Anyone who’s had the opportunity to visit a theater in the past couple months will have likely seen the incredibly cute trailer for Disney’s new film Zootopia. If you were one of the people smiling and/or laughing, you’ll likely enjoy this film very much. And you should. It’s brilliant.
Although it doesn’t resonate with all my strings, there wasn’t a single thing about the film warranting dislike. Zootopia was an incredibly realized world, and as a kids film, it did an insane job at world building. You writers out there, take notice. This is how it’s done.
Zootopia, as a city, is sectioned off by zone. Each zone is like a district that accommodates a certain climate, or animal size, but Disney finds the cutest and best possible ways to integrate nearly all species of the animal kingdom into a working class society.
This is a world where the likes of predator and prey are no more, each race having evolved and civilized beyond that. It’s in this way alone that all these species are capable of getting along. But there’s a deeply rooted prejudice against one another. Specific animal types aren’t trusted because of stereotypes that have been carried down throughout the generations.
In this way does the film excel best: it’s a perfect allegory for racism. It’s handled so well, but doesn’t hold back any of its punches. One species in particular is thought to be completely untrustworthy – and the movie shows us how stereotyping actually engenders and conflagrates these negative ideas in the mindsets of the species until they see it that way themselves.
For a kid’s film, it’s terribly deep. But there’s a second message that’s just as poignant for viewers, that being to follow your dreams, however big they are. It’s a wonderful film. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll move you to feel, and it has a strong story.