Early this week I had the opportunity to watch Zootopia in a media screening.
This was one of the movies that first hit my radar at the D23 Expo. It looked cute, but I can’t say I was excited about it exactly. Even though I adore stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman.
As the clips to the movie came out, it began to win me over. By the time this film rolled around, I was on board with the world of Zootopia and all it had to offer.
I loved how this movie personalized the animals in such hilariously perfect ways.
Take Chief Bogo for example. He’s the hardened cop, just like we’ve seen in any number of police shows, right? He just happens to be a buffalo.
The whole movie was a delight. So clever and hilarious! You do not want to miss Zootopia with your family.
I do not remember laughing out loud as many times in any movie recently as I did in this one. My daughter, Claire (11) did as well. We both felt this film had the right mix of action, adventure, friendships, and mystery.
It was also a great mother-daughter date night together.
We meet bunny Judy Hopps (Goodwin) as a young rabbit. She quickly shows us how strong and determined her will can be, and what she wants most in the world is to become a bunny cop in Zootopia.
She heads out to the big city, completes the police academy like a boss, and gets her first assignment.
Traffic cop. #WhompWhomp
But as a traffic cop, she meets and eventually becomes friends with Nick Wilde (Bateman), a smooth talking and law bending fox.
Nick and Judy become partners of a sort as the work toward finding a missing Zootopia citizen. During their hilarious and daring adventures, they become friends, proving that predators and prey can get along.
Or can they?
When some predators appear to go savage, the city of Zootopia is plunged into dark times. Nick and Judy have to work together on yet another adventure.
Scenes that stood out as particularly funny to me include the DMV scene with Flash the sloth, the Yoga scene with Yax the yak (I died!), and I loved the Breaking Bad shout out that happened so fast I almost missed it.
The storyline may be a little mature in the sense that this one has some political overtones, but the younger kids probably won’t catch onto that. It’s an intelligent movie and I can’t wait to take the whole family this weekend.
I am confident that my 4-year-old on up to my 13-year-old will love this movie. I give this two big thumbs up for all ages.
Zootopia opens nationwide March 4, 2016.
Patty Holliday is a movie critic, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews.