A movie I like slightly less each time I see it, and now I’m up to four times, I think.
There’s no one fatal flaw, but there are so many little-to-medium things that bother me that it adds up to some pretty big reservations and caps the film at “merely good.” The comedy is horribly inconsistent, the tone is a whiplash, the racism parable had good intentions but is misguided and bizarre, the worldbuilding fairly incoherent, the copaganda aspect is off-putting, the pacing very scattershot, etc. Sloppiness and mediocre writing all over the place.
I do like that a Disney movie is this visually dark and scary its tensest moments, and that the mystery is taken pretty seriously. Most kids animation — even good ones, like HTTYD2 — pepper in comic relief to defuse the tension, where Zootopia is not afraid to ratchet it up.
The characters are well-designed, and the animation has held up better than several other mid-2010s features to my eyes. And I have miraculously few voice acting complaints.
But for a movie that got absolutely rapturous reviews upon release, Zootopia feels oddly inessential and uneven.
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.