with one another for a time. It was extremely contrived with one character being angered by the other when in fact, logically it was really not anybody’s fault and that the character need not get angry for it was really just the facts present at that time. (I’ll try not to say too much to avoid as much spoilers as possible while getting my point across.)
The story is also very heavily linked to the key themes of the film, while at the earlier portion of the film, although the theme of prejudice and racism was rather prominent, it did not take the front seat but rather act as an underlying problem within their society while focusing on the character’s development. But later on in the story, the themes of racism and prejudice become rather explicit and obvious and it is turned into a save the world type scenario while still keeping an emphasis on that theme. Which in turn, makes it harder to treat it seriously and thus overall lessens its impact.
I suppose that there is no way for children to watch ‘Borat’ or ‘Do the right thing’ so ‘Zootopia’ is definitely a welcome edition for the younger audience to learn about racism and prejudices. But even so,’Zootopia’s overly explicit discussion on it’s subject material and use of a convenient and predictable plot weakens it’s overall experience in the long run. To sum it up, ‘Zootopia’ is without a doubt a good film, it will likely make you laugh with it’s charming and likable characters and well written script but it’s execution of its plot and story could have been done better.
Despite it’s many flaws, the positives of the film outweighs its negatives.