At The Movies: Zootopia

“Zootopia.” It’s cute. It’s smart. It’s gorgeously animated. It’s funny. It offers important life lessons. It’s Disney.

In other words, it’s what you want from a conventional animated feature film: Kids will enjoy it and their parents won’t be bored silly by it.

“Zootopia” takes place in a world that’s a lot like Earth, except animals have replaced people. Predators and prey have learned to live in peace. Hmm, maybe not so much like Earth after all.

zootopia-movie-posterGinnifer Goodwin gives voice to Judy Hopps, an ambitious bunny rabbit who wants to be a police officer in the big city of Zootopia. Her parents would rather she stay at home and raise carrots like her hundreds of siblings.

Following your dreams even if it means failing is a big theme of this movie — hammered home repeatedly in song by pop star Gazelle (Shakira). It’s a catchy tune, but so repetitious it gets annoying.

Anyway, this is a Disney movie so Judy is not going to fail. Despite her diminutive size, Judy graduates at the top of her police academy class. That doesn’t impress Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), who assigns Judy to the thankless job of meter maid.

While out writing tickets Judy encounters a foxy con artist named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). When it turns out Nick might have a lead on a series of missing persons, the unlikely duo team up to solve the big case.

“Zootopia” doesn’t rank up there with the great Disney or Pixar feature-length cartoons, but it’s a fun, often funny, buddy-cop movie with sharp animation.

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