Film review: Zootropolis (PG)

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Disney’s own studios will soon surpass the genius of their multi-million pound Pixar acquisition with the sensational quality of the products they are currently churning out.

That’s because Zootropolis joins a burgeoning list of recent Disney Animation Studios successes such as Frozen, Wreck-it Ralph and Big Hero 6 – and is far superior to Pixar’s last effort The Good Dinosaur.

This colourful and zany animal-based animated effort came in a little under-the-radar, but with two fantastic leads, an engaging story and some stand-out comedy ‘gold’ moments, this is truly amiable fare for all the family.

From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootropolis is a mammal metropolis populated by all forms of animals with human-like behaviour to live and thrive.

One such mammal is ambitious rabbit Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) – wanting to escape the monotony of the country life and inevitable family carrot business – who is aiming to become the first bunny to join the police force, much to the chagrin of her lovable and overly-protective parents Stu (Don Lake) and Bonnie (Bonnie Hunt).

But after she makes it to the big city she immediately gets relegated to traffic duty by pessimistic police Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), but determined to prove herself inadvertently gets the opportunity to solve a mysterious case, and enlists the help of fast-talking con-artist fox Nick Wilde – who had ‘hustled’ her the previous day – by threatening to sue him for tax evasion.

Add in some great secondary characters – see Nate Torrence’s fantastic cop receptionist Clawhauser – a plotline that has more twists and turns than your average animation, and a terrifically hilarious ‘sloth’ scene, and you’ve got potentially the best animation of the year.

It does run out of a bit of steam – particularly in terms of humour – in the third act, but with Goodwin and Bateman on tremendous form as the really likeable main protagonists, it is always entertaining throughout.

The House of Mouse has just crafted another classy animation with plenty of bite. Rating: 4/5 Gavin Miller

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