Most animated films usually deal with personal issues. Up deals with bereavement, Inside Out deals with how we cope with both sadness and joy whilst Wall-E deals with personal relationships that are beyond reasoning. It's rare, however, to see a mainstream animated film deal with a wider societal issue and still be one of the most entertaining films of the year. Yet, that's exactly what Zootropolis does.
Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a rabbit who's utterly determined to become the first rabbit police officer in Zootropolis' police department. After graduating from the academy with flying colours, she's unceremoniously stuck on parking duty by Chief Bogo (Idris Elba). However, when she's hoodwinked by a crafty fox (Jason Bateman) on duty, she incurs Bogo's wrath. Thankfully, her status as ZPD's first rabbit police officer means she's handed a case to track a missing otter and investigate a spate of disappearances in the city. From there, Zootropolis morphs into a Robert Towne-esque crime drama that also manages to take in racial divisions, the War on Drugs and puns about various animals.
While most of these instances might go over the heads of younger audiences, there's still more than plenty there for them to enjoy. The simple, broad comedy that comes out from each of the characters is just fantastic, with Bateman giving one of his best performances since Arrested Development. Idris Elba, meanwhile, is pitch-perfect as Chief Bogo whilst Jenny Slate brings a suprisingly measured performance as the Asst. Mayor who's trying to help Ginnifer Goodwin's character. The story does, admittedly, go into some dark places, but it's all measured out and has enough lightness to balance itself. As well as this, there's a real sense of action to the story that puts it on par with that other animated classic, The Incredibles.
Fun, intelligent, loaded with plenty of gags and a great message about the importance of accepting all walks of life, Zootropolis is an action-packed comedy adventure for all the family. Highly recommended.