Movie Review: Zootopia

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Expanding on a grand tradition of animated animal allegories ranging from Animal Farm to Watership Down to Fritz the Cat, Byron Howard and Rich Moore’s Zootopia (B) depicts the unlikely collaboration between a rabbit police officer voiced by Gennifer Goodwin and a red fox con artist played by Jason Bateman to uncover a conspiracy that involves missing predator civilians in an urban melting pot menagerie. This sprawl of the wild is chock full of colorful contours and lively landscapes with the atmosphere alluded to in the title providing home to a fable reflecting mature viewpoints on race and law enforcement. With additional voice talents such as Idris Elba and J.K. Simmons, it’s all pretty cunning and complex for a cartoon, evoking the likes of Chinatown and L.A. Confidential as a new brand of colorful, kaleidoscopic film noir. Alas several subplots are labored, and the mix of zaniness and gravitas causes zigzags in tone. Overall it’s great fun in the Disney tradition with a charming central duo and a few morals wedged into the mayhem.





I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 2016, Rent It Tonight
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