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Zootopia Review · 10:11am Mar 17th, 2016

I know it's a bit belated, but last year, I wrote a blog about my initial reactions to the Zootopia teaser trailer, and I'm here to follow up on that now that the movie has been released. I know I could have said something sooner, but I didn't want to out of fear of overhyping the movie and ruining it for others. Now that some time has passed and I've had the chance to see it three times in theaters, I must say that Zootopia is...


It truly surpassed my expectations. Zootopia is basically a buddy cop story, but it manages to avoid a lot of the clich├ęs of cop movies. In fact, the story has a lot of twists and turns that legitimately kept me guessing from start to finish. The characters visit a wide variety of locations throughout the movie, making every scene memorable and visually interesting. The characters are very well rounded and lovable, especially Judy who is the most badass Disney heroine since Mulan. She's got a wide-eyed innocence, but is also hard working and tenacious. She's quick on her feet, but also witty and clever. She's got relatable flaws, but in the end, she's kindhearted and selfless. She truly holds my interest because I want to see her succeed. The story's message is also very creative. Sure, the idea of using animals as an allegory for prejudice is nothing new, having been seen in movies like Fritz the Cat and Cats Don't Dance, but what makes Zootopia unique is the allegories are more generalized rather than focused on a specific group like white supremacists or Hollywood, respectively. Zootopia encourages the idea that anyone can do good and bad. Anyone can deliberately or even accidentally marginalize and stereotype others. At the end of the day, making the world a better place is everyone's responsibility. That's a pretty cool message, especially in this post-9/11 era.

I can go on forever, but I'll instead end with saying that I'm so happy to see that the movie is dominating the box office right now, and I would like to mention a fun detail I discovered. When releasing movies to international countries, it's not uncommon for Disney to make small graphical changes to make their movies a little more accessible to foreign countries. In the movie, there are scenes where a snow leopard and moose are anchors in a news broadcast. However, it you look at the Japanese trailer to the movie, about 1 minute and 49 seconds in, you can see that they replaced the moose with a tanuki, complete with a leaf on his head.

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