Zootopia | Teen Ink


December 9, 2017
By CoolPoet737 DIAMOND, South Burlington, Vermont
CoolPoet737 DIAMOND, South Burlington, Vermont
85 articles 5 photos 16 comments

Ah, Zootopia. A place of peace, prosperity, and wealth. Where every creature, predator and prey, can peacefully live with each other without any fear at all. This ingenious community is lacking only one thing: humans. What would you do? This is the subject of the fairly recent Disney film "Zootopia", which I saw on Netflix some time ago. Right from the very beginning, though, the film had some big problems. First, the film isn't even in the same galaxy as the satirical, Animal Farm-style concept it initially appeared to be. And second, right from the very first "follow your dreams" message as the young rabbit Judy Hopps struggles through a series of physical tests in order to put herself on Zootopia's police force, I knew I was in for a long ride. From there, it's a total mess of schmaltz, melodrama, predictability, cliches, crude jokes, and lots and lots of shamelessly sweet positive messages (which admittedly do have a place, but definitely not in something that was SUPPOSED to be a satire) as both Judy and her new fox friend Nick Wilde race to solve a puzzling mystery that has plagued Zootopia for weeks. If the plot already sounds convoluted, that’s because it most definitely is. The closest we get to a razor-sharp parable is the scene where Judy preaches that the reason why all these animals have gone crazy (and tried to kill the rabbit/fox duo) is their “natural predator instincts”, but she later realizes not only that it was actually a poisonous dart gun that made them go mad, but that in the preaching of her misconceptions, she has lost her one true partner and friend (emphasis on “friend”): Nick. And so about five minutes of journeying, melodrama, and boo-hooing later, the two somehow manage to make up, go back on the case, find the perpetrator, clap her (yes, her) behind bars, AND make Nick Zootopia’s first police officer, all in the last 20 minutes or so the film has left. So…yeah. This one is definitely for die-hard Disney fans only, or else little kids who can’t stomach anything else. Actually, wait. As a matter of fact, due to the extreme scariness of the animals who get poisoned and go mad, this one is definitely not for little kids. So I really don’t know WHAT audience Disney is aiming for here. Anyway, the film does have it’s moments, particularly in the “mole gangster” scene (which obviously includes veiled references to The Godfather). And the title certainly is clever too. But even the gangster scene is yet ANOTHER vehicle to preach the importance of kindness and friendship as the mole’s daughter shows up last minute, and since Judy saved her earlier, saves her and Nick right back. Oh boy. And even the whole “predator vs. prey” theme has been used many times over in all sorts of kid-oriented animated flicks, notably the Disney oldie “The Fox and The Hound” (as is the clever concept of animals acting exactly like humans). So in a nutshell, if you’re a teenager like me who doesn’t really like Disney movies but are somewhat interested in seeing the movie for the concept alone (and because critics have given it ridiculously positive reviews), let me just tell you, don’t. Trust me, you’ll be wanting to turn it off just as much (if not even more) than I did (though if you’re a 8-12 year old Disney fan, you’ll definitely like it, if not absolutely adore it).

The author's comments:

Just in case any teen wants to see this movie b/c of the 98% out of 100 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I figured that I might as well just give them the heads up about it.

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