Disney Tackles Fearmongering and Politics with Zootopia


This article will be spoiler free. You are safe to read it if you haven’t seen the film yet! I can’t say the same for comments! You’ve been warned!

It’s an election year in the United States and nothing has been talked about more than the imminent threat of terrorism, loss of freedoms, or the right to be an individual. No matter what your politics are, you simply can’t argue that the post 9/11 world isn’t based in fear. Turn on any news channel and you’ll see reasons why you should hide under your bed and never leave. Politicians have used this tactic to gain the advantage in the race toward the 2016 election. Building walls, bombing possible threats, and dividing people based on their race and religious views. Then I went to the movie theater to see Disney’s latest film, Zootopia.

zootopia 2

Zootopia is based on several species of animals living harmoniously in one city however this city is divided into subsections and we slowly unravel that not all is as happy as could be in the city. Without ruining plot points, I can say I was floored with this film’s appeal with cute animals telling it’s audience that we see each other as different, but instead of pointing out the unique positive qualities we are lead to fear each other for our differences. The film is both delightful and eye opening. As a child, you probably wouldn’t pick up on the politics of the film, but I couldn’t help but have flashbacks of political rallies and debates as an adult viewing it.

zootpia 3

Disney’s 3rd coming (since Tangled) has given us a different spin on gender roles, stereotypes, and non-romantic love. Zootopia gives us those things as well, but because this film doesn’t follow a fairytale and is a modern story, it can divulge into current and possible future troubles. We could look at most of this movie as symbolism for the world we live in. Disney does give us humor and satire, but the majority of this buddy cop story brings a serious agenda to the table. I never thought I’d see it in a Disney film, but I can believe it. Disney’s sister company Pixar did give us Wall-E, a statement on humans ruining the earth and the ever increasing trouble with obesity and technology. It shouldn’t have been so shocking, but I’ll be interested to see the publics view of the film as seats are filled at theaters. Kids will love the cute animals, the jokes, and the action, but will adults love the message Zootopia is trying to get across?

It’s difficult to hold a mirror up to the worst parts of our culture, but let’s face it, we’ve lived in fear for far too long. It’s time to take back our world, to believe that not everyone is out to get us, and that we can all live happily in some sort of Zootopia!

Josh Taylor
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Posted on March 3, 2016, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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