It’s something special when a parent can enjoy a stereotypical kid’s movie. This phenomenon describes Disney’s newest movie, Zootopia, which tackles the subject of disregarding stereotypes.
Zootopia stars a small, suburban bunny named Judy Hopps who dreams of making the world a better place. She lives in a world of animals, both predator and prey, who live together peacefully. Of course, there are some mean animals here and there, but as it’s mentioned several times in the film, these mean animals’ personalities have nothing to do with their predator or prey identity.
Hopps strongly believes that animals’ identities shouldn’t control who they are in life. Even when her parents insist that she should be a carrot farmer like many bunnies, Hopps says that she can be anything and quickly starts battling social norms.
She becomes the first bunny cop in the city of Zootopia, a job that’s typically filled by larger animals. She encounters a fox, Nick Wilde, along the way, and the remainder of the film concerns her and the fox’s journey in solving a missing mammal case for the Zootopia police department.
This is where Zootopia turns into a cute crime movie, if there is such a thing. Hopps and Wilde follow leads that carry them through a series of adventures: sneaking through a building guarded by wolves and being threatened by a tiny, yet powerful mouse.
Disney has created a whole world for these animals to inhabit. This animal metropolis is fascinating and funny as you watch little mice villages with their animal versions of Macy’s and Target or watch Hopps and Wilde walk through a group of animal naturalists. There’s nothing funny about parking tickets or taxes in the human world, but these concepts in a cartoon animal film make it a little more relatable and oddly charming.
Zootopia doesn’t stop there. It highlights the unfairness of racism and stereotyping in an animal setting. Why should a fox be refused service at a restaurant run by elephants? Or why should a tiger be stereotyped as mean because of his large stature?
Although it’s not a Pixar film, Zootopia is up there with films such as Up and Inside Out, both movies that producer John Lasseter collaborated on. Lasseter and the rest of his team have yet again released a film targeted toward children with important underlying messages, presented in a way that’s captivating, entertaining and beautiful.
Zootopia isn’t just for kids. It’s a movie that everyone can learn from.