After vaguely hearing about Zootopia in the spring of this year, I was surprised, but excited to see it in the trending bank on Netflix and immediately had to watch to see what the buzz was about. Upon first glance it may seem like the typical animal based Disney movie, but quickly unfolds to reveal several layers of awareness on topics that reflect current issues going on in today’s society.
The story revolves around a rabbit, Judy Hopps voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, who aspires to become a police officer and change the world. In the beginning sequences you assume the story will take the traditional route of the heroine fulfilling her dreams tackling whatever obstacles lay in her path, which it does for a little bit, but once she reaches her goal, you get to see some of the underlying messages that come about as the plot develops.
The next key character, voiced by Jason Bateman, is a fox named Nick Wilde, who is essential in moving the story forward. Officer Hopps has preconceived ideas about foxes due to generalizations and assumptions made on the entire species, but through her interactions with Wilde her perceptions start to change. Here is where we start to see references extending outside the realm of fiction and touching on issues of race relations and stereotypes in the real world.
Zootopia is an incredibly relevant and timely movie depicting real issues in a sincere way and on terms where young people stand to benefit from watching. A must watch for all ages.