Zootopia: A Review on Stereotypes

Zootopia: A Review on Stereotypes

Warning: Contains spoilers

Recently I went and saw the movie Zootopia. I walked into the theater only expecting a fun, animated kids movie. All I knew was that it was about a bunny who wanted to be a cop. I had only seen the trailer once and thought it looked cute. Walking out of the theater, though, my view of the movie changed. It was still the cute funny kids movie that I thought it would be but it was so much more. I now knew why it received a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has an 8.4 on IMDb. But why is it so good not just to young but also older audiences? It because of the message it conveys.

Zootopia is about a society without humans where predators and prey can live in harmony. They are human like with the ability to talk and technological advancements from iPhones to a full-fledged government. The story is centered around a bunny named Judy Hopps whose dream is to become a cop. Usually, predators are the only animals that become cops but she firmly believes that she can be just as good of a cop as any predator because they are all equal, right? She ends up being valedictorian of her class and getting a job in the heart of Zootopia, but it's not quite what she expects. This film's main message addresses stereotyping of all kinds but can really be boiled down to three.

1. Little Guy Stereotyping

This was essential to the storyline of the film and is the most obvious of the three. Judy is seen as weak and tiny compared to her larger and (usually) more aggressive coworkers. Even though she was the best of her class, her boss doesn't take her seriously when she first arrives on her job, so he gives her the job of meter-maid (giving out tickets). This makes her upset because she wants to be a real cop on cases like she rightly deserves. Predators seem to have the positions of power whereas prey have the small, less meaningful jobs. This is frustrating because even though she has proven her worth, because of her species she can't do what she wants to do. This happens all around us every day. People continuously defy statistics of a stereotype and are still not taken seriously.

2. Self- Fulfilling Stereotyping

Nick Wilde, a con artist fox, very much fills the shoes he expected too, a least at the beginning of the film. A fox is traditionally categorized as sneaky and conniving and Wilde fulfills that destiny because that is what expected of him. He was bullied for being a predator and in turn, saw no place for himself so he became what everyone thought he was. This aspect of the film is very much pointing out how sometimes because people are seen as being one way due to a number of reasons (gender, race, religion, etc.) then they begin to reflect and continue the stereotype because there is no point to try and change.

3. Breaking Away from Stereotyping

There are a lot of characters that do this but the most significant is Dawn Bellwether. She is a tiny sheep who is also the assistant to the mayor, who happens to be a lion. This tiny kind sheep is actually the main antagonist of the film. The entire movie not only addresses how we need to break stereotypes but also the entire story of the film does this. The tiny little sheep is the one who is trying to make the prey rise up by trying to prove stereotypes of the predators, that they are vicious and deadly and are not capable of being in charge. This is also pointing out how violence is not the way to defeat stereotypes but reason and kindness as well as a firm hand as shown by Judy Hops's personality.

Zootopia is a great movie to show your children of any age, whether 5 to 40. It teaches them that making judgements based on the species (representing gender, race, religion, etc.) of a person is not ok. This movie is a great step forward in how kids movies send a message to their target audience. Oh, and to make it even better, it's hilarious.

Cover Image Credit: Disney

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

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The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Despite her awkward and quirky personality, I think the Alabama native is truly a sweetheart. She cannot be judged based on the controversy that took place between her and Caelynn because no one knows the full truth of the story. In my opinion, no one was completely innocent in their "cat fight" but the way in which each girl handled themselves in the resolution of this drama was mature and, quite frankly, impressive. I think Hannah B's season will be full of more tears and could potentially be very uncomfortable to watch at some moments, but at the end of the say, Hannah B. deserves to find love just like any other 'Bachelor' hopeful. It will definitely be an interesting season to watch, so get excited!!

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