Disney Animated Canon Movie #69: "Zootopia"
On the morning of January 20'th, 2017, I watched literally a cartoon villain with ridiculous hair rise to power by exploiting people's worst, stereotype-based fears of each other.
That is to say, I watched "Zootopia".
I watched it again instead of The Other Thing that was happening that morning. My little protest. Look, I don't like to talk politics much on this here newly renamed blog O'mine. But given today's movie, it can't really be helped. So to get it out of the way, my reaction to the modern American political climate is, and I quote, 😣😨😭
It's a truth as old as storytelling itself that there are things you can get away with in a story about animals that you wouldn't be able to in a story where the characters are humans. This is especially true for satire. And it's kind of mind-boggling that Disney entered 2016 with what is essentially "Hey, Kids, Let's Learn About The Many Forms of Intolerance, Both Obvious and Insidious - With Cartoon Animals!"
Honestly, I just needed "Zootopia" to be a better movie than "Chicken Little". It's a gorgeous movie with a deft script and probably the best character designs of any CGI Disney feature. But I was surprised and delighted that it tried to be mature and timely. It certainly isn't perfect (there's no such thing as a perfect metaphor after all) but it's *trying*. It's better to try and start a dialogue with kids than to not try at all. Expect the kids of today to look back on "Zootopia" in a decade or so as a formative experience. No matter what, that's awesome. I'm writing this review while watching the Woman's March on Washington and my God, it's good to feel hope again.
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