This movie is about how a tiny rabbit, Judy Hopps overcomes all the unseeable social barriers of stereotypes and prejudices about her size. Also, her seen weakness, to become a top-notch police officer. When she moves to Zootopia to work as a police officer in the Zootopia Police Department, she is given a task to find a missing otter, which directs her to investigate an odd case of predators becoming savages in Zootopia. There were many social issues in Zootopia considering race, prejudice, and gender.
Though Zootopia appears to be a place where anyone can be anything. Prejudices were seen between the predators and the prey. For instance, Bellwether the assistant mayor is a sheep that has been described as unappreciated by the mayor who is a Lion. The disagreement is visible from the case of predators turning savages. Most of the prey population, assume that it's more likely the predator population become savages and removed from Zootopia.
Sociologically defined, the race is a group of people (or animals) who are perceived to share the same biological traits or physical differences. Behold people, to make stereotypes easier to understand the characteristics of an entire social group. This affects the attitude they have for the other social group and is used to justify discriminatory acts. Zootopia has shown that stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice cut both ways. The prey is recognized as lacking in power and unable to achieve. Also, when preys are small in size like rabbits they are discriminated. While predators are perceived as risky and terrifying. There are many scenarios when these prejudices and stereotypes continue to be maintained in Zootopia even as they are continually broken. The first example is when Hopps is the first rabbit to become a police officer and a scholar of her police academy. Next, is a resident cheetah at the Zootopia Police Department named Claw Hauser. He has a friendly and cheerful personality like nobody else. These examples show that there are many different social groups.
The most interesting example is Nick Wilde, a fox that is a close friend of Hopps. He is a smart, caring, and loyal character. An interesting authority was when Wilde asked Hopps if she was scared of him and did she believed someday he would become savage after the press conference. Hopps answered, “No…, you’re not like the others!” Interestingly, people’s prejudice towards a particular social group may contradict with their behaviors toward individual members of that group. Well, what we realized, in the end, was that many times, the race is not a biological construct, but rather a social construct that is maintained through social structures. It is obvious that it’s not the predators’ genes or DNA that makes them become savages, but a scheme by Bellwether because of her prejudice and hate towards predators.
It also emphasized that what sets people apart isn’t their race, but their values and characteristics. Hopps and Nick are both great police officers because they have earned such as intelligence or self-righteousness. Also, Bellwether isn’t a predator but may have savage traits when she causes division in society. She turns the predators into savages and even kills Hopps. However, the sloth is the only animal in Zootopia which is known as biologically slow. It may seem unpredictable with the intentions of the movie, but I think that it’s needed to bring humor because of all the tightness in the movie. Also, stereotypes are more often than not, the basis of humor.
Gender is an issue understood in Zootopia, but as always, gender is a background identity of how people evaluate us and our behaviors. If Hopps was a male rabbit instead of a female rabbit the movie would have many changes. The scene where she is sent away by Chief Bogo on her first day at the Zootopia Police Department. When she is ascribed as a meter maid, it isn’t only important features, such as her identity as prey that is at work. Also, her identity as a female is also working in the background, making her more prejudiced.
One thing about the movie is its a finer distinction of gender. It is stereotyped that females are more emotional, but the movie has shown that females and males can be emotional. During the movie when Hopps was leaving, it was her father and not her mother who starts to sob. Another example is when Nick communicates to Hopps “Your bunnies are so emotional”, Nick has an emotional side when he recounts his childhood story. His calm and emotionless attitude isn't a result of his gender, but of his past experiences, which has forced him to not let anyone see him upset. Being emotional should not have adversarial to it just because it is tied to the concept of femininity and weakness. Emotions can lead us in the right way of doing things. Hopps is led by her emotions a lot. Like when she helps Nick at the ice cream shop because she has a feeling of being treated unfairly because of prejudice. Hopps also decides to take the risk of losing her job to help Mrs. Otterton because she cannot bear to see her upset.
I’ve seen a lot of Disney movies and Zootopia stood out to me. For this reason, it is because seeing how the social interactions between the animals were so accurately represented it absolutely moved me. The movie understanding was incredible, and I appreciated how the movie incorporated all the issues of our generation. To me, that is not just the power of a movie, but also the power of art. I thought about this question when I was writing “What if the creators choose not to represent animals, but humans instead?” What a change it would make, I thought. However, Disney decided to tell the story through the world of animals, causing people to question, “How does this reflect our society?”.
The more interesting and philosophical question that Zootopia raises is “What differentiates humans from animals?” During Zootopia, Mr. Big responds to the moral panic in Zootopia, “We may have evolved, but deep down we are still animals.” Whether or not humans are different from animals is a debate that I will save for another time. However, if we agree that humans are different because humans have developed morality and consciousness, then how are we going to stay consistent with that and stop causing unnecessary harm to other humans based on differences- in color, nationality, gender, age, etc.? These are questions that have raised from Zootopia and await answers.
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