It seems like everybody loves Zootopia. It’s got a staggering 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s made $232 million in just a week. It’s basically a universally agreed upon good movie. We break down everything that we loved about it.
ITS WORLD BUILDING
Zootopia really was a dreamlike Utopian city. Every moviegoer wanted to explore it’s districts. It didn’t feel like they just put animals in a city. You could tell the effort animators put in to making the city seem real. Every location was scenic.
The writers led people through a genuine mystery. Some of the reveals were actually surprising. They took a risk and gave away the mystery in the second act to use the third act to nail in the message. It worked- you were never bored.
It was an obvious message but was vague enough for anyone to relate to any of the characters. What was genius about the analogy was that they didn’t make a species of animals represent just one race or one gender. You could argue an animal represented THIS stereotype or THAT stereotype. They constantly redirected the prejudices against an animal so it wasn’t only about racism or sexism but about xenophobia in general.
Any adult could pick up on some of the not-so-subtle references that bolstered the overall message (sheep’s wool and rabbits being called ‘cute’ being two obvious ones). These clever references made it smart for adults. Usually the references for adults are inappropriate but these were about micro (and not so micro) aggressions.