A Tenacious Rabbit and a Clever Fox

Hector Ramirez II

It takes a unique film to be completely enjoyable, while speaking on serious issues that have plagued our society. Zootopia is the latest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios which showcases the humor and charm of a Disney movie we all know and love. But if you thought this was just another Disney movie, you thought wrong. Zootopia is one of the best and most clever films the studio has produced.

The DMV scene from Zootopia (AP photo)
The DMV scene from Zootopia (AP photo)

We are introduced to the headstrong and courageous protagonist of Zootopia, Judy Hopps, a rabbit with big dreams to make the world a better place. Now, we all have dreams we want to reach for. Some are realistic, while others can be too grandiose for our reality. For instance, I wish I can touch the moon, but I like my feet on the ground too much. With Judy, her goal is to become the first rabbit to become a cop. In her world, this is unheard of because of Judy’s small stature and place in society. However, she proves that not all rabbits have to be carrot farmers, and is sent off the grand city of Zootopia as Officer Hopps. It is in Zootopia, the mammal metropolis which wonderfully mimics our world, where Judy has to prove to others and to herself that with dedication and perseverance, dreams can come true.

Walt Disney Animation Studios excels at making features that speak to our current, and unfortunately long lasting, issues and has us evaluate how we treat one another. With Frozen, it is accepting one’s self and not being told who to be. With Zootopia, it emphasizes to never judge a person by their stereotype. You can’t help but feel horrible for how these animals treat one another, yet it is happening in our world every day. There are many instances in this film where discrimination road blocks Judy from being the cop she wants to be because of her societal status as rabbit.

The same can be said with our second protagonist of Zootopia, Nick Wilde, the charming fox who joins Judy on her first big assignment in tracking down a missing otter. Foxes are known to be sly and untrustworthy, which affects the way other animals treat Nick. Zootopia paints an accurate depiction of an underlying social mentality where stereotypes are cornered into what society wants them to be. Judy begins to be the exception of this thinking in Zootopia, and it makes her one of the strongest characters in film history.

Aside from the serious subtext, the movie stands as a clever reflection of the real world. For instance, the animals that work at the DMV? They’re all sloths. I think anyone who has been to the DMV can relate to what Disney was trying to portray here. Animals walking on two legs, fully clothed and using electronic devices the way we do is quite amusing in an odd way. Zootopia has a great sense of hilarity without it being the focus of the movie. The action, humor, and encouraging moments all blend into a well-paced film with a memorable cast of characters.

While the plot is formulaic, Zootopia has enough to keep it entertaining throughout, and kept making me wish the movie was just a little longer. The marvel city of Zootopia has so many corners yet to be explored, and I want to see it all. Hopefully Disney Studios has another adventure planned for Judy and Nick soon. For Zootopia, I want a sequel just as badly as I wanted Finding Dory. Probably more.

Zootopia is a fun, heartwarming and groundbreaking feature. I came out of this movie feeling more confident in my abilities to achieve my goals, despite my weaknesses. Any movie that can uplift a person’s spirit and confidence as much as Zootopia does is well worth the price of admission.