Monday, 21 March 2016

Entertainment Monday: Zootopia (Monday, March 21st 2016)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Zootopia (with spoilers)

Zootopia is a Pixar film about a land where animals live together in harmony without the traditional predator and pray relationship that defines natural selection and evolutionary history.

Judy Hopps is a driven, idealistic Bunny Rabbit who works extremely hard to achieve her childhood goal of becoming a police officer and serving the citizens of Zootopia.  Once Judy achieves her goal she finds out that not everything is at it seems in her idealized vision of being a police officer once she has to deal with the politics of the Zootopia police department and the Mayoral Office.

A major case of missing animals is being investigated by the department but Judy is merely relegated to parking ticket duty by the police chief.  After her initial disappointment Judy decides that she is going to be the best meter maid in all Zootopia and write the most parking tickets.  During her duties she notices a fox who suspiciously walks into a store in town.  Her parents have taught her to be cautious and weary of foxes and she had her own run in with a fox who bullied her when she was little.  She projects a sense of not keeping to stereotypes about foxes but gives in to some of those feelings that were ingrained in her from her upbringing.

At first the fox, Nick Wilde seems to be on the up and up and he gives her pause regarding her reservations, but ultimately she discovers that he uses some sly and a bit shady tactics to pull a hustle and make extra money, initially fooling her in the process.  Nothing he seems to be doing is illegal though so Officer Hopps is not able to arrest him.  Ultimately Judy gets discouraged by Nick's insistence that she will never be anything more than a cute little bunny who works as a Parking Maid for the ZPD.

Youtube Trailer Zootopia
Judy gets a bit over ambitious and pursues a thieving weasel in a raucous chase around town.  She is reprimanded by her Police Chief but in the meeting a chance encounter with the wife of an Otter who is one of the dozen or so animals who has gone missing ultimately results in a wager with her Police Chief that she can find the culprit responsible for abducting the Otter in two days or else she will agree to resign her position on the police force.

Judy has no where to start her investigation but in the one picture she has of the missing Otter she is looking for she notices Nick Wilde in the background pulling one of his scams.  Judy blackmails Nick into assisting her with the investigation for the missing Otter, using his connections to some of the shadier characters in town to aid her search.

Eventually Judy discovers a twisted and complicated scheme orchestrated by an animal in the Mayor's office to control the political process and try to engender fear of pray animals who consist of 90 percent of Zootopians of predator animals.

Along the way Judy learns about her own prejudices and the dastardly means to which some will go to try and accomplish their career aspirations.  Not only does she solve the missing Otter case but also the cases of all the other missing Zootopia animals.

Perhaps it's because I am so immeshed in following the American political campaigns for President this year, but Zootopia seemed in many ways to be something of a microcosm of the American Political Process this year especially as it relates to Donald Trump, a man who uses fear and prejudice as a way to garner support for his own political aspirations.

I loved the movie and thought it was probably my favorite Pixar movie even surpassing the Toy Story movies.  I think that the movie covers a lot of important issues today regarding politics, women in the work place and prejudice.  It's definitely a movie worth seeing in the theatre and also buying later to watch again and again at home.

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