Zootopia - Film Review

Four movie tickets were gifted to us to attend a preview of Walt Disney Animation Studio's latest movie Zootopia. This movie will be released on the 17th of March in Australia.

It's been a long time since I have been in a cinema where people clapped at the end, in fact I'm not even sure I have ever been in a cinema where people clapped. It's an uplifting feeling when it happens. People applauding to no one in particular, simply celebrating the way the movie made them feel and acknowledging it for what it was -  truly AMAZING!!

The end of Zootopia was so good that not only was there an applause, kids were dancing in the aisles. All of this made me grin ear-to-ear while I sat through the entire credits - also not something I do too often.

But I am not here to give away the ending, you will just need to see it for yourself to know that!

What I will do is let you know what Zootopia is about, whether your kids will enjoy it or not, and what you can do after you have seen it...

Zootopia is a world unlike anything you have seen before. There are no humans in this world yet it is not just simply an animal world either. It is a modern city built by animals to meet their needs, which means everything in the city is built to proportions to suit all animals of all sizes. In Zootopia the animals are realistically scaled and in proportion to each other. Giraffe's tower over mice, rabbits work with elephants and the food, the transport, the homes and the buildings all reflect this too.

Zootopia follows Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny police officer, as she has 48 hours to solve her first case and prove herself on the job. She finds herself working alongside Nick Wilde, a fox who is everything you expect a fox would be - sly, cunning and not always law abiding. These two play the typical antagonists; predator and prey, criminal and cop, realist and optimist. They portray both what the city claims to be and what it truly is. Mayor Lionheart says that 'In Zootopia anyone can be anything' which is exactly what Officer Hopps believes. The city though is full of prejudice, the small prey (like sheep and rabbits) are perceived to be meek and weak, while large animals are perceived to be strong and authoratative, and foxes are perceived to be sly and cunning - something that Nick has grown to believe of himself and thus live up to.

It's hard for me to pick a favourite part of Zootopia. Getting a glimpse of all of the districts is fascinating, you can see what I mean in this interview, and meeting Flash the Sloth is particularly funny! It is very likely that everyone that you go and see it with will end up with different favourite parts and characters.

You can find the preview for Zootopia here.

Is your child ready to watch this film?

Zootopia is rated PG as there are 'mild themes and threat'. The threat referred to here are a few scenes where an animal will become primal and attack another animal, essentially hunting them down. So you will see animals running in fear and animals looking rather mean, dark and scary with those predator eyes that Disney do so well (think hyenas in The Lion King and vultures in The Good Dinosaur). However you will not see any death in this movie and covering your eyes during these parts will not affect your understanding of the story.

Your child will also need to have a good attention span and be able to grasp a movie length plot to follow the story. In my opinion I would save this movie for a child around 6 years and older.

What can I discuss with my child after the movie?

This movie gives you a great opportunity to discuss ambition and future dreams and goals. It teaches you that you can and should break through stereotypes and prove yourself to be more than people's expectations. It is also a good opportunity to talk about how to live in a world full of differences in opinions, beliefs, looks and abilities.


How can I use Zootopia to encourage play?

Zootopia is bound to encourage lots of imaginative play in your children. In this imaginative play you will see children replay the plot and imitate the social interactions they saw. This is great for their comprehension skills and will help them to develop a deeper understanding of the ideas they saw in the film.

The best way to do this is through small world play. If I was a child seeing this movie I could imagine myself creating the city of Zootopia expanded over the floor of a room. The different districts would be distinct with different sized buildings and all sorts of animals living there. Have a look at the following small world play ideas for inspiration...

To create a city scene follow these directions from Learn with Play at Home 
Add nature to the city with these ideas from The Imagination Tree and Things to Share and Remember.

If you decide to see this movie I would love to hear about it and what your kids thought of it! I would also love to see your inspired play ideas!

Happy watching,

Alison :)

Image Credit for Zootopia images



  1. Sounds like a fantastic movie! I keep getting invited to these premiers but haven't been able to make one next... Hopefully soon! I'm hanging out for 'Finding Dory' 🐠👏🏻


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