Lessons From "Zootopia"
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Lessons From "Zootopia"

What we can learn from a kid's movie

Lessons From "Zootopia"

"Zootopia" has been rocketing past expectations as it surpasses 1 billion dollars in the box office. It is loved by parents and kids alike. When I had the opportunity to see the film after waiting awhile, I was excited. It seemed like a great movie, but I didn't know anything about it.

It was good. Let me just start by saying that, it was a good film. It made me laugh, and more importantly it made my best friend laugh which is just an amazing sound.

There were a lot of things in the movie that surprised me. I know that Disney movies seem to always expose child viewers to important lessons. Disney is no stranger to a didactic story. In "Frozen," they experience the love between sisters, in "The Lion King," they experience grief.

"Zootopia's" message was one that was constantly shocking me.

First, some background, if you've never seen it. "Zootopia" is about a rabbit who wants to smash every expectation. (Yeah, I put a Hamilton reference in here, what are you going to do about it?)

This is Judy Hopps:

She really did exceed every expectation that was set out for her and became the first rabbit police officer in "Zootopia." Nobody thought she could do it, and her parents didn't want her to do it.

Unfortunately, things don't go very well for Judy, and she's left with traffic duty, which, to her, is less than ideal.

To cut a long movie short, Judy gets the opportunity to prove her worth with the help of this guy:

They basically prove their worth and everything's great, but that shouldn't be a surprise, it's a Disney movie, everything always ends up okay, right?

What was so shocking to me about "Zootopia" wasn't the plot or the characters or the ending, but the message that exuded out of every word and every dialogue exchanged.

In "Zootopia" there is incredible hatred towards the predators. Even though all the animals coexist in this one town, there is still quite a bit of animosity between the predators and the prey, something that is shown in their media and their day to day life.

The first real exposure that viewers get to this is when Nick (the fox above) is refused service at a popsicle shop owned by an elephant simply because he is a predator.

The blatant discrimination in the film is clearly a metaphor for the Black Lives Matter movement in America, and the rest of the world for that matter. Unlike other Disney films, "Zootopia" seems to be trying to tackle the big issues that are actually plaguing people right now.

Not only do they show what racism is like in this film, but they also bring to light the problems when their are a few bad cops that get all the spotlight and all the good cops seem to be lumped in with the bad.

Judy's chief says to her in the film, after she spoke out about her insecurities about her job as a police officer, "The world has always been broken, that's why we need good cops. Like you."

In a world where today's society seems to be pulling out their phones whenever they get pulled over, this is an incredibly important lesson to be teaching our children.

This isn't to say that there isn't a reason to be weary of people, but it is important to realize that their are good people. There really are.

"Zootopia" is a good movie. It's not my favorite Disney movie, but I do hope it's one that will continue to resonate with people. I do hope it's a movie mothers and fathers and all the in-betweens will show their children, no matter what their age.

What Judy has to teach us is an important lesson for everyone:

"I thought this city would be a perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, life's a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means, hey, glass half full, we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what kind of person you are, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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