Zootopia’s a place where anyone can be anything




In a place where anyone can be anything, Zootopia presents a world in which prey and predator live as one.

Released March 4, Disney’s anthropomorphic characters are charming, relatable, and believable.

One of the interesting underlining themes of the film is the unsteady relationship that exists between animals of predator vs. animals of prey.

Though there are genuine friendships among the predator/prey divide, both deal with prejudice that they must learn to overcome.

In the opening scenes of the film, our heroine Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, literally sets the stage with flashback footage of a childhood play.

Hopps plays a bunny of prey and is hunted by a tiger, explaining that in ancient times, they were separated into two categories.

The internalized prejudice follows Hopps as she is told by her parents that animals of prey cannot be police officers and when she is bullied by a fox who threatens to eat her as it’s in his DNA.

Despite these drawbacks, Hopps continues to pursue her dreams sticking to the film’s moral that anyone can be anything. During this transitional scene, the featured song “Try Everything”, performed by Shakira, plays serving as the films theme.

Though this scene is a tad drawn out, as Hopps plays the song on her iPod and listens to its entirety- it serves as a tour of the world in a visually stunning sequence.

Divided into different districts; Tundra Town, Sahara Square, and the Rain Forest District each is designed beautifully with different colour and style. Moving through these locations, camels are seen jogging with sweat bands, polar bears wear suits and travel on icebergs in Tundra Town, and we see the many bridges full of traffic ascending through the dark green trees of the rain forest.

Though she passes through all these locations quickly, they are all places that are revisited.


Next week: The Sun interviews a trio of Sheridan Alumni who worked on the film.


Upon arriving in Zootopia, Hopps quickly learns that she may have been too optimistic. On her first day on the police force, she is essentially told that she was a diversity hire and is treated like it––getting assigned traffic duty and not being trusted with anything important.

On an attempt to prove herself, Hopps meets Nick Wilde, voiced by Jason Bateman, a clever fox who tricks her into helping him pull a scam. Judy eventually returns the favour, and the unlikely pair end up as partners on a case to track down a missing otter––which leads to cracking the biggest case in the city.

The unpredictable plotline leaves viewers engaged from the beginning well into the credits. The characters relationships and emotions are believable and easy to become invested in.

A new element to Zootopia is the involvement of up to date technology such as iPods, apps and “muzzle time”.

This element is used unjarringly and works well with the plot at times. In one scene, Hopps and Wilde are hiding in a lab where they make a shocking discovery. Judy whips out her phone and begins recording the evidence, only to be interrupted by a phone call, which ultimately blows her cover.

Laced with humour and references to pop culture, Zootopia is an enjoyable film for all members of the family and is extremely progressive in its message.

The writing and animation is highly developed and the underlining messages of racism and prejudice are a constant theme as Judy struggles with the way she views Nick and other predators condescendingly, at one scene saying “You’re very articulate for a predator.”

The plot twist of an ending leaves viewers surprised as the mystery continues to unfold after it is seemingly solved multiple times.

The final scenes of the film feels like the start of a new adventure, opening doors to a possible sequel.

This is a big year for Disney films, Zootopia being the first animated release in a lineup of five other animated features set to be released later in the year.

Zootopia set the standards high at the box office debuting to $73.7 million over the weekend, beating the 2012 release of Frozen.

The absence of competition for family films gives Zootopia the upper-hand and should continue to do well over the month of March.