Monday, March 7, 2016

Movie Review: Zootopia: An Animal Version of an LA Detective Story

Maybe you think a kid's movie is too boring to be worth your time, but that's not true of Zootopia.

If you’re expecting a sweet bunny story, you might be surprised by the true grit detective story you get instead. Sure, the bunny decided early in life that she wants to be a “cop” even though there are no officer bunnies to date. And she pushes through with her ambitions, excelling in police academy.

Her dream assignment comes through, and she leaves her parents and her two hundred or so brothers and sisters to their carrot farming and heads to the big city—Zootopia. There Judy Hopps’ dreams hit a glitch. She’s assigned to be a meter maid. That doesn’t diminish her go get ‘em spirit though. You want 100 parking tickets a day? I’ll give you 200 by noon! And she does.

Still, she believes she could be of help with the missing mammal cases that other officers are investigating. Soon she’s pulled in when she is given 48 hours to find a missing otter or resign from the force.  With the help of a sly fox named Nick, Judy faces the underworld of mob polar bears and other animals. She and Nick discover that something is turning predators into mad beasts, and the duo must figure out what is causing the change before they can put a stop to it.

This movie is delightfully entertaining, somewhat predictable and delivers a true detective story that in true fashion includes the mob and the requisite nude scene—if you count the animals at Mystic Springs Oasis—a place where animals don’t wear clothes! The cutting edge animation, well paced plot and detailed world building make it a must see.

Besides being highly entertaining, there are a lot of lessons you can take away from Zootopia.
  1. Don’t judge. People shouldn’t be judged by their size or um, species. There had never been a bunny cop before, and everyone laughed at the idea, but Judy turned out to be a pretty slick bunny. You can pretty easily figure out how this applies to your school and the cliques there.
  2. Hard work and perseverance pay off. Judy Hopps pushed herself to her own limits and achieved her goal. The question is—Is your dream worth sacrificing other things to pursue it with all you’ve got? What's more important--texting and hanging out or make progress toward your goal?
  3. Stereotypes are flawed. At the beginning of the story, Judy Hopps appears nothing more than an uptight overachiever and Nick a laid back smooth talker. But as the story unfolds and the characters are developed, we find that they are both much more than that. A person’s past and experiences need taken into account. So, how does that work in your world? Are people judged by stereotype or by who they really are?
  4. Individuality is important.  One reviewer calls the movie a “pro diversity” pep rally. Zootopia is made up of a large number of different animals, and while many are the same species, they are individuals. The idea of individuality didn’t start with Disney though, it began with God, who made each person in a unique way and gave him/her the talents and abilities needed to fulfill his/her calling. (Psalm 139:14, Ephesians 2:10) Like Zootopia, God’s family is made up of many different people making up one family.  (1 Corinthians 12). You are a one of a kind creation of God. Claim it and live it.

So if you're looking for something to do this weekend, check out Zootopia and leave a comment below to let me know what you think of the movie.


  1. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I recommend it for school age kids because of the dark scenes.

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  3. I liked the movie and hope to see it again.