zooTopiasm

Yeah, I know, this one came out a while ago.

Just call me Flash.

The thing is, if you haven’t seen it, you definitely should. If you can’t handle going by yourself to a “kid’s movie” then find a relative with bored kids and pretend you care about them enough to give them a free movie.

…I kid, I kid, but seriously, this is one fun ride.

The setup is that it’s a world inhabited by intelligent, talking anthropomorphic animals who have overcome their natural differences and have come together in a megacity called ‘Zootopia’ (or Zootropolis depending where in the world you’re from), where anybody can be anything.

Of course, things are never that easy, especially when you bring together the first bunny cop – underestimated by everyone despite her top-of-the-class graduation results – and the obviously-shifty-by-default fox rogue with a heart of gold.

It’s smart and clever because it doesn’t go where you think it does in all the right places. It tackles grown-up, real world issues head-on in an honest and funny way. That bunny cop? She’s not so worldly as she thinks she is. That shifty fox? Well, it’s hard to be open and fair when the world is determined to see you as a crook.

The back story – the story behind the story, the movie that almost was – is even more interesting. It’s dark, so dark, and yet fascinating. Imagine a world where the “predators” (like Nick Wilde up there, the fox) are a class shut out of the system dominated ten to one by “prey” (like Judy Hopps, the rabbit), despite a world where the predators have decided to eat bugs and fish – non-sentient animals – to get their protein. A world where when a predator comes of age, he or she has to wear a shock-collar “to protect the prey animals”. A shock collar that prevents them from getting excited, from feeling any great joy as much as any great anger or desire to act out those savage instincts that are essentially history.

Don’t worry, the movie is entirely kid safe. This dark story would have been too much for most movie goers in a kids’ movie, so it became a lighter-hearted but still heavy punching romp that is quite simply gorgeous to look at and astonishing in scope. The degree of mega-engineering displayed by their society is not only incredible but strangely believable. I wish we had their architecture.

I hope they make a sequel. Many sequels.

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