IT'S EXTREMELY FUNNY
IT'S EXTREMELY WELL MADE
Visually, it's a marvel. A sweeping cityscape is nothing new in Disney, even before they were doing it in CG, but this one is a step beyond. The city center, where everything is oriented for animals of all different sizes, the "ethnic neighborhoods" for arctic, jungle, desert, and other environments, even the way the cars were designed. This is a world that doesn't make sense if you think about it at all, and by gum, they made it work. The casting is also really on point, as is the norm. The celebrity leads, Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin, thankfully avoid Bland Lead Syndrome, and the support from seasoned voice actors like Jenny Slate, J.K. Simmons, Maurice LaMarche, Jesse Corti, and others.
But I have to complain about - There's a running gag about everyone loving a pop star called Gazelle, played by and clearly based on Shakira. She does fine, but the name... Did they try to get Adele and couldn't? Because the gag is clearly inspired by her. This is like when they created Sir Jean Hamm for Galavant, but Jon Hamm was unavailable, so they cast John Stamos, but DIDN'T CHANGE THE NAME TO JEAN STAMOS. It's madness. They could easily have called her.. I don't know, Sha-deer-a or something?
What I really didn't expect going in was the incredible relevance of the movie. The population of Zootopia is 10% predator animals and 90% prey. (With, I guess, a few outliers like elephants, rhinos, and cape buffalo, who are all on the police force.) So the main thrust of the plot is the effect of profiling a minority as "dangerous". The fox con artist that our main character deputizes isn't just a jerk, he's been treated with suspicion and hostility his whole life because he's a predator species. So he responded by embracing the "sly fox" stereotype. This movie addresses serious issues with policing and the way people view minorities, and it does it in a very real way. I've complained occasionally before about movies using a stand-in for a minority as a way to avoid really talking about an issue, but this proves that they can really address it effectively. I don't want to go into too much detail on the plot, because it is a mystery (for kids, remember, don't expect Agatha Christie), but they don't just use oppression and privilege as color. They get into it. Conservatives have been complaining, of course, but they always do.
This movie is an absolute, unqualified recommendation. I'm not even sure why you're still reading this. Go see it. Go see it now. I'm not doing additional thoughts. Go now.