Zootropolis (2016) Review

Zootropolis (2016) (aka Zootopia)

Directed by Byron Howard & Rich Moore

Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, Shakira

Music by: Michael Giacchino

Production company: Walt Disney Pictures

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.

My Opinion:

I’d seen very positive reviews for this but I made sure to read very little about it & only really looked at the ratings to get the overall vibe that people really liked this one. I mean, this has an 8.4 IMDB rating & is currently ranked at #150 out of the supposed Top 250 of all time. Sorry, but…. No. I still haven’t actually read any of the reviews for this so I’m not sure what people see in it that I clearly missed but I was very disappointed with this outing from Disney. And I’m, for the most part, a big fan of Disney. Sure, it has a lovely message and all that but it’s a shame that Disney let the message get in the way of actually making a good film…

Where do I start? I honestly don’t want this to turn into some long rant (plus I’m a little worried about getting a negative reaction from people). I don’t have the energy to now go & read all the reviews of this here on WordPress plus it’s been out for a few weeks in America and people always just want to move onto the next brand new release. I’ll happily read any comments from anyone who disagrees with me, though. We’ll discuss it & maybe you can talk me into liking this one a little more!

I admit that when a movie has the Disney or Pixar name attached to it, I have much higher standards for it so I know I’m probably being a little too harsh on this movie. It’s not a “bad” kids’ movie. Yes, I’m aware that Zootropolis is first & foremost for kids but it’s still hard to not compare it to something like Wreck-It Ralph, which is a thoroughly enjoyable movie for the entire family. Or The Lego Movie! That wasn’t Disney or Pixar but it was a great, funny film AND it even had a rather deep & meaningful message in the same way Zootropolis does. But the difference is that it felt like The Lego Movie first focused on having an excellent script & characters & making a really fun family film and then concentrated on the film’s fantastic message. With Zootropolis, it feels like the filmmakers came up with the message they wanted to convey first and then tried to write a story around it, resulting in a rather convoluted and far too grown-up plot that I don’t think many kids will have enjoyed that much anyway.

In the end, I think the extremely forced nature of the storyline takes away from the message they’re trying to shove down our kids’ throats. No, wait… To be honest, I think it’s the parents who are having the message shoved down their throats this time. And it’s a message I most certainly agree with but, sorry Disney, you aren’t going to change the ways of the world with a mediocre kids’ film and messy story. I think your message will have been lost on the kids, will have completely gone over the heads of the adults you’re targeting, and will have simply annoyed the adults who do agree with your message and don’t need you to preach to them.

I’ve not yet fully discussed Zootropolis with my kid but I know she understood the message behind The Lego Movie whereas, as I said, I don’t think this one managed to at all get its point across to her and to its young target audience (and she’s very bright, if I do say so myself). πŸ˜‰ Here’s my attempt to discuss the movie with her: Me: “What was your favorite part of the movie?” My kid: “I don’t know….” *pause* “I don’t think Zootropolis was very good”. Well, I think that kind of says it all.

My Rating: 6/10

P.S. – Disney, please don’t stick pop stars, crappy songs, and current trends such as stupid phone apps into your movies. You’ve instantly dated your film. Stick with Pixar, who know how to make a timeless classic. The worst thing I can say about Zootropolis is that I walked out of it feeling like I’d just watched a DreamWorks movie. That’s a step in very much the wrong direction.

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38 thoughts on “Zootropolis (2016) Review

  1. Wow. Harsh. I thought it was a really creative world with likable characters, a fun mystery. The script made me laugh and the message didn’t bother me.

    • Ha. Yeah…. I suppose I was a little harsh. πŸ˜‰ I just always have very high expectations for Pixar or Disney, which made me all the more disappointed. If this had been DreamWorks, I’d probably have said it was “really good for a DreamWorks movie” (but the rating would be the same). I think, with the jokes & mystery, it just felt like a one-time watch. I’ve seen it, I know the outcome, I know the jokes, I feel no desire to watch it again. I think of something like Monsters Inc (okay, it’s Pixar so not a totally fair comparison because Pixar is the best) but I could watch that over & over again and never ever get bored with it. It’s clever & timeless with no trendy jokes for adults. And I found the characters quite weak. Yes, the bunny & fox were fine (I don’t even know their names & I just saw this Sunday) and I liked the friendship, but… Meh. Even my kid was bored & I didn’t expect that at all. Oh, poor Disney! 😦 I feel bad being harsh on a Disney film. I really do love (most of) them!!! πŸ˜‰

      • Fair enough. At least they have Finding Dory and Moana this year. Hopefully those will be your style. I’m really surprised because I had such a different experience but that happens sometimes. Like last year with Bridge of Spies. I thought it was mediocre for a Spielberg movie. I hold him to a higher standard and everyone was raving and I didn’t get it. It wasnt awful but I thought very ordinary and conventional. So I get it. Finding Dory in June!

