A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to get away and watch Zootopia. I’d been on the fence about the movie, mostly because I wasn’t too impressed with the commercials. It looked like it depended on humor that I don’t really enjoy, and the part with the sloths, since it was the majority of the commercial, made me want to tear my hair out. (Amazingly, it’s a lot funnier in the movie.) Add to that, I’m not a huge animal fan in the first place, so watching a whole movie about animals seemed like it might not be worth it.
Then I started to read some of the reviews, and they were all very positive. I was kind of shocked. Most of the reviews talked about the message of the movie, and how they did it well. I was curious enough to go see.
I’ve got to say, I was blown away. There’s going to be spoilers below, so if you haven’t seen it, don’t read! You have been warned.
I don’t know what message most people came away with, and the way it was written could be subject to interpretation by a whole number of people. For me, it was the message of the victim. The story seems to be about predators, about those people who used to, at one point, terrorize the prey. Even though it’s been centuries since it last happened, since they last hunted for fun, the prey still see them as the bad guys. The ones that could at any point, revert back to who they used to be.
But the second half of the movie, the message became clear. There’s the idea of the predator. Someone that they haven’t been for years. Yet, they’re still judged by the past. No matter what changes have been made, no matter what good they’ve caused, they still live under the judgement of their previous actions.
Because the movie is about animals, it’s up to interpretation as to who the predator and prey are.
Most people think of racism, which makes sense, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s that clear cut. It’s the us vs them, no matter who the ‘us’ is and no matter who the ‘them’ is. It could be race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and even republican vs. democrat. I deal with it in the work place, the idea of hospital nurses vs nursing home nurses. Stereotypes of any kind are going to skew our views, whether they’re a positive or negative, it doesn’t matter. Not all Asian people are the same. Not all women are the same. Not all sports fans are the same.
Get to know the actual person, and base your opinion off of them, not who you think they should be.