Once upon a time mainstream animated movies, such as those from Disney, were there to just keep the youngsters interested, while the adults could get on with something else or sit there and be transported back to their own childhood.
There still is a market for those films, but for the most part the industry has moved on to far more exciting levels.
We now have animation that is so complex and absorbing that you can spend a first viewing just gazing at the scenery.
We also have the multi-layered movies, so while the younger members of the audience are enjoying the story and characters, there are plenty of references and jokes added for adults.
I thought last year’s Inside Out had set the bar incredibly high, but Zootropolis matches it.
Zootropolis (or Zootopia in the US - changed so we can ‘have a unique title that works for UK audiences’) has brilliant characters, a plot that keeps you guessing, and stunning animation.
We are in a world where there are no humans, just animals who have learned to get on with each other.
Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) is the first rabbit to join the city’s police department.
She is immediately given the rookie’s job of issuing parking tickets, much to her dismay.
However, she meets a con artist fox called Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and the two get involved in a case of multiple abduction.
As with many of these animations you can spot the ‘message’ - this one is about toleration and getting on with all races.
But the most fun (for adults) is keeping an eye out for cultural allusions and visual gags (I loved the Breaking Bad reference and the bootleg DVD titles are inspired).
Cutting across all the age barriers are the sloths, though. proving that you really don’t need quick editing and fast action to hold people’s attention!
Overall, this is a top quality film for the family, although one or two scenes may unnerve the very young (hence the PG rating).
Film details: Zootropolis (PG) 108mins
Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore
Starring: (voices of) Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba
Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol
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