Zootopia

All presidential candidates could learn something from this film. Has suspicion and mistrust now displaced goodwill towards all men?

ZootopiaZootopia is a colossal film on multiple levels that will have an enormous impact on viewers regardless of their ages. It is a warm, funny and moving drama that is clearly destined for greatness.

As I accurately predicted after seeing Inside Out, I firmly believe that Zootopia is destined to win an Oscar for the Best Animated Film of 2016. Furthermore, look for “Try Everything”, a powerful song by Shakira, to also win an Oscar for best original song.

As for the story itself, it concerns a little female rabbit known as Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) who wants to pursue her dreams of leaving the family farm and becoming a police officer in the legendary city of Zootopia. This is a city that preaches the mantra that all animal citizens are to respect all other citizens regardless of their background or reputation. Trouble erupts when animals start to disappear, and Ms. Hopps ends up on one of the most captivating adventures you are going to see in any film, live action or animated.

Graduating first in her class from the police academy, Ms. Hopps’ desire to become a detective is thwarted by her boss, a brahma bull known as Chief Bogo (voiced by Idris Elba). He sees her as little more than an annoying female rabbit, and assigns her to write tickets for parking infractions. Swallowing her pride, she accidentally develops a heartwarming relationship with Nick Wilde, a fox voiced by Jason Bateman. Though he is little more than a street con artist, the two become a team and end up on a mission that takes them in way over their heads.

To fully understand the magnificence of this film, begin by contemplating the breathtaking art direction that permeates the film from beginning to end. Secondly, the genius of Screenwriters Jaren Bush and Phil Johnston is demonstrated when our anxious heroes are confronted at a Bureau of Motor Vehicles run by tree sloths. You will laugh until you ache.

Interestingly, the film has two important subliminal messages. The first is that all young people need to pursue their goals in life. Sure, there are going to be some hardships along the way, but everyone will regret succumbing to complacency. The idea is to keep your spirit and not give up, and that attitude we see displayed by Judy Hopps.

In addition, this movie serves as a commentary on the state of our own country today. In Zootopia, you have political leaders trying to build reputations on nothing more than promoting fear of other animals, and that is exactly what we see occurring during our presidential primary season. Just as the citizens of Zootopia were urged to suspect and be fearful of lions and tigers and bears, aren’t some politicians encouraging us to do the same thing with regard to Muslims, Syrian refugees and Hispanic immigrants?

The lesson learned in Zootopia is that a solid, healthy society is built on dignity and respect, not suspicion and hatred. Are you listening Donald Trump and Senator Cruz?