A review of the movie Zootopia based on my kids’ (aged 7 and 4) reactions to the movie. We received free tickets to the preview, but all opinions are my own.
Zootopia follows a rabbit, Judy Hopps, who has always dreamed of becoming a police officer. Everyone in her life discouraged her from following her dreams because she is small and there’s never been a rabbit cop before. Of course, this makes Judy work harder.
Once she becomes a police officer, she is assigned parking ticket duty in a large city 200 miles from her hometown, in Zootopia. In the big city, there are all sorts of animals living in their own environments. A few weeks into her job, a big case comes up that she wants to solve–a missing Otter. The movie is about her journey to solve the big case and the obstacles Judy faces as she goes along. She meets many helpful friends and many people who think she cannot do her job because she is the first rabbit police officer.
We have been excited for this movie for months. Before Good Dinosaur, they showed the clip where Judy was getting information from the sloth. My girls thought it would be a cute, funny movie. I will be honest, there were a few funny parts, but a majority of the movie was scary for my kids. Even some of the older kids around us jumped at scenes.
Scenes to watch out for. The big case Judy is solving is why certain animals turn “savage”. These parts are where my first graders covered their eyes and ears–the animals get red eyes and chase Judy and her friend. A large chunk of the movie occurs at night time with scary looking animals, which my kids did not like at all.
There are also adult references, just like any other Disney movie. At one point, there is a Breaking Bad reference when an animal “cooking” these marbles and mentions his helpers Walt and Jesse. Obviously this will go over kids’ heads, but I thought it was strange. Also, there is an animal mafia which you can see in the previews which has a bit of a scary scene.
Overall, I can see the message they’re trying to get across in the movie, but it wasn’t executed well. There were parts where the movie started to get a bit political with it’s message and I feel even older kids wouldn’t understand what they’re trying to say. I do appreciate what they’re trying to say, especially Judy’s, but I think they would have worked on the story a bit more to make the message come across to children. My kids, 7 and 4, were quite terrified from the movie and they spoke for a few days about the scary parts. I would highly recommend kids upper elementary and older.
As for the visual aspects, it was great. We saw in 3D and it made the city of Zootopia look so realistic. That being said, if you’re taking a family of 5, the extra cost might not be worth it. I truly think you can wait until this movie hits the budget theaters, or even DVD–it’s not one of the ‘must see’ Disney movies, unfortunately.
Have you seen the movie? What did your kids think?
For fun AFTER the movie, here are some printable Zootpia-Coloring-Sheets!