Zootopia: A Life Lesson about Stereotypes


Poor little Judy Hopps. All she wants is to be a police officer in Zootopia, the city where predators and prey live together in harmony. The problem? She’s a tiny bunny, and no bunny has ever been a cop before.

Her parents want her to stay home and work on their carrot farm, where it’s safe from predators like dangerous foxes—a bunny’s natural enemy—but that’s not the life that Judy wants. She wants a life with purpose, a life where she can make a difference.

After a lot of hard work and determination (and after a new “mammal initiative” from the mayor’s office), Judy is finally able to live her dream…until her first assignment, that is. Since she is a “token rabbit,” she ends up on meter maid duty. Judy doesn’t give up, though, and she is determined to be the best meter maid she can be. No expired parking meter goes unpunished.

Then Judy sees a suspicious fox entering an elephant ice cream shop. Why is this sneaky fox going in there? She decides to investigate, only to find that he’s just trying to get a giant popsicle for his young son, who wants nothing more than to be an elephant when he grows up. The elephants want nothing to do with a fox and deny him the elephant-sized popsicle. Feeling sympathetic because of her own plight to overcome stereotypes, Officer Hopps helps the fox get the treat for his son.

Later, Officer Hopps find that she was tricked, and the fox really is just as sneaky and underhanded as all foxes are—or at least, that’s what Judy was taught when she was growing up on the farm.

Meanwhile, predators are going missing, and the rest of the ZPD is on the case. Officer Hopps desperately wants to investigate, but the captain refuses to allow her to do anything more than issue parking tickets. Judy knows that there’s something nefarious going on, but with her hands tied by the police department, she has no choice but to accept her meter maid fate…for now.

Zootopia is a movie about overcoming stereotypes and fighting for your dreams, and it’s a cute movie (it even made this cynic tear up at one point), but oftentimes during this film Disney tends to shove the theme of stereotypes/racism down our throats, with both predators and prey being typecast in their traditional roles of dangerous versus vulnerable. That aside, Zootopia is a great movie to teach kids about being tolerant of others and to follow their dreams.

The film features a great cast of actors voicing the characters, with names like Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, and J.K. Simmons, and appearances by Tommy Chong, Shakira, and Alan Tudyk. The animation is stunning, though unless you’re set on seeing it in 3D I think that 2D would be fine.

Disney has another blockbuster on their hands with Zootopia, and it’s a great story for kids and adults alike.

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