ZOOTOPIE, to my mind, is to consider it as a “film producers”, led by an overall vision of organizing different formal aspects, around an idea, a MORAL.

This producer will therefore be John Lasseter, a former director of the studio Pixar and, since 2006, creative director of the animation department of Disney. The guy has imported within the entertainment industry calibrated that is Disney, his animation design for children : a mature but accessible, challenging through multiple levels of reading, relying on the intelligence of the viewer to give meaning to his / her creativity or imagination.

The moral of ZOOTOPIE is therefore more Pixar than Disney, more pragmatic than enthusiastic, more progressive than opportunistic. The film encourages us to take a global perspective on the organization of a society, whether utopian ; to consider the individual rather than the mass, never stand on the plates.

Zootropolis (city-utopia of ZOOTOPIE ed) is a mirror allegorical of modern american society, organized around a wise anthropomorphism. A society split into groups of animals – big, small and very small, themselves split between animals as “predators” and “prey” striking visually, but also behavioural differences between species. By giving a place to everyone, this company is shaping to inevitable discrimination (positive and negative) as well as inequalities. Ghettoization, social determinism, cultural misunderstandings, stereotypes, exploitation of these photographs for personal interest… ZOOTOPIE queries enough time tackling these issues of ethnic and societal immémorialement rooted in the history of the country up to set the famous but hypocritical cultural melting pot that is the american nation today.

However, rather than directly criticising the society (as could the do a Lego Movie, based on a premise similar), ZOOTOPIE committed rather to a keen awareness of the functioning and dysfunction of such a “utopia” ; to consider each and every individual regardless of stereotypes, socio-cultural, and advocates for a mindset change via a very simple message and a humanist on the importance of empathy and the danger of the categorization – his own, that of others.

The most important is that unlike many animated films for children, the moral does not simply conclude the entertainment, but feeds and binds together, the different technical characteristics and artistic features, making ZOOTOPIE a film very consistent, failing to have a real personality. The features that we will detail below :


The first thing that jumps to the eyes, it is as well the technique. Far from being as impressive and photo-realistic that in The Journey of Arlo, she is shown mainly through the interesting art direction. It expresses the coherence between form and content, between speech discrimination and the cliché, and this world that is both utopian and dystopian. We regret, however, that the film does not exploit better the different districts of Zootropolis (polar, jungle, desert, urban, suburban).

The staging, meanwhile, accompanies wisely this speech. For example, the camera adopts the point of view of Judy Hopps (and, by extension, Nick Wilde), that is to say, is at the height of the “small animal” in a world generally designed for larger animals. There are as well a fantastic immersion in a universe that is both very recognizable (a megalopolis, New York), but often inappropriate, and incomprehensible when it comes out of his “placeholder”.

The staging wife, also the moods and attitudes of the characters ; Judy Hopps, eternal, positive, will, in a first step shown by a sound effect of counter-diving accompanying his wonderment at the vastness of the megalopolis, and then as its disillusionment, shut up in the narrowness of the framework. The arrival of Nick Wilde will result in the need to use this “framework” in every detail, in order to survive. Here again, the art direction gives substance to this thought by calling this “framework” for these elements (scenery, narrative) that it will be necessary to understand and move forward together.

A realization, however, very clean and smooth, which never shines in their cutting plans, or by camera movements ambitious.


Without doubt, the most damaging of the film, because the storyline is very predictable, as a whole. But that it is predictable does not mean that there is a lack of interest.

In fact, there is a degree of accessibility through the use of revenue tattered, which greatly facilitates the understanding of different metaphors for society. The buddy-movie allows a clear contrast between species and thoughts, the use of elements typical of the polar (the cop, the “private detective”, the investigation of drawers, the twist) is very stimulating and immediately recognizable, for lack of being original.

And then the scenario operates before the whole universe, and the keynote of the film. In this sense, the traditional relationship to the other through the classic combo : misunderstanding / empathy / disappointment / reconciliation / collaboration, above all, to question the founding myth of this utopia, and to prove the need not to rely on appearances.

Characters & casting

We had already found in the latest productions Disney (specifically from 2009 and the arrival of John Lasseter at the head of the studio) a certain maturity and a keen awareness of the complexity of their environment defines the characters in the animated films of the studio.

Judy Hopps, a rabbit who is presented to us in its purest, values built from childhood. She wishes to defend and protect the other at all costs, by becoming the first doe cop – a job usually reserved for LARGE and MALE animals, more likely to face violence in the world. This character will be confronted with the reality of a world ruled by determinism, rather than any justice, in reality, to discourage its purpose first and make him lose sight of his own destiny.

A meeting with a character counterpoint (Nick Wilde, a fox, also with motivations contrasting) will allow him to gain experience of life. First, between cynicism and individualism to altruism exacerbated, then through the need to collaborate and therefore to feel empathy for another species, and finally in the report (friendly and non-romantic) on the other.

The interpreters of Hopps and Wilde, Ginnifer Goodwyn and Jason Bateman (Michael in ‘s arrested Development) form a duo absolutely perfect, which as in any good buddy movie, sees the character of one feed to the other – shaping a classic story of trust and friendship, in a speech on discrimination and tolerance.

