Disclosure: We received tickets to an early screening of Zootopia for the purposes of this review.
All opinions are 100% our own.
We need more Officer Hops’ in the world.
This week we were invited to an early screening of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” in Seattle. After the film, my husband John discovered his car window smashed and multiple electronics stolen. We had just walked out of the theater where a brave creature achieved her dream to be a cop; where a con man found a better way; and where stereotypes were busted and criminals brought to justice by an unlikely pair. I thought to myself, we need society to learn the message of this film!
Judy Hops is a small town bunny who dreams of becoming a police officer. While society and even her family discourages this goal, she fights her way to lead pack at the police academy. Becoming the world’s first bunny copy, she is ultimately assigned to Precinct #1 in the City of Zootopia. A dream come true, or so she thinks, she encounters more prejudice from her fellow officers and is forced into the role of “meter maid”.
She meets sly fox Nick Wilde, a slick talking con artist who becomes the only witness to a disappearance she begins to investigate. This unlikely pair–natural born “enemies”–use their immense talents to unravel a crime ring, and find friendship in the process. According to Director Byron Howard, “We set out to make a funny animal movie. But the more digging we did, we saw an opportunity to talk about something important.”
I love Officer Hops’ character and the message that she portrays, that we must never give up on our dreams even when the cards seem stacked against us. That even the smallest of creatures can make a big impact, and that everyone is worth saving. She’s a cute and passionate little powerhouse who’s not afraid to do the right thing.
Of course she’s the hero, that’s no surprise, but to me the message seen from the transformation of fox Nick Wilde is even more special. His story shows that we can always turn things around, that our past need not dictate our future. And that the support of a friend can make all the difference.
Overall, the film does have a serious message but it really is quite funny and such an enjoyable family film. My kids (ages 6 and 8) loved it. They laughed and laughed, except for one instance when they were a bit scared (toward the middle of the film) when a few predators go “savage”. They just hid their faces for a few seconds and then were OK.
There are some really hysterical characters like Flash, the “fastest” employee at the DMV run by a workforce of super slow moving sloths. I think we can all agree THAT is funny. And we loved Officer Benjamin Clawhauser, the Receptionist at Zootopia Police Department, an upbeat donut-eating, pop-music-loving cheetah.
I was also struck by the beautiful art and animation, particularly the topography of the City of Zootopia. Scenes where Judy Hops travels by train from small town Bunnyburrow to bustling Zootopia highlight her own wonder at this modern mammal metropolis. Zootopia is comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown that are really quite lovely. For some reason the art made me think of the cool city of San Fransokoyo in Big Hero 6.
The family and I definitely recommend this film. We saw it in 3D and really enjoyed it immensely.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,” is a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,” “Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Simpsons”) and co-directed by Jared Bush (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”), opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.
Download: Character Coloring Pages
Download: Hexaflexagon Paper Activity
Download: Officer Hops Zoo-flake Paper Activity