      • YES! Finding Dory! I can’t WAIT for that. If I somehow don’t like that one, I’ll cry. πŸ˜‰ I’ve not yet seen Bridge Of Spies but it doesn’t really appeal to me although I love Spielberg. He’s had some mediocre ones in recent years.

    • My point is stupid or pop stars in movies is stupid?! πŸ˜‰ lol! I think everyone will probably disagree with me on this one. I was just VERY disappointed, which I don’t normally expect from a Disney film. It felt fake & forced and, well, just a bit boring. And the funny jokes are the type that will only be funny on the first watch. And the characters were okay but nothing special. Okay – I’ll shut up now… πŸ˜‰

      • No I agree with you, popstars is stupid idea, it just dates films horribly. I’m thinking of Vanilla Ice in Turtles 2. I have a screening of Zootropolis to go to this week but not sure if I can be bothered!

      • Hahaha! Come on… You know you’re a huge Vanilla Ice fan! πŸ˜‰ Well, you should maybe still watch this as everyone seems to disagree with me on it anyway. I still say it’s WAY overrated, though!

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  3. I not only disagree with you, but I contradict you, I beg to differ. I cast dissent. My opinion diverges harshly; it deviates and departs from, counters, conflicts and disharmonizes with yours. They not only run counter to but they are at loggerheads with one another. And they’re discordant and dissimilar and doomed to a lifetime of logomachy.

  4. A thought-provoking post given so many positive reviews on this film. I guess I am also against the idea of over-complicating ideas in kids movies. I would now try to catch this in cinemas myself as I know all about the hype it caused. Thanks for your insightful review.

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ I think I upset some people. Lol. That’s never my intention! First & foremost, I just care if a film is good or not. A message is nice, especially as I know this film’s heart is in the right place, but I thought it just made for a messy film. And too high concept for kids anyway. There are just better “movies with a message” out there for kids that keep things simple and are still great & enjoyable films (like, 99% of what Pixar makes). Would be interested in your opinion if you see this. πŸ™‚

  5. I must say a big “thanks for this”, because what I’ve heard about the film has also been in the “OMG ONE OF THE BEST DISNEYS EVER” vein — and the last few times that happened (Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, to an extent Inside Out) I’ve wound up disappointed.

    Of course, I’ll still check it out as soon as it hits an acceptably-priced home entertainment format. Hopefully I’ll see what everyone else saw and disagree with you!

    • Aww – thank YOU! I think I upset some people but I obviously don’t try to actually do that. πŸ˜‰ I just can’t help but be honest & I just thought this one was WAY overhyped. It’s not “bad” but it’s inferior to most of Disney’s output (and far inferior to Pixar). I just think people get blinded by a worthy message sometimes. A good message doesn’t automatically make a good movie. But, hey – I may be wrong as no one seems to agree with me! πŸ˜‰ lol. I’d love to know your opinion on it!

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  7. You’re one of my fave bloggers but we’re on opposite sides of the fence on this one. My side has nicer grass btw. The sloths were great. The song wasn’t bad either.

    • My grass is dead. And bitter! πŸ˜‰ But I’m glad you still love me? Lol! The song? Hmm…. Okay – I truly hated the music, probably more than anything else. I did like the sloths, though! But when I told the hubby that the sloths were funny, he said “Meh. Saw that in the trailer so it wasn’t funny anymore”. Damn! I hadn’t seen the trailer but I do feel like the jokes were of the “funny only on the first viewing” variety. 😦 Unlike, I dunno… Monsters Inc which cracks me up each & every time I see it. I’m probably just old & bitter but this movie was a huge disappointment to me after all the hype. I have zero interest in watching it again, which is unusual for a lot of Disney films for me. 😦

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  11. finally saw this and I totally disagree with u on this. I found it to be quite interesting and poignant! It’s not on the same level as some of the Disney classics from our youth, but it was done very well and has a great message!

    • I found it overly preachy & too convoluted to get its message across to young kids (who don’t need to learn the message anyway as young kids are tolerant – it’s the adults who need the message drilled into them). I found the characters uninteresting, the jokes that were actually funny to only be funny on a first watch, the Shakira music annoying (and which will badly date the movie), and I thought the story was messy. So my opinion hasn’t changed. Actually, I think I like it even less now. ; ) It still feels like an inferior DreamWorks movie to me. I want Disney.

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