Monday, March 7, 2016

Zootopia: The Movie That has Parents Talking

Zootopia
If you’re expecting a sweet bunny story, you might be surprised by the true grit detective story you get instead. Sure, the bunny decided early in life that she wants to be a “cop” even though there are no officer bunnies to date. And she pushes through with her ambitions, excelling in police academy.

Her dream assignment comes through, and she leaves her parents and her two hundred or so brothers and sisters to their carrot farming and heads to the big city—Zootopia. There Judy Hopps’ dreams hit a glitch. She’s assigned to be a meter maid. That doesn’t diminish her go get ‘em spirit though. You want 100 parking tickets a day? I’ll give you 200 by noon! And she does.

Still, she believes she could be of help with the missing mammal cases that other officers are investigating. Soon she’s pulled in when she is given 48 hours to find a missing otter or resign from the force.  With the help of a sly fox named Nick, Judy faces the underworld of mob polar bears and other animals. She and Nick discover that something is turning predators into mad beasts, and the duo must figure out what is causing the change before they can put a stop to it.

This movie is delightfully entertaining, somewhat predictable and delivers a true detective story that in true fashion includes the mob and the requisite nude scene—if you count the animals at Mystic Springs Oasis—a place where animals don’t wear clothes!:) The cutting edge animation, well paced plot and detailed world building make it a must see for families. Warning: There are some dark parts that may be frightening for young children. But have no fear, the good guys win in the end.


Besides being highly entertaining, there are a lot of lessons you can take away from Zootopia.
  1. Don’t judge. People shouldn’t be judged by their size or um, species. There had never been a bunny cop before, and everyone laughed at the idea, but Judy turned out to be a pretty slick bunny.
  2. Hard work and perseverance pay off. Judy Hopps pushed herself to her own limits and achieved her goal. The question is—Is your dream worth sacrificing other things to pursue it with all you’ve got?
  3. Stereotypes are flawed. At the beginning of the story, Judy Hopps appears nothing more than an uptight overachiever and Nick a laid back smooth talker. But as the story unfolds and the characters are developed, we find that they are both much more than that. A person’s past and experiences need taken into account.
  4. Individuality is important.  One reviewer calls the movie a “pro diversity” pep rally. Zootopia is made up of a large number of different animals, and while many are the same species, they are individuals. The idea of individuality didn’t start with Disney though, it began with God, who made each person in a unique way and gave him/her the talents and abilities needed to fulfill his/her calling. (Psalm 139:14, Ephesians 2:10) Like Zootopia, God’s family is made up of many different people making up one family.  (1 Corinthians 12)

Additional thoughts:
 The movie goes a bit overboard in preaching tolerance. In matters of race and ethnic diversity, I think we need tolerance and acceptance. We need to avoid judging others by our norm. But in matters of lifestyle and personal choice, each person must live by his or her convictions and value systems. We cannot expect someone who denies the existence of God to follow a biblical lifestyle, but neither can we expect a follow of Jesus Christ to openly accept those who defy his commandments. That being said, neither side has the right to be ugly or hateful.

Summary:

The movie is a LA style detective story with well developed characters, a detailed story world and a well paced plot. On the car ride home it will be the parents, not the children, gushing about what a good movie it was.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks I think we are taking the kids on Tues. Jorja's 13 birthday.

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    1. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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  2. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I recommend it for school age kids because of the dark scenes.

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  3. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I recommend it for school age kids because of the dark scenes.

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  4. Tolerance and acceptance are two different things by definition. Accepting you means I agree with you. Tolerating you means I DON'T agree w/you, but I believe your choices are yours.

    One can be tolerant of non-biblical lifestyles w/o accepting said lifestyles. Jesus was incredibly tolerant of the woman at the well and the adulteress.

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    1. True enough. Thank you for pointing this out.

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