Zootopia: Another Lesson

Since the dawn of “Lion King,” almost every new Disney movie has been raved as ‘the best’ one. Spanning into more recent movies such as “Princess and the Frog” which was ‘the best’ one because it had an American setting and featured an African American princess who was a hard-working woman who stumbled into a magical mishap and fell in love. Then there was Frozen, the musical tale of two sisters who did everything together until magic broke them apart, and only through an outrageous journey could they find their way back to each other and melt a frozen heart. The newest movie “Zootopia” is no different.

While her 225 bunny brothers and sisters are content with carrot farming like their predecessors, the main character, young Judy Hopps has hopes to be greater. Her goal is to be the first bunny cop in the city of Zootopia, a utopian society that has surpassed the primitive predator-prey relationship of the animal kingdom, and therefore lives harmoniously in their neighboring habitats. Dating back to her childhood school play, the main character shows that she can dream past the non-believers that just so happen to be her parents, primarily. They ‘nicely’ try to advise her that her dreams will not come true because it has never happened before. They wish she would be content with settling for the norms of her family business.

Taking on the role of the neighborhood bully and picking on her friends, despite the fact that one is a fox, young Ms. Hopps shows that she is more than capable of problem solving. Despite getting hurt, she still manages to see the sunny side of the situation explaining that jerks come in all shapes and sizes. Heroes do as well, as the aspirational bunny signs up to be recruited into the Zootopia police academy. While there she learns to use her strengths to excel rather than focusing on her limitations, leading her to graduate at the top of her class.

With promises that one can be anything that they want to be, tenacious Judy leaves her home to venture to the new city. In the distance, looking similar to the Emerald City in “The Wizard of Oz,” Zootopia is a majestic metropolis that gives every creature a place to fit in as neighborhoods vary in climate to suit everyone’s needs ranging from tundra town to the rainforest district. The species show drastic involvement as they possess humanistic features including upright postures, and opposable thumbs as well as clothing.

Arriving at the precinct for her first day, it is obvious that police work is left to the larger more intimidating animals as the other officers are rhinos, lions, and tigers. However, Officer Hopps makes her way to her seat ready for action, despite even the receptionist’s belief that this job will “eat her alive.” Although there are many cases available as fourteen mammals have gone missing in the past two weeks, Jenny is given the position of meter maid, much to her parent’s relief as it is the safest job on the force.

However, Jenny believes that she is destined for more as she works to be the best at her job, persevering despite even children insulting her. She always keeps an eye out for suspicious activity and in doing so, makes a frenemy out of a hustler fox, who later turns out to be a great guy who just needed someone to believe he could be better.

Not wanting to give away too much of the story, the movie shows the characteristics of a great story line that Disney has shown time and time again to have mastered. It is a great movie for all ages and even could possess some college students to work a little harder. Judy Hopps’ journey is definitely a tale of growing up, moving away from home to learn to be better and become something, as all of us hope to do one day. One can take lessons from the bunny’s perspective on life, as she looks at all obstacles as a new challenge. She takes them each one step at a time as she learns to use her personal strengths to overcome many obstacles. She refuses to see others’ successes as an insult to her inability, but rather focuses inwardly and works even harder to wake up every day ready and willing to be a successful team player.

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