Zootopia (2016)

Behold the film that redefines the meaning of “classic.”

Before recently, I thought that classic movies–or books or songs or shows, for that matter–I thought they had to be flawless. You read a classic book, and it’s supposed to cleanse you with its absolute greatness. In reality, classic stories do not have to be perfect, and often aren’t–but they’re the ones that last.

Without any hesitation, I believe that Zootopia is a modern classic. It’s set in one of the most fascinating and fully realized worlds of the decade, and it stars a few of the most memorable characters of the year. It’s also an accessible lesson on racism, and children will be more tolerant after seeing it.

The main problem, in my opinion, is that the story isn’t all that interesting. It runs through the motions, and everything leads into everything else rather nicely. Judy Hopps becomes a police officer, and she ends up uncovering a massive criminal operation. It’s all good enough. There is a story because there needed to be a story. Am I okay with that? Yes. Everything about the world of Zootopia is a stroke of creative genius.

In the end, it’s a film you’ll remember for several reasons. The animation is stellar, the art direction is exemplary, and the wit is sharper than fangs. The narrative may be derivative, but that doesn’t detract from the experience. And trust me, it’s a great time.

I hear they’re building apartments in Zootopia. A bunch of cash cows are moving in.


Zootopia is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

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