Determined to prove herself, Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on Zootopia’s police force, jumps at the chance to crack her first case – even if it means partnering with scam-artist fox Nick Wilde to solve the mystery.
Zootopia is not your typical animated children’s movie. Far from simple and one-dimensional, Zootopia is a great family movie filled with interesting characters, non-stop action, funny jokes, and a clever mystery. However, the most noteworthy aspect of this film, and the reason it’s garnered so much praise, is the very important message at its core – that stereotypes are empty concepts and discrimination is never justified.
Zootopia’s characters are all dimensional and well fleshed out. Judy has big dreams and wishes to become a cop in the city, rather than doing what is expected of her and becoming a farmer. She’s optimistic and highly determined to prove that stereotypes are an outdated concept and you can’t help but root for her to succeed as the first ever bunny cop. Nick, on the other hand, has resigned himself to a life in a very prejudiced city and has decided to try use stereotypes to his advantage rather than fighting the system.
The mystery is fun and gives you a tour of the city while leaving you scrambling to figure out what’s going on. There are loads of puns, hilarious capers and satirical pokes at city life along the way as well, like sloths working at the DMV.
However, the movie is ultimately a metaphor for society that reveals the detrimental effects of placing people into categories based on their appearances. Bunnies are not all sweet and cute, foxes are not all cunning, sheep are not all meek and so on. If you put your mind to something you can achieve it, regardless of what others may tell you is possible. However, it isn’t at all easy to change people’s minds. Zootopia is realistic in this respect and reveals just how pervasive stereotypes are and how easy it is to fall prey to them. All it takes is one generalization or misunderstood fact and things can get out of hand quickly.
Some people have criticised the movie on the grounds that Zootopia tries to equate race and species but I saw the film as trying to say that even if differences are real, that isn’t grounds to discriminate against someone either. Sure, as a bunny, Judy is a lot smaller than the other members of the police force but all that means is that she has to find her own way of doing things, not that she’s any less capable than anyone else.
In all Zootopia is a very important movie, especially in light of current events. It teaches us not to discriminate against others on any grounds, that bullying is never okay and that it makes no sense to be scared of a whole species/race/group of people on account of a few bad eggs. Thus Zootopia manages to tackles prejudice in a straightforward, child-friendly way while also having a plot complex enough to satisfy adults. It’s truly a family movie – everyone can get something from it.