By: R. Theodora Appleton
A friend of mine wanted to reunite so he invited me to go see Disney’s new animated film, Zootopia. Let me tell you, Disney animated classics aren’t made just for children.
Zootopia is about Judy Hopps and her dream to make the world a better place. Hopps moves to Zootopia, an eccentric metropolis of diversity in hopes to become the police department’s first bunny cop.
There are predators and prey of every species coexisting in peace in Zootopia, but her parents constantly encourage her to give up on her dreams because they believe bunnies should stick to their natural responsibilities of growing carrots.
Judy defies their low expectations by moving to Zootopia and yet more obstacles are shoved in her way when the police chief does not believe in her.
An odd duo forms when Judy meets the con artist fox Nicholas Wilde on ticketing duty. In order to crack a huge case the department is struggling with, Judy hops on the case and drags street-smart Wilde with her.
The city of Zootopia mirrors our society with its beauty and visible inequality. Similar to the racial and cultural diversity in New Jersey, Zootopia has an enormous mix of species. The production team humorously included the tiniest of mice to the largest of elephants all living together in harmony.
But its not all smiles and fun, real discrimination exists amongst the various populations in Zootopia. For instance, in the beginning of the film, an elephant doesn’t sell an ice cream cone to a fox because of his size. In our world, discrimination may be subtler and stereotypes are often ideas we can’t even notice.
Although discrimination exists in Zootopia, the sheer beauty of the diversity makes it clear that everyone is beautiful no matter what size, shape or color.
Another important idea in Zootopia is that your stereotypes, expectations from society, and social norms should not dictate your dreams and goals.
Societal roles were forced upon Judy by her parents, which was the ultimate challenge for her. To leave her parents wasn’t an easy task, but leaving them was fundamental for her personal growth.
There are countless innuendos and hidden messages in this film. Zootopia is inspirational, motivational and hilarious. I guarantee that you will fall in love with the characters immediately and find a way to relate to the story.