Diversity. Since the beginning of the film industry, there has been a severe lack of representation for so many groups and types of people. That’s why a movie like “Zootopia” is so significant for the statement it makes. The film follows a bunny who breaks barriers as the first bunny cop. Facing the prejudice of all other animals, Judy Hopps proves herself to be an outstanding officer of the law eventually bringing together both predator and prey. This film is about bunny empowerment, something that not nearly enough films talk about or show. Most bunnies are stereotyped in “bunny” supporting roles, so it’s refreshing to see a bunny that has clear character development and takes an active role in the film. Additionally, the film has important social commentary on predator animals. While it’s easy for prey animals (who make up 90% of the population in the film) to give in to the fear of predators, the film preaches tolerance and compassion for the minority. I hope that when animals watch this film, it leaves an impact on them when they hop or scurry away from the theater.
Animation. Sometimes when there is a story to be told that extends beyond what can be created or afforded in real life, the film must be drawn. It is important that animation is only used when necessary, otherwise an audience will be bothered that the story isn’t live action. The film “Finding Nemo” works as an animated movie because if the film starred live humans instead of animated fish, the humans wouldn’t be able to breath much less act at the bottom of the ocean. However, “Zootopia” could be easily adapted to human characters in live action. The animals in the movie drive cars, wear the latest fashions, and even use apps on their iPhones. The story was adapted to a world of animals, and I found the cleverness in the parallelisms between the movie and modern human society to be humorous and cool. This ruined the serious drama which the filmmakers were clearly trying to make. I mean, the theater I was in was filled with children. I’m sure the writer never expected that. You’d think with all the nudity and violence the MPAA would have given it an R rating.
Accuracy. A movie has a responsibility to an audience to provide an honest representation of its subject matter. After reading the title, I was shocked that there isn’t one human in the whole film. This was a huge hurdle that I had to overcome in order to even watch the film, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Anyone who’s been to a zoo knows that the most common animal at the zoo is the human. Their enclosure is certainly the largest as it weaves around all of the other animal’s enclosures. The film’s absence of such an important species led me to speculate why it was not included. All I could come up with is that maybe the animals took over the world and killed off all of the humans. This gave the film a very dark tone that obviously went over the heads of the rest of the young audience. Hopefully, I’m wrong and there is an explanation in the sequel.
It is an enjoyable surprise when a film like “Zootopia” comes out and exceeds all expectations. Not only was the movie filled with creativity and originality, it also had very apt themes for today’s society. I give this movie zero popped corns.