Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) and Nick Wilde the fox (Jason Bateman) in ‘Zootropolis’
Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) and Nick Wilde the fox (Jason Bateman) in ‘Zootropolis’

The Disney animated animal comedy Zootropolishas its cake and eats it. In fact you never saw a cake so sumptuously served and then so satisfyingly gobbled down, to the last crumbs of political correctness made comical and right-on pieties baked into a gateau for guffaws. The film is witty, tasty and in best sense bad-tastey. (Iconoclastic, sanctimony-spoofing.) Whatever did we do to deserve it for Easter?

The heroine is Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin), a young rabbit leaving “Bunnyburrow” — past the city limit sign with the population number clicking upward like a stock exchange board — for a big city police career. The Zootropolis cop chief, a sexist African buffalo (Idris Elba), consigns her to meter-maiding. Hang in, though. On the streets she meets a fox (Jason Bateman) who contrary to foxist stereotyping seems a nice fellow, until consistent with foxist stereotyping he proves a con artist. Blackmailed for his unpaid taxes, he’ll agree to help boost her promotion chances by co-solving a major crime.

Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) directed and co-story-wrote. Never mind — in fact rejoice — that the crime is so complex it makes Inherent Vice seem like noughts and crosses: a richly plotted, Pynchon-plus conspiracy intrigue involving vanished predator beasts, takeover schemes, an Arctic shrew with a Don Corleone complex (“You come to me on the day of my daughter’s wedding”) and the hysterically sweet and vulnerable — or is she? — deputy Mayor Mrs Bellwether, a sheep (Jenny Slate).

I can’t say more or I’ll be in spoiler land. Just relish the zingy jokes and in-jokes; a slow-burn dialogue scene with sloths that’s an instant classic; the elastic character animation; and the pacy, racy disrespect for PC of all hues and flavours. As eagerly as the film sets before us, in early scenes, its presentation table of “tsk-tsk” righteousness about the stereotyping of beasts and beings, it then laughingly and ravenously wolfs it down — if you’ll allow me a verb that might prejudice your attitude to lupines.

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