During its heyday, some of Hollywood’s best movies were able to bridge America’s social divides in clever and entertaining ways that had broad appeal.
for example, in frank capra’s great depression classic it happened one night, a sensible working town reporter, played by clark gable, was able to fall in love with a spoiled rich girl, played by claudette colbert, and even gaining the admiration of his rich father. Thus, the tensions between rich and poor during a volatile time of social upheaval in America were tempered by love, with a dash of integrity and humility. In the end, Gable’s character realizes that his assumptions against rich people being completely selfish were too harsh, but the rich girl and her father learn instead that their assumptions that a normal worker like the reporter is envious and will only want money from them. . both assumptions turn out to be wrong and they lived happily ever after.
Disney’s newest animated film, Zootopia, sometimes reminded MovieGuide® of this long-lost ability of fables from Hollywood’s golden age, like It Happened One Night, to bridge the divides between rich and poor, male and women, young and old. it’s a movie with strong messages that can appeal to liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, atheists and religious alike. for example, the film shows a world where predatory animals and their prey, the lion and the lamb, have “evolved” to live in complete harmony in a utopian city called zootopia. at the same time, it shows a fallen world where bad things can happen, a world that needs a good, hard-working cop to identify the bad guys, lock them up, and keep the peace. The clash of left and right can even be seen in pop sensation Shakira’s movie theme song, which is titled “Try It All.” the song appeals to liberals because it encourages people to chase their dreams and “try everything” but the song also appeals to conservatives because the lyrics admit that the world is messy and you will make mistakes every day so you just have to get up and try again if you fail, or do something else.
therefore, the film begins in rural bunnyburrow, where little judy hops puts on a little school play with her classmates for her parents. The play explains that animals have “evolved” so much that predators and prey now live in total harmony in the city of Zootopia, where you can be anything you want to be. However, Judy’s parents are upset to learn that her young daughter wants to become a police officer and “make a difference.”
Fifteen years later, Judy works hard at the police academy to keep up with all the other bigger animals. Judy’s obstacle course footage shows Judy repeatedly failing and falling, only to get up, try again, and use her mind and jumping ability to successfully complete the race with flying colors. Next thing you know, Zootopia’s mayor, Lionheart, and the mayor’s assistant, a little lamb, welcome Judy as the newest member of the Zootopia police force. in fact, she’s part of the city’s new “inclusion” policy, where even a bunny can be a police officer. So, Judy proudly boards the train headed to the central area of the city, Central Savanna, where animals of all breeds and sizes work together. however, her parents are still afraid that the city will eat her little daughter alive, metaphorically speaking. They promise to pray for her, but Judy tells them not to worry about her.
When she arrives in Central Savanna, Judy is disappointed that Police Chief Bogo, a huge water buffalo, assigns her to become a lowly maid. Bogo is totally opposed to the Mayor’s new bunny inclusion policy, even though Judy was top of her class.
Judy decides to prove herself and write 200 tickets before noon. she totally accomplishes that goal. However, she is tricked by a cunning red fox named Nick Wilde and his companion, a chihuahua who poses as a small child but is actually an adult. Judy pays $15 for a huge red lollipop for the chihuahua, but nick and the chihuahua turn the lollipop into a bunch of little lollipops and sell them to a horde of little hamsters who work in the financial district. they then take the popsicle sticks and sell them as “redwood” to a local lumberyard.
back at the police station the next day, mrs. Otterton, an otter, goes to Chief Bogo to beg him to find her missing husband, Emmett. Bogo dismisses her claim, even though police are looking for 14 other missing predators. Judy offers to take the lady. the otterton case, but bogo gives him only 48 hours to solve it. if he fails, judy must resign from the police force.
judy found out about nick’s popsicle scam. She also learns that Nick was the last person she saw Emmet the Otter alive. So, she blackmails him into helping her track down Emmet’s whereabouts. Ella’s investigation uncovers some wild and bizarre shenanigans, but Judy makes a mistake that puts the entire town in jeopardy and cuts short the growing friendship between her and Nick. When Judy stumbles upon the whys and wherefores behind the disappearance of the missing mammals, can she convince Nick to return to work with her and help her bring the culprit to justice?
zootopia is fun and exciting at all times. it also has a lot of heartwarming moments as well as some fantastic and beautiful animations. It’s both a buddy comedy and a cop comedy, so there’s plenty of action. Some of the action involves scary animals gone berserk, so caution is advised for younger children.
zootopia has a strong moral worldview with some redeeming elements. there are positive references to god, prayer and miracles. Also, Nick goes from being a hustler to being a good guy. zootopia has many positive moral messages, including never giving up, perseverance, courage, seeking forgiveness, helping others, and fixing a broken world by becoming a diligent police officer who seeks truth and justice, and does what Right. Contrary to the feelings of some people these days, being a police officer is seen as a good thing in zootopia.
The film’s more liberal messages, like following your dreams and the idea that you can be anything you want, are tempered by these positive messages. Additionally, the movie pokes fun at Transcendental Meditation in one scene and pokes fun at political correctness at a point where Judy tells people that only other rabbits can tell that she’s a “cute” bunny. That said, there are a couple of references to “evolving” animals. furthermore, the film deliberately attacks stereotypes: notions like elephants never forget anything, rabbits are always shy, and foxes can’t be trusted. this message fits with the theme song of the film, which is titled “try everything”.
Eventually, however, the film’s protagonist learns that the world has always been a broken place and needs a good, brave cop to enforce the rules and keep the peace. In addition, the atmosphere of the film reflects the American society. Like America, Zootopia is a melting pot. while people are free to be whatever they want, they cannot simply indulge their own selfish desires by trampling on the freedom, desires, dignity, and rights of others.
zootopia is a fun and uplifting moment in the movies.