By Nathalie Batista
Zootopia is a 2016 Disney movie directed by , , and . This is an animated movie that is meant for entertainment but it also delivers a great message. People have claimed it deals with the concept of racism. The whole idea of the film is basically “the predator group of animals and the prey group and if they evolved, would they put that deep-set fear about each other aside completely or would it still be there somehow?”.
The narrative gives the impression to come out of an adult crime thriller, this film is considered to be an allegory. The premise revolves around an animal society where everyone gets along meaning the predators and prey issues have been resolved long ago. This can be interpreted as the sexism and racism issues faced in the real world. These have been resolved from the outside. However, society still deals with them to a certain extent. With the movement “Black lives matter” and police brutality, this movie is said to come from a deeper place. “What makes this film so special is the way it injects real world logic into its world”.
Rabbit Judy Hopps is the main character in this movie (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin), her lifelong goal has been to become a police officer, coming from a farm, she moves to Zootopia a city where all your dreams come true. Similar to “New York” where there’s “nothing you can’t do”. She didn’t want to settle to be a carrot farmer as her other siblings. When she finally does become a police officer she realizes things are harder than she thought at Zootopia and she is underestimated by everyone because she is just a small bunny. During the movie she continuously has to remind Zootopia’s cape buffalo Chief, Bogo (Idris Elba voice) that she was the first female bunny in the academy, despite all her efforts he doesn’t believe in her bunny skills.
Zootopia has a lot of serious issues addressed but its animation makes it very eye catching and smooth making it a family friendly movie. This film tells a story that goes naturally from one event to the next. When Rabbit Judy Hoops finally becomes a police officer she is assigned parking tickets and she tries to prove herself as much more than just a parking ticket officer. She believes she can solve crimes and deal with the bad guys but because she is seen as a “fake cop” being a bunny and a female she is judged by the other the animals. When she was on duty placing her parking tickets she was manipulated by a con artist fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) then ends up reprimanded. The film naturally goes from one event to the next, cape buffalo Chief Bogo is forced to send officer Hoops on a crime investigation, she is given 48 hours to resolve the case of missing citizens. Ironically Nick the hustler fox helps Judy with the case. Although she cleverly black mails him with a tape recorder. This event leads to Judy and Nick becoming very close. Nick’s characterization is as if he is the bad guy in society. In Zootopia nobody trustees Foxes, it’s a stereotype they have as well as in the real human world where people hold racism stereotypes. With Nicks help she then realizes Zootopia is not what she thought it was. She discovers an underground conspiracy and also abuse of power. All this turmoil is presented full of color and animation.
The credibility of this film is evident kids will ask themselves and notice the real life injustice there is in the real world. Females are given the “easier jobs” as Judy Hoops was given the job to place tickets. She did become a police officer but by her being a female and a bunny which was considered inferior in Zootopia it was much harder for her and she had to strive for recognition and respect. Unlike the male officers who were buffalos and other much stronger animals in appearance. Also the abuse of power we have in real life is greatly shown in this film which makes the audience question a lot of things. The fact that Judy Hopps was a female who came from the countryside and actually made it to be a police officer was admiring and inspiring to the audience. It shows credibility because that is what our society lives by dreaming big and achieving your dreams. Even though if you are a female and a “bunny” meaning a minority or underclass it may take you much more work. Judy Hopps was not the only one who had to prove herself but Nick the fox had been put down by society as well when he wanted to be a scout as a young boy. The pressure and the violence by others was so much he gave up on his dreams and did dirty business which was what society expected him to be. But with the help of Judy, who believed in him with a few bumps down the road he got the chance to become a Police officer as well and earn a decent living. In real life some races have it much harder there is plenty of stereotype in our society and people find this movie credible because it targets issues we deal with in real life in a funny playful way. It brings a lot of questions from children and even adults.
The film holds a subjectivity in the emotion of Judy Hoops in a scene she cries hysterical asking for Nick’s forgiveness. Judy hoops had previously said all predators were bound to become savages because it was in their nature and Nick got very offended by it immediately doubting her loyalty to him. He said to Judy that she also had the same perception of him as everyone else. This scene shows some objectivity in a way because in real life people do have some misconceptions and stereotypes regarding certain people and races and this is what has caused so many conflicts in our society.
When Judy Hoops is crying hysterical this emotional effect might seem overdone but this film being a kid’s movie had to have some major effects to be able to catch the children’s attention. Another aspect is that bunnies were meant to be seen as weak and very emotional so this was emphasized in this scene. While she was crying the fox Nick seemed very cool and collected he hugged her and said “bunnies are always so emotional” but this is because but he is a fox with a tough exterior and that was just his character which the film played out pretty well.
Zootopia was a very interesting film because of its content and also the way it was presented. This film being a kid’s movie it never had a dull moment. It catches the audience attention all through the film with its awesome cartoons and colors and lighting.
Zootopia shows how good deeds and a good heart will always lead you in the right direction. Judy Hoops was just looking to be a great officer but she also maintained her integrity and her values throughout the film. In a scene where Judy and Nick were about to get thrown in ice cold water another animal came in the picture (the bad person’s daughter) and she saved their life by saying Judy had helped her by saving her life that same day. The father was very grateful and decided he wouldn’t hurt
them this makes also makes him a round character. This movie keeps you guessing and anxiously waiting for the next scene.
This film has caused much controversy because it touches topics that are very serious to deal with in our society and in this film it is presented in a very clever and animated way. In a scene Judy Hopps says to the front desk “You probably didn’t know, but, a bunny can call another bunny cute, but when other animals do it it’s a little…” this statement is really implying something else which is true in the world we live in. This movie is complex because it touches many things people might not really catch in real life and it also teaches kids to be better and hopefully make the world better since they are the future.
The main character is Judy Hopps she is a very positive bunny but she also has self-denial and self-righteousness and we can see she is unaware that she has the same preconceived notions about the world as her racist parents. She is a round character because she then realizes she has to change in order to make the world a better place and she admits to her mistakes and asks for forgiveness from Nick Wilde, the Fox. Nick is also a round character because he started as a con artist and then became a police officer changing bringing to life his killed dreams and trusting again. Judy’s boss, the intimidating Cape buffalo police chief was also a round character. At the beginning of the film he underestimated Judy Hopps and at the end he and everyone else had a different view of her. Jenny Slate is the assistant mayor, a sheep just trying to give another prey animal a hoof up in the world she is also a round character because at the end she ends up being evil. Gazelle a Giraffe singer is a flat character and she sings Shakira’s song throughout the film “try everything”. This song encourages the audience and the characters to never give up and keep working towards their goal.
The end of the movie is not surprising because we expected for Judy to reconcile with Nick Wilde. Without their reconciliation the movie wouldn’t have a happy ending and that’s what Disney, is about happy endings and things resolved. It was a bit surprising for them to become Police partners. Judy Hopps was a great role model for Zootopia she got there and she made a difference. She discovered the underground conspiracy and the abuse of power taking place so there was a great deal of suspense throughout the film. The film brought up a lot of questions which were answered throughout the timeframe of it. Nick is a secondary character which brought Judy the primary character to become better and own up to her mistakes and Judy also helped Nick to become a better person and stop being a hustler. Also Cape buffalo’s underestimating attitude towards Judy helped her get out her way and be recognized for who she is a very strong female bunny who owns up to her idea of being a police officer in the city of Zootopia.
Disney has changed its approach to its audience and the view that women should always be princesses in Zootopia that stereotype is done with. The main character Judy Hopps is very respectful and feminine but nowhere in the movie is she applying makeup or over doing it with her femininity or is she being a tomb boy. This movie was a very deep analytical movie.