Zootopia: A Cinematic Gem

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As I mentioned here, finding a family movie can be challenging.  Ratings are helpful, but in my book, not always accurate.  I don’t know about you, but some of these flicks teach a lesson that I am not excited for my children to learn.

For instance Beauty and the Beast.

As a child, I loved Belle’s yellow ball gown and her musical numbers.  I think that sums up my innocent understanding of the film.  However, as an adult, I had a new perspective when I watched it with my children.  Can we just talk abut an 11 year old boy being punished for not letting a cruel looking stranger into his home?  I am not sure about you, but in our house, we do not open the door for strangers, let alone invite them into our humble abode.  Then, at the tender age of 21  he faces death unless he can find someone to fall in love with him.  Obviously, if you have not met the love of your life by 21, your life is over {insert sarcastic tone here}.  So, this love story erupts between an abductor and abductee.   I am not thrilled about that take away.

If you want to get technical, I suppose the bigger lesson is “don’t judge individuals by their appearances.” I will not deny that this is a fantastic lesson for the youth in all generations, but you can see where there is room for confusion.

Enter Zootopia.   

Guys.  This movie has it all.  Plus adorable animals.

Quick rundown:

The main character, Judy, is an underestimated bunny who believes in herself more than anyone and achieves her dreams of becoming a police officer in Zootopia {a New York like metropolis}.  Lesson 1: never give up.

In Zootopia, Predator and prey live in harmony.  All is well until predator animals, termed savages {this is telling}, revert back to their predatory ways.  Judy and her predator friend, former con artist {depicted in an adorable way}, Nick, begin to uncover why this is suddenly happening.  In the process, the world of Zootopia is turned upside down by fear and hatred. Lesson 2: equality.

Sounds heavy, but there is enough humor to counteract that.

References to The Godfather are certainly clever.  Not to mention the sloth scene at the driver’s bureau is absolutely everything.   The flip side is the belly dancing, midriff wearing, celebrity, Gazelle. While you may not be crazy about this character’s moves or clothing choices, her song Try Everything is ah-mazing, so I personally let it slide.  Momma can only be so picky when a flick is as valuable as this one.

Zootopia is one of those movies that teaches all the right lessons without leaving any room for mistaking the wrong one {minus the questionable wardrobe choices of a well meaning animalebrity}.  No questionable Stockholm syndrome happenings.  It is absolutely an invaluable cinematic experience for the entire family {and all ages}; one you will gladly have on repeat.

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