If the 2 protagonists are particularly interesting, ZOOTOPIE we also have other characters that are defined by a lived and persistent, and fleshed out as a character always marked (thanks to the intelligence of the casting and the excellence of the dialogues). They express in all the malaise of a society that thinks of itself as utopian, but reflecting, however, the paradoxes of a thought too all-embracing.


ZOOTOPIE abandons once more the humour front-end-based gags are purely visual humor of the situations and dialogues, focusing often on the offbeat, and that always appears when a character is faced with the inadequacy of his animal nature within this world. Thus it is that the jokes the funniest are also the bearers of the discourse on discrimination (we repeat over and over, but it is to highlight the coherence of the film at this level !), as these lazy people who are administrative officers, a fox gangsta, who pretends to be an infant, the godfather of the mafia, which is a wild pig shrew, or the nature of the grand villain of the story, shows you : [spoiler mode=”inline”]a fucking sheep lol[/spoiler].

A few examples to illustrate the coherence between content and form in ZOOTOPIE

Here we refer to the review of the movie by Doc Cineco, listing judiciously a few concrete examples :

  • The whole film is based on a rabbit becoming a police officer, and where everyone in the world finds this ridiculous. With the discrimination in the world of work that our world is experiencing, unfortunately, currently.
  • Judy says something like : “This is not because he is a fox, and it is dangerous. Gidéon is an idiot who happens to be a fox, nuance.” No need to spend too many words on it.
  • Judy also says that rabbits have the right to call them by the qualifier “cute”, but that the other species do not have the right to call them like that. Which, of course, reminds us of the word “Nigger” for the african-american community.
  • One of the scenes of the film sees a fox and his son refuse in a store of ice reserved for elephants, recalling of course the segregation and the fact that african-americans were refused because of their colour, as in some institutions arrears.
  • The mayor of Zootopie speaks of a project of “integration of mammals”, showing on one hand that a community is not fully integrated due to its physical characteristics, but especially remember all the projects of positive discrimination operated by the United States since the end of segregation.
  • One scene shows an ibex recite by heart without realizing something so that it asks the same thing to an elephant based on the cliche that the elephants would have a very good memory. This scene thus shows that a stereotype about a community is not necessarily true of any individual belonging to the same community, and that we can even see these same pictures in other communities.
  • At one point, Nick Wilde said “Since everyone thinks that the foxes are sneaky, what is the point of doing otherwise ?”. Nick Wilde is being martyred in his youth, precisely because of the fact that he is a fox. And, of course, the moral of the film shows that it was wrong to think like that.
  • In another scene, Nick is surprised at the fact that he believed that the rabbits do cultivated as carrots so they grow blueberries, for example. Once again a message about the fact that it is not necessary to believe on the speech stereotypes.

By Doc Cineco, to read in its entirety on a Critical Sense : http://www.senscritique.com/film/Zootopie/critique

ZOOTOPIE aligns and many metaphors more or less subtle prompting for a consideration pragmatic of our own society. There is a way to transmit, with the accompanying adequate, a message about tolerance, discrimination and the need to see the other beyond its appearance.

In spite of everything, it is AN interpretation that is entirely personal, resulting from a positive emotion vis-à-vis the film – the critic opposite is quite possible, the policy message that can be perceived as an apology hypocritical of a system actually designed on inequality.

The film is, in effect, not really subversive. No real changes overall, between the beginning and the end of the film; the aspect of capitalist founder of the american society is generally put to one side… and Then a few additions opportunistic may disturb, such as the cameo music of Shakira or use abused easy references (The Godfather, Breaking Bad, The productions Disney).

The idea is to find what one seeks in the film, and what you want to remove. He has in all cases felt that ZOOTOPIE was rich enough to allow multiple ways of thinking, in positive as in negative (we bid farewell to Lt Schaffer for this reflection counterpoint).

He joined in all cases, the Pixar of the great time or even Vice Versa that I don’t like but who also has these qualities.

“ZOOTOPIE, a Disney intelligent, driven by a moral a little more political and mature than usual, which feeds and binds together the different technical characteristics and artistic features.”

If we can tax a studio like Disney to think of his films-live (SW or Marvel) as pure consumer products, once again, we may see risk-taking anti-consensus of the animation department, following the feminism-tinged emancipation of the Snow Queen and Rapunzel, in a tone geek of Wreck it Ralph, the semi-maturity of the New Heroes ; ZOOTOPIE is illustrated by a morality more political than usual, cleverly accompanied by the realization, the history or the humor of the film. A wealth of thematic rather logical from the point of view of an author such as John Lasseter, which one feels clearly the paw to the production.

We will regret just a certain lack of emotion, a few lengths and the lack of personality of the stage, which is carried by the obsessions and gimmicks of realization of filmmakers like Brad Bird, the duo Lord / Miller or even John Lasseter himself, would have been able to make ZOOTOPIE a fucking masterpiece – also a film buff that education.


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