‘Zootopia’ merges Disney charm and social impact

Isaac Owens, Broadcasting Manager

Aside from the Pixar branch of Disney’s animated projects, the studio’s product of the 21st century has been rather ho hum. Especially in their more recent attempts with movies like Wreck It Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6 have they fallen short of greatness.

However, with their latest animal themed picture, Zootopia, the studio has regained the strength it had prior to the 2000’s.

While not entirely managing to avoid every Disney cliche, Zootopia does pull off originality. Set in an alternate, human-free universe, animals have adapted from their primitive states to live in harmony in a civilized utopia. In a world where animals take on the roles of humans, the movie tracks the investigations of Zootopia’s first bunny police officer as she works on a missing persons case. Teaming up with a con artist fox, Officer Hopps sets out to prove that, despite her height, she can be as good a cop as any.

Like most Disney movies, Zootopia is all around a fun, family friendly adventure, but what is most surprising is the studio’s new deviation towards adult audiences. In an entirely obvious yet unbiased way, Zootopia offers insightful and non-aggressive commentary. With underlying themes of racial and gender discrimination the movie takes on an entirely new level of accessibility for moviegoers of all ages.

For any parent, a trip to the theater can be excruciating when the film is as unfriendly towards adults as Frozen. Zootopia, on the other hand, is filled with innuendos and mature pop culture references beginning to end. With laughs aplenty available for the kids, the movie, thankfully, doesn’t shy away from making an attempt to entertain those old enough to understand the jokes at hand.

In typical Disney fashion, Zootopia follows along the typical plot structure of any of their movies, but with the wide scale of age appeal, terrific animation and visual gags, and an overall wonderfully upbeat adventure, their latest picture is one to remember. With a streak of recent mediocrity behind it, Disney’s animated studio seems to have recaptured its talent in making a movie everyone can enjoy.