It’s a Zoo out there!

Editor, Rachel Smith, reviews Disney's latest film, Zootopia.

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Editor, Rachel Smith, reviews Disney’s latest film, Zootopia.

Rachel Smith, A&E/ Opinions Editor

Disney films are notorious for their hidden moral lessons, and Zootopia is no different. However, I believe this recent release is more relatable to today’s modern society because it discusses issues of race and gender equality.

Zootopia is a city full of different animals that are able to live together in peace. This inspires Judy, a bunny from the country, to make the big move with the hopes of being able to achieve her dream job as a cop. But Judy’s first day on the job proves widely different than she imagined as she is continually brushed aside by the chief. For example, when there are 14 missing mammal cases and exactly 14 cops in the room (including Judy), the chief decides not to give her a case. A dejected Judy is left to hand out parking meter tickets.

However, Judy is not a meter maid for long, for she soon catches a wanted criminal to the surprise of the chief. Judy is thus able to convince the chief to give her one of the missing mammal cases. He does so grudgingly, stating that she has 48 hours to find the missing Otter or else she must resign from her position. Judy accepts the agreement hesitantly and is inspired to enlist the help of a sly fox named Nick, who, due to his fairly shady background, is able to help Judy gather needed-information regarding Mr. Otterman.

Throughout the movie, Judy and Nick work together to track down the missing otter, with each new clue leading them closer and closer to the conclusion. While Judy and Nick look for the otter, new secrets are revealed and the two discover that the larger animals- referred to as the Predators- are becoming savage as they turn back to their predatory ways.

To Judy’s disappointment, this quickly changes the manner of life in Zootopia. Citizens begin to live in fear, placing blame on the Predators and constructing a discriminatory barrier between the animals. Once an accepting city, Zootopia becomes tarnished with feelings of anger and blame as even the law enforcement struggles to give citizens a feeling of security.

Zootopia is vastly different from many Disney movies and I was surprised that it is aimed toward specific topics that continue to be an issue in today’s society. Since she is a woman, Judy has trouble finding a job and is not taken seriously, partly because the rest of the police department is full of big men. As a result, Judy struggles to prove that women can do a “man’s job” and save others. Furthermore, Judy and Nick’s odd, almost romantic relationship is frowned upon due to the fact that Nick is a predator and Judy pray. These themes show viewers that we should overlook stereotypical views of others and instead see people for who they are.

Lessons of the movie aside, it is very entertaining and cute. Despite being a cartoon, the movie felt appropriate for any age group, not just for children. I liked the unique angles and relationships. All of the characters are relatable and never fail to be humorous, and the continuous crime story makes it easy to stay engaged and surprised with twists in the plot. Overall, this movie is one of my favorites.