This is an excellent animated film from the Walt Disney studios that tells the story of the town of Zootopia where all animals, even those who used to be predators and prey in the distant past, have learned to live together in harmony. The story focuses on a rabbit Judy Hopps who realizes her dream of becoming the first rabbit to become a member of the police force that has been dominated by large mammals. She graduates top of her police academy class but faces all manner of discouragement, from her parents who fear the dangers of the job to her precinct boss who thinks that rabbits have no business being police officers and assigns her to parking meter duties in an effort to get her to become frustrated and quit.
Hopps stumbles onto a case involving animals who are mysteriously disappearing and which expands into a more sinister situation where some animals seem to be exhibiting predatory behavior. Defying her boss, she sets about trying to solve the case with the help of a street hustling fox whom she maneuvers into becoming her partner.
On the surface level this is a straightforward comedy-mystery buddy-cop flick and it works very well purely on that level. It is hilarious (it does a nice parody of The Godfather) and the mystery plot is plausible and resolved deftly.
But the film is quite political in that it also has as a subtext containing remarkably strong messages about stereotypes and prejudices and how politicians deliberately stoke animosities and fears about one another and perpetuate ideas about supposedly primeval violent tendencies in order to divide and rule.
Recently I have found that animated films are often some of the best ones. I suspect that it is because I value a good storyline and dialogue and animated films have to depend on them exclusively and thus put a lot more thought into them. Because they are animated and are targeted at children, they cannot depend on the star appeal of actors, sex, violence, profanity, and special effects to draw in the crowds and mask the weaknesses of plot and dialogue. (Of course, one could argue that animation is a kind of special effects, but you know what I mean.)
You should really see it. Here’s the trailer.