Monday, 21 March 2016

Zootopia: the film I wish I had when I was a child

With my dissertation looming, I do no have the time to pour my heart out and write a review for Zootopia (Zootropolis here in Europe). But I do want to write down a quick ramble of a few things I really loved about it.


Firstly the LEAD character of this film: Judy Hopps. A rabbit who is told by not only her parents, but her peers and the animals that bully her, that she cannot be a police officer. Rabbits are not police material, but this does not stop Judy. She keeps pushing forward in training and finally begins her dream of being a police officer in Zootopia. As you can guess, being a Disney film, Judy is pretty darn good at her job in the end too.

Also Judy is a girl, which is only inferred really by the voice actress (the amazing Ginnifer Goodwin). Yet she isn't a 'female character', but a character who HAPPENS to be female. And not once are we told that this character should be defined by her gender.

This is a Disney film with NO romance plot at all. Sure Judy teams up with con-artist Nick Wilde, a fox, but there is no romantic undertone between them (at least an obvious one).

The other thing I absolutely loved about this film was the song by Shakira called 'Try Everything' that features throughout and at the end.

Here are some of the lyrics:
I wanna try even though I could fail
I won't give up, no I won't give in
Til I reach the end and then I'll start again
No I won't leave, I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail
It's so catchy I promise. But imagine these words being sang (BY SHAKIRA!) while you watch a character who has been pushed down by bullies, sheltered by her parents and has had only herself believing in her finally pushing forward with her dream.

It's the film I wish I had as a child. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Princess stuff I grew up on but after growing up it is hard to find many positive representations in them, especially role model material.

But now we have Zootopia. The film that will teach young kids that you can aim high and not be limited by your gender/race/class/etc...Try everything!!!

I could rant about how this film is a metaphor for racism and go a lot further into how it is a positive representation of gender (I mean not ONCE is it mentioned that Judy is a girl), but:

1) I sadly do not have the time and 2) There are already lots of fantastic, well-written articles online.

But don't take my word for it. Go see it! Go see it with your parents, your children, your siblings, your cousins, your grandparents, your family.

Zootopia/Zootropolis is out in the UK 25th March.

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