Wall-E shook it’s finger at our wasteful habits, Cars 2 rallied against big oil, and even Snow White was for (or against, depending on how you look at it) rights for women and little people. But #Zootopia takes it a step further and pokes at a pretty big sleeping bear in our country; fear of Muslims.
Before we dig into THAT, let’s chat about the movie itself.
Hands down, it’s fantastic. The characters are hilarious, the plot moves and the “other” message, the one about following your dreams and breaking barriers, is well delivered.
The casting of actors Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman was genius, the two are so vocally expressive you could shut your eyes and still “see” the expressions on their faces. They pull off what is essentially a buddy film with great humor and style.
My son and I laughed out loud repeatedly at the screening, and it was truly a blast for all ages. The way they paralleled animals to the humans we encounter on a daily basis made for some big chuckles (sloths at the DMV? Perfection.)
So how is it political? Well, the story revolves around a city where predators and prey live in harmony, until a handful of predators start mysteriously turning back to their predatory ways and putting helpless prey in danger. The city divides and starts villainizing all predators, justifying their actions by claiming that helpless prey can’t feel safe in this environment. It’s with that fear mongering they encourage the prey to ban all predators from the city, ya know, just in CASE they do something bad.
Should your personal politics keep you from seeing the film or bringing your kids? Of course not, this message is only there for those who choose to see it. But it did cause my son and me to have a real heart-to-heart about what kind of country we want to live in, and I personally hope it encourages the same talk in your house.
So see it, laugh your butts off, and hopefully even think about some of these bigger picture ideas.
#Zootopia opens in theaters March 4th. Watch the trailer here and like them on Twitter and Facebook at @DisneyZootopia and on Instagram @DisneyAnimation.
LAURA NIX GERSON is the Founder & Editor of MomAngeles a site she launched because she was planning a lot of playdates and her friends kept asking her where to go and what to do. So it seemed easier just to put it all online in one place. In a past life Laura was a publicist, event marketer and web producer….oh wait, she still is. Laura is a regular contributor to Modern Mom and Babble. She is also the CEO of Nix Gerson Media. Follow her @MomAngeles.