I braved the opening day of Zootopia with 4 children. I had seen the previews and thought it might be a sweet, humorous Disney film about “changing into who we need to be it doesn’t matter what” or “following our desires.”
It did meet these expectations. However, there was indeed more. As I watched, I wondered: Was this Disney film genuinely making a political commentary about bias, sexism, racism, and xenophobia? Did they actually try this?
Sure, they did. My first trace was a refined joke at first when the hero-a decided, hard-working bunny named Judy Hopps-reveals up for her first day at work as a police officer. She’s known as “cute” by the dispatcher-a cheetah named Clawhauser-and Judy replies, “Ooh, you most likely didn’t comprehend it. However a bunny can name one other bunny cute, however, when different animals do it, it’s somewhat… ”
I appeared across the theater. Did folks catch that? Was that truly a line only for me, a black lady, about what could be stated inside a gaggle however not without? Certainly, that was a blip?
But it surely wasn’t. The film turned out to be explicitly about the bias of all kinds, from unconscious prejudice to a “we don’t serve your type” angle to the deliberate cultivation of concern to attain political energy. It speaks on to our heated political local weather, nevertheless imperfectly. It did this with compelling characters and by echoing phrases we regularly use in conversations about race and bias: “nicely I didn’t imply to,” “don’t be delicate,” “they shouldn’t be right here.”
Now, I’m not saying that the film is ideal. There’s something actually disturbing about the best way the animals are sorted in response to their biology, with some reverting again to their inherent “savagery.” Additionally, the connection between prejudice within the film and real-world racism will not be fully clear; Zootopia doesn’t have a lot to say about energy or exploitation.