Zootopia (2016) Review

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Great movie.

Zootopia is interesting in that it shows how fear can drive a population into treating people negatively based on stereotypes. When Hopps unthinkingly just says everything she hears with no further explanation as to why it’s happening, her words leads to a ton of unintended consequences on her part that negatively impact the community. The predators are treated with suspicion and the prey are in fear for their lives that the predators will go insane. Hopps realizes her mistakes but not before damage is done. Ultimately, things resolve itself as the truth comes out, but the predators faced unfair suspicion based on information that turned out to be untrue. That’s why when you’re in a position of power, it’s important to weigh your words exactly because you do have influence over others who trust you because they identify with you in some ways.

The winners in characterization besides Hopps and Nick belong to two other animals: Mr. Big and Flash the Sloth. First, Mr. Big is awesome. The use of the Godfather theme was hilarious and well-played. When his daughter comes out and ended up saving Hopps and Nick, I had to laugh at Nick’s expression that looked like it translated into: “is this real life?” Of course, it’s nice when things are working out even if it’s because of ridiculous reasons that it’s working out in the first place (Hopps saving Mr. Big’s daughter led to their true breakthrough in the case for Otterton.) Mr. Big scenes never failed to entertain. Second, the only other characters that had that much awesomeness was Flash the Sloth. The end when they caught Flash speeding was funny in its irony of a speeding sloth after we had an earlier experience of him driving Hopps crazy with how slow he was.

The moment when Nick kept replaying Hopps’s words at hers, and then invited her into crying against him for a bit, my heart felt like it blew up a bit at how emotional I was getting. I teared a little bit at them making up. One of the cutest scenes in the movie.

The song choice at the end of Shakira’s Try Everything fit well with the overall narrative of Zootopia. This part of the song reminds me of the myth of Sisyphus:

        I still mess up but I’ll just start again

I keep falling down, I keep on hitting the ground

I always get up now to see what’s next….

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

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in

Sisyphus was cursed to roll up a boulder to the end and once he reached the end, he would have to start all over again. Repeatedly, Sisyphus would reach the end and be forced to start again, and he could not stop. That was his eternal torment. But here, in Shakira’s song, is another way to look at it as evidenced by the movie Zootopia. Just as Sisyphus can’t give up or in, he must reach the end and then start again. But the point is, Sisyphus can’t help but do so whereas in Try Everything, it’s a matter of wanting and desire with diction such as: “won’t” and “wanna” that reflects more positively in Zootopia because there’s a choice to do so. The freedom to choose to go through it all willingly makes it all worth it. Sisyphus’s torment is because his mind makes it a torment. In Zootopia, Hopps rose so much throughout the film that she eventually ended up falling into resigning of her own accord. However, that wasn’t the end of her. She rose again by the end of the film. People go through risings and fallings. It’s common in themes in cinema and literature. There’s a lot of positive things that I think you should take away from Zootopia rather than look at it negatively as Sisyphus does. When you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way you can go is up by trying everything. It may not turn out the exact way you want it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t think of your present and keep yourself there. Even though you could fail, you can start again. It may not be the same thing, but you’ll move on and start again.

Overall, great movie. Glad I watched it. It also doesn’t help that the characters are cute. I know I’m not a bunny, but Officer Hopps really was cute.

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