Zootopia is a “Fur” Sure Hit! (spoiler-free review)

When was the last time you left a movie theater with your feet dancing in the aisles? That’s what happened to me when I saw an early screening of Zootopia! My daughter and I were invited by the folks at Disney to see the movie before it opens this week (March 4) and we couldn’t help but walk out singing along to the song Try Everything by Shakira who plays the character (and the animal) Gazelle in the movie.  Too often it seems a singer is inserted into a movie or show just for their singing chops so the producers can slip in a song to help promote the film, but that’s not the case here.  Gazelle is an important part of the life of Zootopians everywhere (and I myself would like the app featured in the film but at least so far it’s not in the iTunes app store).

ZOOTOPIA – OFFICER HOPPS -- Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) believes anyone can be anything. Being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn't easy, but Hopps is determined to prove herself. Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
ZOOTOPIA – OFFICER HOPPS — Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) believes anyone can be anything. Being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t easy, but Hopps is determined to prove herself. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

But she isn’t the only one!  The story revolves around Officer Judy Hopps, the first rabbit officer in the ZPD (Zootopia Police Department).  Judy has wanted to be an officer since she was a child and even though there had never been a rabbit in that role, that doesn’t deter Judy’s determination and spirit.  She believes in Zootopia’s slogan, “Where anyone can be anything.” Through a series of incidents she ends up on a case that will determine her entire career and she has to rely on a con man (or con fox?) to help her solve it.

SUPERSTAR — Revered worldwide by herds of fans, Zootopia's biggest pop star Gazelle is a socially conscious celebrity with equal parts talent and heart. Shakira lends her Grammy®-winning voice to the phenom. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
SUPERSTAR — Revered worldwide by herds of fans, Zootopia’s biggest pop star Gazelle is a socially conscious celebrity with equal parts talent and heart. Shakira lends her Grammy®-winning voice to the phenom. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Zootopia is inspiring. It encourages people to never be limited by the perception of others.  It also challenges us to look at our own stereotypes and preconceptions of those around us and not give in to them.  It is funny, witty, fun, and a delight to watch.  The animation in the film is incredibly top-notch, easily blending realism with the more cartoon images of its characters into a seamless visual treat.

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A wonderful film for the whole family, it is anchored by the performance of Ginnifer Goodwin (of Once Upon A Time fame) who plays Judy.  Her uplifting voice gives bounce to the bunny she portrays and she does an amazing job of helping you to root for Judy.  Idris Elba’s strong performance as Chief Bogo is a great foil for Judy and Jason Bateman’s voice gives Nick Wilde, the sly fox, a very laid-back tone.

Although the plot isn’t a secret, I want to encourage you to take the whole family and see it together.  Sometimes it’s just better to find out for yourself.  Maybe you’ll bump into me and my family.  I know we are going to see it again “fur” sure.

Zootopia opens in theaters nationwide on March 4th.

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