Zootopia, or Zootropolis as it is known here in the UK, is currently dominating the box office, clocking in an impressive $900,000,000 worldwide so far, and beating out the likes of Batman Vs. Superman to become the highest grossing film of the year (at this point). So naturally, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and let me say, I wasn’t in the least bit disappointed, (except for the song at the end, but we won’t talk about that).
The film is set in the city of Zootropolis, which is the equivalent of the inner city, follows the story of a newly qualified suburban rabbit cop, Judy Hopps (very punny), who has to prove herself to her colleagues after being given a forty-eight hour ultimatum to find a missing weasel. Her acquaintance along the way is a scoundrel fox, Nick Wilde, who has to work with Hopps in order to clear his name. Together they uncover more than they bargained for when they uncover the real reason why several formerly predatory animals are beginning to turn back to their ravenous ways.
What I especially loved about the film was how timely and socially conscious the film was. Despite the fact that is was a Disney animated film, the film had a very prominent subtext. It was basically a commentary on today’s social issues and I’m pretty sure I picked up references to gender inequality in the workplace, the drugs epidemic, corruption in the government and the police force, gangs, as well as racism and prejudice. I think you would agree that this is unusually heavy subject matter for a Disney film, or a kids film in general, but it was handled very delicately and effectively.
The use of animals to display social class was excellent and was a great way to show how people are all different, but it is possible for us to live in harmony if we learn to accept each other’s differences. That is what I believe the moral of the story was. However, not to doubt the abilities of today’s children, I do believe the plot was a bit complicated for younger viewers, and I have to admit there were a few jump scares that caught me off guard. Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed the film and I am pleased that it is doing so unexpectedly well.