Zootopia, 3/18/17, 4.5 Stars
80 odd years ago, Disney started making cartoons, and then expanded to feature length films. And now today, Disney continues this with Zootopia, a race relations story told through the lens of animals living in “harmony” together. A little long, but Disney coherently tells a story that comments on race relations with a “who-dunnit?” story about Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), Zootopia PD’s first bunny cop, and Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) a foxy con artist who happens to be a fox. They have to Liam Neeson their way to a missing otter, and it’s all mystery and a great message of acceptance. They’re a likable pair, and the other characters are fun to watch. Their interactions with them and each other develop them. And the whole scenery is gorgeously animated, with each frame advancing the “who-dunnit?” story and showing animals as they live in a human-like world, with anything from totally-not-iphones to innovative ways to get around and accommodate biological necessities. What also makes it relatable is Shakira’s (or in their world, Gazelle) song “Try Everything,” which acts like a mantra reinforcing the theme in the same way The LEGO Movie did, while also connecting to the idea of overplayed pop songs. There’s also a score by Michael Giacchino, who’s always a win. It’s used properly and Mr. Giacchino conveys all the appropriate emotions in it. Overall, Zootopia is a fun, heartwarming movie with a deep message we could all use at any time: be the best person you can be, don’t jump to conclusions, and don’t be afraid to try new things.