Disney smackdown: Is ‘Zootopia’ better than ‘Frozen’?

One is the story of an ice princess that enchanted the hearts of girls around the world. The other chronicles the tale of a rabbit and fox who solve a mystery; tacking racial discrimination in the process. Both films took in over $1 billion worldwide; but one question remains: Is “Zootopia” better than “Frozen?”

Read my film vs. film breakdown, then vote in our poll. It’s an epic battle that has paws and claws weathering a storm of ice and snow.

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Back in 2013, “Frozen” became the first picture from Disney Animation Studios to win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. This was after six losing bids from the studio over 12 years. This year, “Zootopia” is the Gold Derby frontrunner to take that prize for the same studio with combined odds of 2/9.

However, that is the only category in which”Zootopia” is nominated. “Frozen” was able to also win the Oscar for Best Song for the anthem “Let It Go.”  Both films won the Golden Globe for Animated Film.

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If you think the most popular film should reign supreme then “Frozen” freezes the competition. It earned $400 million in the US compared to the still impressive “Zootopia” gross of $341 million. Worldwide “Frozen” scored $1.2 billion. That’s ‘the first time in forever’ an animated film took in that much! And $200,000 more than “Zootopia.”

Then again maybe you think the most acclaimed film is the best. Here we see another tight race. But in this case it’s Office Judy Hopps that is able to stop Elsa in her tracks. On Metacritic, “Zootopia” scored a 78 compared to 74 for “Frozen.” If you’d rather go with the more populist Rotten Tomatoes aggregator “Zootopia” fares even better with a 98% score against a cool 89% for “Frozen.

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However at the end of the day it boils down to which story resonated with you the most. For me it was “Zootopia.” Partly because I love a good mystery. Partly because I thought the development of the friendship between Officer Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde was sweet and profound. And largely because of the way it was able to address the pertinent issue of racial profiling which is a rarity for any film, let alone a family one. Oh, and ‘Flash’ the DMV Sloth.

But if you think I’m bonkers and “Frozen” is the superior film. No reason to ‘let it go.’ Vote in our poll below and leave a cool comment.

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17 thoughts on “Disney smackdown: Is ‘Zootopia’ better than ‘Frozen’?

  1. Apples to oranges. One is a musical and the other isn’t. Far as story, characters, and world building goes however Zootopia is the clear winner.

  2. They’re both great, but I personally think “Zootopia” is Disney’s biggest crowning achievement in years. It tackled so many important issues and a movie like that was really needed for our society. Of course “Kubo and the Two Strings” won the BAFTA. However, that doesn’t mean “Zootopia” won’t win the Oscar.

    1. Yeah Kubo one the BAFTA but Zootopia has won everything else! People seem quick to forget when they talk about BAFTA predicting the Oscar for animation. Only once has a animated film only won the BAFTA and gone on to win the Oscar and that was way back in 2001! Zootopia just has way to much going for it to lose after all it’s done.

          1. Yeah! I remember when “Happy Feet” won that year. That movie didn’t win the big awards like the Golden Globe, the Critics’ Choice Award, and the PGA. All those awards went to “Cars,” which was favored to win both the BAFTA and the Oscar. Ever since then, every animated film that won the BAFTA for Best Animated Feature has gone on to win the Oscar for the same category until the year “The Lego Movie” won the BAFTA, but was shockingly snubbed at the Oscars. “Kubo” was also nominated for Best Visual Effects and one could say that could make it a big threat as well. However, people need to know that just because an animated movie gets nominated in another category like that doesn’t mean it will win. It could help, but it helps more when it’s also nominated for either of the screenplay categories and/or Best Picture. Odds are there was a voting split at the BAFTAs since “Finding Dory” and “Moana” were also nominated. “Moana” also got two Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Orignal Song. It’s just a really competitive race in Best Animated Feature this year. I still think “Zootopia” has the slight edge because it has themes that Academy voters will go for. Let’s also not forget “Zootopia” made the AFI’s Top 10 Films of 2016 list and was the one and only animated film from last year that made the list.

          2. I should also mention that “Inside Out” won every award for animation last awards season, including the BAFTA and the Oscar. But I think this year, the winners of the BAFTA and the Oscar for Best Animated Feature are liable to not mirror.

    2. Oh I agree! People seem very quick to disregard the importantace of the AFI! That by the way is to this point 100% correct with Best Feature Animation Oscar. Unlike every other award each and every time an animated film has won this exclusive and pretty rare award it has gone on to win a Oscar! The only exception to this was the year two animated films won it, one of them still went on to win the Oscar however!

      Actually looking at the history of awards I don’t recall of any animated film that’s won the Critics Choice, Golden Globe, and every major Annie Award, and a majority of the guilds that didn’t win the Oscar.

      I also agree with the strong case of vote splitting with the BAFTA and have read this from several reports.

      Far as the another film having two awards vs one argument I always point back to the Golden Globes when many thought Moana would take the award because of being nominated for two awards. As for Kubo and I can’t help but wonder if the FX award will hurt it more than help. It’ll certainly make some question why a animated film nominated for an award that generally caters to real media. To me it just comes off as questionable of what really is animation.

      Another problem I see is Knight. He’s not an established director and not really in the Hollywood scene. Basically he’s never had to work hard to get where he is today and only has this job now because he’s the son of a billionaire and his father owns the company! That’s something that can’t be said about Howard and Moore who’ve been part of Hollywood a long time and worked hard from the ground up to get where they are today. And with last year’s “Oscars so white” if someone was to bring up the very white cast of Kubo and the two strings vocing every single main ‘Asian’ character, it isn’t going to look good!

      Lastly I strongly believe that Zootopia has this thing all but tired up. And I agree it’s the only film this year that’s message is so timely and important! The Academy certainly will not want to pass up this opportunity! I mean in a highly political environment who would you rather have up on stage giving a speech?

      1. I wonder how many Oscar voters participate in the AFI every year? That’s an interesting question. “Zootopia” should still be able to win the gold, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

        1. Well the AFI is a highly respected and sought-after film school and conservatory so I’d bet more than a few have crossed their halls.

  3. ZOOTOPIA IS A HELL A LOT BETTER THAN FROZEN!!! Even though Frozen made more $ than Zootopia. Zootopia won a lot of awards, Nick and Judy are the top best Disney characters, the film is about society/racism/discrimination and doesn’t have annoying songs like “Let it Go”. WITHOUT A DOUBT, ZOOTOPIA! ZOOTOPIA! ZOOTOPIA!

  4. I really don’t see a comparison here. Sure Frozen made more but it was also riding on a hit song. Zootopia didn’t have that going for it and had to work a whole lot harder to get where it is today. If animation, a serious story, characters, and impact means more to you Zootopia is DEFINITELY the winner! If pure entertainment value and characters breaking out into songs are more important Frozen will be the winner.

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