You Should Be Watching… Zootopia (2016)

Directors: Bryan Howard and Rich Moore 

Main Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence

Like most, I’m sceptical when I see a Disney film without the name “Pixar” attached to it. Disney’s track record without their iconic animation partner is a rocky one, especially during the mid 2000’s when they released a series of forgettable movies. Who remembers Home on the Range (2004)? Most people don’t, but if you’re one of the few who do … I’m sorry.

Zootopia is different. It’s Disney at their best.

With Zootopia, Disney have proven once again that they are not scared to go where other animation studios wouldn’t dare. In the same year that Dreamworks have released the fifth installment of their Ice Age franchise, Zootopia raises the bar of what should be expected from children’s films in the future.

The city of Zootopia is filled with animals of all species, who ‘seemingly’ coexist and live in harmony, but we soon find out that discrimination is ingrained in their society. The main character, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a bunny who has dreamt of being a police officer her whole life, only to be told that no bunny has ever been on the police force. She perseveres and achieves her dream but even then she’s only hired as the ‘token bunny’.


ZOOTOPIA – Pictured: Judy Hopps. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Throughout the film we are shown the many animals who are stereotyped and expected to meet certain expectations in society (e.g. Foxes are meant to be sly, sheep are meant to be passive and all predators are aggressive). The social expectations, stereotypes and discrimination in the film reflect the ongoing battles we still face in today’s society;  racism and islamophobia.

This film is just what the children and parents of today needed – a way to break the ice and have a few difficult conversations about the world we live in. However, its light-hearted humour and well-developed characters mean that the film isn’t weighed down by its very powerful message and entertaining from start to finish.

In years to come it will not only be remembered as a one of Disney’s best films, but also one of the best animated films of all-time!