For the past three weekends, Disney’s Zootopia has ruled the box office roost, bringing in a surprising amount of moviegoers and box office dollars. Sure, it’s one of Disney’s best films in the past decade or so, but it’s safe to assume that nobody thought the story of a rabbit and a fox cracking down on crime would be such an off season juggernaut. Which asks the question of how exactly this came to be, a question that we intend to answer five times over. Here now are the five reasons we think Zootopia has been the apex predator of the cinematic food chain.
There’s A Lack Of Competition For Family Box OfficeIf The Little Prince had maintained its March 18th release date, you might have seen a bit of competition standing against Disney’s Zootopia. But with no other children’s films to speak of, and the law of diminishing returns ravaging The Divergent Series: Allegiant’s opening weekend, Zootopia has had no problem dispatching of monsters, bumbling spies, and any other upstart that’s tried to take the crown. With a film like this guaranteeing at least double the ticket money, when factoring in one parent into the equation, Zootopia couldn't help but be a hit. Though it helps that the adults are enamored with the film’s style as well.
There's Too Many Gags To Catch In One ViewingYou can’t write off Zootopia as strictly a children’s film, no matter how many times you try. Part of the reason that the film crosses over so well with adult audiences is the fact that the film has so many jokes to catch up with. Between the gags sprinkled in the dialogue, as well as the easter eggs and sight gags that are more accessible to everyone, there’s a lot to take in while laughing. So, of course, some intrepid viewers have probably seen Zootopia a good three or four times in order to catch something a friend of theirs noticed.
The Story Is Relevant And TimelyOf course, for every laugh that Zootopia manages to inspire, there’s a thought-provoking moment to match it. As the film’s plot navigates the usual Disney hybrid of heroic quest and kid-friendly morality play, it uses the story at hand to speak to specific issues of today. Themes such as the responsibilities of law-enforcement and elected officials, as well as perseverance in the face of societal pressure, are played out perfectly on the screen. The fact that they’re being told in a context that’s easy for children to pick up on, while not dumbing it down so hard that the adult audience cringes, helps audiences come back to the film for another round of analysis.
That Shakira Song Is Really CatchyDisney movies and pop songs are like a hand and glove, and if you think otherwise, just hum the first couple bars of "Let It Go" and prepare to be proven wrong. But just when you thought you were free of the latest Disney earworm, along came Shakira to tell you that you were dead wrong. While aptly being used as the anthem for Judy Hopps’ arrival to Zootopia, as well as the number to start off the film’s closing credits, "Try Everything" is the latest in the long line of Disney tunes to have us humming on our way out of the theater. And now that we’ve mentioned it, it’s stuck in our heads yet again.
It's Genuinely That GoodAbove any other factor that may play a part in the success of Disney’s Zootopia, the best reason for its continued box office fortunes is the fact that it’s just simply that good of a movie. Disney animation has been going through another sort of modern renaissance over the past couple of years, and Zootopia is further proof that the house that Mickey built is returning to true form. The characters are identifiable and engaging, the jokes are fast and hilarious, and the message is as pure as you could expect from the company that’s built an empire around nurturing the hearts and minds of the world. Zootopia is a financial success because it took the time to be a cinematic success, and it deserves every bit of praise that it’s earned.