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Zootopia  : A Message From Toon Town
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Friday, March 4, 2016
Animation Film
Byron Howard, Rich Moore,Jared Bush
Shakira, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate0

Predators and prey live in harmony in Zootopia where anybody can become anything.

 

Little bunny Judy wants to be a cop and do good for the world. But there’s never been a bunny cop. “So I’ll be the first,” she chirps and goes off to prove herself. Her worried parents send her off, warning her to beware of predators like foxes.

 

Full of beans and determination, Judy does splendidly at the police academy but her enthusiasm is dampened when Chief Bogo assigns her to Parking Duty. There’s an important case of 14 missing mammals, all predators, but Bogo says, a bunny cop isn’t going to solve that one.

 

Judy’s sincere even as a meter maid and meets Nick, a wily fox, along the way. Her luck turns when she finally gets to crack the case of the missing animals along with Nick, and finds that they’ve all turned into vicious predators.

 

The big case solved, Judy’s the heroine of the day but she makes her one major blunder before the media. She mouths an old prejudice that the missing predators had turned wild because it’s in their DNA. Nick the fox is devastated that she thinks all predators are biologically vicious.

 

Judy herself is heartbroken when she finds that instead of doing good, she has divided society.  Society should be celebrating differences, not fearing one another. But look at what she’s done. Kind and friendly predators too are being shunned by the rest of the animal kingdom. Until the well-meaning Judy discovers why some predators were turning vicious.

 

Zootopia is a lovely warm film because if you substitute the animals with people, what comes through is the injustice of racial profiling. Substitute whichever community or gender you want as the predators and the rest as their meek prey. But it’s not in any group’s DNA to be vicious. It’s power politics that turns some of them into evil forces.

 

Written and directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush, Zootopia is told with the merriment and lilt that’s expected of a well-made animation film.

 

My only grouse is that when such a film requires 3D glasses, it should be shorter in its running time.

 

But Disney’s animation skills bring alive the animals, making them all cute and cuddly.

 

For a film that’s huggable and healthy, Zootopia gets a 3.5* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author

 

 

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