Disney has changed its usual way of making films. Stereotypes seen in characters has withered; there is more subtlety to the plot line. Even someone as ignorant as me, can now observe hint of grey shade to the black and white story line. Strangely the imprints left behind in the mind of the audience are so blissfully colorful!
Zootropolis is, at one glance, a metropolis of animals of all kind. Species which have somehow matured and grown civilised after years of hunting and killing one another. They have, in fact, reached the levels of human ingenuity by simply working together, learning to live in peace and harmony.
The story revolves around the bunny named Judy Hopps. From the first half hour one gets the impression that this story revolves around the rhetoric – that anyone can become what they wish for. Looking back, that seems like putting mask on the much deeper themes running in the movie.
When Judy moves into town she encounters Nick – a Fox who is judged too soon by his color because of who he is. Judy comes to his aid. But Nick turns out to be a conniving thief. When Judy questions his character he plays it cool and tells her to stop trying to change the world.
However Judy does not stay down and soon gets buried in her own “do good, work hard” attitude. Very soon she gets herself forcefully assigned to an ongoing investigation about missing animals. The chief of police, wanting to get rid of her throws her in the hot tub.
She then ‘hustles’ Nick and cracks her first clue in the search of a florist Otter named Otterton. We are then treated to the hilarious scenes at the DMV – indicating how people interpret government offices and the funny little scene at the ‘naturalist club’ (showing how interpretations of our body can vary). Eventually they have an encounter with Mr. Big – the crime boss of the town. After being saved by a good deed (a nice comment) Judy and Nick learn that the chauffeur of Mr. Big was viciously attacked by Otterton.
The detective duo investigate the driver (a panther) and while they get to hear something about “Night Howlers” the panther turns violent. They escape by a whisker when the police force arrives. All their hard work turns to dust when it comes to light that the panther has disappeared. Nick saves Judy from an embarrassing situation and in the process tells her of his past.
Interestingly both Judy and Nick have been bullied in their childhood; but the way they reacted to the cowardly act made all the difference to their career path. Another lesson for the little ones to learn here!
Judy and Nick take the help of the secretary (a sheep named Ms. Bellwether) of the Mayor of Zootropolis (a lion), to go through traffic cameras to understand what happened to the panther which turned rogue. He appears to be nabbed by a pair of wolves aka ‘Night Howlers’. Their hunt is finally fruitful when they discover not just the missing Otter, but all the other missing creatures as well; in the process they also incriminate the Mayor.