The premise of the film is that all animals life together in perfect harmony in a civilised society without there being any form of prejudice between the different species. When a small bunny called Judy Hopps (what’s in a name) has a dream to become a police officer in the big city she gets the chance to try it, but she’s nevertheless being ridiculed.

The film is tightly structered and moves on very well. Part 1 is basically showing Daisy in training and on her first job being somewhat sidetracked as she’s assigned to parking duty. But Judy keeps her natural opptimism going, instead of  100 parket tickets a day she is convinced she can get 200 before lunchtime.
Here she meets a fox called Nick Wilde who will prove to be a true friend and great help when in the 2nd act gets her first real case. She’s assigned to find one of the 14 missing animals, a mission to prove herself or confirm -as her captain suspects- she hasn’t got what it takes to become a police women.
The 3rd act revolves around the former predatory species reverting back to their natural behavior as they are seemingly becoming wild again.

(in Europe, Zootopia in the US) tackles a lot of hot topics such as gender equality, diveristy, stereotyping, risk of racial profiling, big town versus small town mentality and as you may come to expect from Disney, some more sappy, value oriented (friendship, never give up, … ) kinda stuff.
Something you wouldn’t expect in a Disney feature is a scene set in a Naturalist Resort (don’t worry it remains very kid friendly) and therefore one of the most memorable moments in the film. Other highlights are the Police briefing scenes and an instant classic: the scene that makes fun of civil servants, in this instance of the DMV a.k.a. the Department of Mammal (i.o Motor) Vehicles run by sloths (slow-moving mammals indeed). You don’t need to be a visionary to realise that the character of Flash will become an audience favorite.
The 3D effect is ok and really starts to kick in once Judy enters the big city. There’s also a parody of The Godfather surrounding the character of Mr. Big. But let’s face it, Godfather parodies already kinda wore off or lost their freshness at the time The Freshman (1990) came out, and that one even had Marlon Brando himself having a crack at it. All in all, not bad at all.

Jan Bollen

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