Zootopia (A-). The latest animated offering from Disney is a delight. In a world with no humans, all the other mammals have evolved a technological (and very human-seeming) civilization. Miraculously, predators and prey now live together in peace and harmony. But species-based stereotyping is still a problem, and when rabbit Judy Hopps decides that she wants to become the first rabbit police officer in the great city of Zootopia, she sends cultural shockwaves throughout the department. The visuals of the city and its many citizens are great, and Judy herself is completely adorable. Outstanding voicework by Ginnifer Goodwin (He’s Just Not That Into You) as Judy and by Jason Bateman (Couples Retreat) as a shifty fox on the make also contribute greatly to the success of the movie. Plenty of other celebrities also contribute vocals, including Idris Elba (Thor) and Shakira. Check it out!
Bolt (A-). As Metacritic.com says, this movie got “generally favorable reviews,” and imdb.com says it grossed $114 million in the USA, but I have the idea that it is viewed as a bit of a flop. Personally, I enjoyed it a lot. Yes, it borrowed from Toy Story and The Truman Show for the plot: a cute white dog named Bolt (voice of John Travolta, Hairspray) stars in a science-fiction/action TV series in which he has super powers, and he has been raised to think that everything that happens in the show is actually real. It happens that he is accidentally separated from his co-star and owner, a little girl named Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus, LOL), and so he must embark on a double journey: from NYC to Hollywood, and from his fantasy world to reality. Along the way he teams up with a streetwise alleycat named Mittens (voice of Susie Essman, Volcano), and she kind of steals the show in my book. I thought it was charming and heartwarming. Thus, the high grade.