watching, reading, and writing stories

Zootopia and Discrimination

on March 4, 2016

Well, I got to see Zootopia today and boy was that a great movie. I love any movie with an animated world and a good story. And Disney has done a phenomenal job with this one. Not only were the characters well developed, likable, and the story intricate, believable, and entertaining, but this movie strikes a cord with our own current reality. Just as in Zootopia, we cannot help but look at people’s appearances, whether it’s their height, weight, skin color, how they dress, or whatever. We stereotype and discriminate based on people’s appearances. Until we actually stop and get to know someone for who they are, it’s hard to move past these first observations.

Zootopia is able to deal with these adult themes and issues of discrimination and prejudice by creating an animal world that mimics our own. Instead of “white” and “black” or “wealthy” and “poor” we get “predator” and “prey.” But just as in our own world, what you look like on the outside is not what makes you who you are. The villain could be a predator or could just as easily be prey. It isn’t just what you look like, or how you’re treated that defines you, it’s what you do, what you say, how you react, and how you live.

Our heroine Judy Hopps doesn’t give up, even when everyone around her says she can’t be a cop. She doesn’t let other’s discrimination keep her from being who she is. But even though she tries her best to be unbiased towards others and even does noble things like stepping in to make sure a fox gets fair treatment, her own prejudices are still evident. Seeing a person and not just outward appearances is something that she, like everyone, has to learn throughout her life.

I love how this movie takes complicated issues like stereotyping and discrimination and deals with them. There are plenty of surprises in this movie, and several jokes where Disney pokes fun at itself. (Hint: keep a look out for Frozen references). So I highly suggest checking out Zootopia, it’s a great movie for the whole family.

I’ll leave you with some fun photos from the cardboard set up they had at the theater:


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