Movie Review: “Zootopia”

“Zootopia,” released March 4, 2016, was an immediate global success. By May 2016, it was the second biggest original movie ever, behind only “Avatar.” But what led to this success? “Zootopia” features anthropomorphic animals, including crime fighting bunny Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), who follows her dreams of becoming a cop by moving to the big city and becomes involved in solving a major crime mafia. With the help of clever fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) she solves a very high profile case and gains the respect of her fellow officers and the chief of police.

However, Zootopia more than just your basic girl-meets-boy Disney movie. It tackles topics like bias and prejudice that are not usually seen in kids’ movies. As Judy Hopps works her way to becoming a police officer, she faces several  challenges. She is constantly overlooked because of her small size and the fact that she is a bunny. She is called things like “bunny bumpkin,” “carrot face,” “farm girl,” and “fluff butt.” She is encouraged by everyone, especially her own parents, to choose a safer job and become a carrot farmer like the rest of her family. However, she ignores their advice and becomes a police officer.  And after being assigned to meter maid duty, she jumps at the chance to solve a real case.

Something notable about during Judy’s police training is the fact that she seems to be the only female cadet. Not only is Judy a minority in terms of gender, but she is a member of the prey family. All of the other officers are big predators like rhinos, buffalo, tigers, and traditional intimidating animals. Bunnies like Judy are supposed to have easier, simpler jobs, like farming. “Zootopia” destroys the stereotype that officers have to be big strong male predators in order to  defend the city.

Zootopiais a Disney movie like no other, with scenes that make viewers think about the world around us, how it works and whether we are maybe too quick to judge based on a person’s outer appearance. 

Other Disney movies, like “Ariel” (1980), put strong emphasis on finding true love, no matter the cost. “Zootopia” is one of the more progressive Disney movies, and like “Mulan” (1998) it focuses more on being independent staying true to your values. It keeps the traditional Disney magic that brings us back to our childhood, while keeping the movie a Disney classic and suitable for the whole family, though there are several jump scares and suspenseful scenes. 

“Zootopia” proves that Disney is continuing to make classic movies– though the newer ones are more self-aware– for over almost a hundred years. 

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