tek's rating:

Zootopia (PG)
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This came out in 2016, but I didn't see it until 2021. It begins when a rabbit named Judy Hopps is 9 years old, and part of a school play about the relationship between predators and prey in the distant past, and how that relationship changed at some point, so that now they all live together peacefully. The students in the play also announce what they each want to be when they grow up, and Judy wants to be a police officer. Everyone she knows thinks this is unrealistic, since there's never been a bunny cop before. We also see her and her friends being bullied by a fox named Gideon.

The story then flashes forward 15 years, to Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) attending the police academy. After some initial difficulties, she ends up graduating at the top of her class. She moves to the big city of Zootopia, which turns out not to be as idealistic as she'd always imagined. She's also discouraged when on her first day of work, Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) assigns her to work as meter maid, instead of giving her a real case to work on. While on the job, she meets a fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), who turns out to be a scam artist. When she later takes on the case of finding a missing otter named Emmitt Otterton, she blackmails Nick into helping her. At first, of course, he isn't at all happy about this, but over the course of the investigation, Judy and Nick become friends, and Nick becomes invested in solving the case. And in the end, Judy finally receives the respect she deserves.

Beyond that, I don't really want to give away any more of the plot, because it involves a number of interesting twists that I don't want to spoil. But I will say that for most of the time, I thought the movie was just good, but as the story progressed, I came to think it was kind of great, in large part because of the plot twists. But also I liked the characters (and I'm leaving out a lot of important ones), and the humor, and the mystery, and the drama, and pretty much everything. Almost. I will say that there's some allegorical racism in the movie, and I have mixed feelings about that. The plot wouldn't have worked without it, but I couldn't help thinking that the concept of predators overcoming their natural tendencies in order to live among "prey" has problematic implications, if you think too deeply about it. I mean, people in the real world who face prejudice don't actually have dangerous instincts to overcome. And to a lesser extent, there's the question of whether people (or animals) should have to basically assimilate to fit in. I suppose the animals may somewhat retain their own cultures, as the city is divided into different habitat areas. (This could be interpreted as segregation, but I think it's more a matter of simply requiring different natural environments to survive.) I also had a minor issue with, well, any movie that portrays police as a whole being the "good guys," but then again, this isn't really the sort of movie that needs to address the issue of police corruption or brutality. There was quite enough going on with the plot, already. (And it's not like there aren't good cops in the real world, after all.)

Oh, I also wanted to mention that it's interesting that, while Judy was quite small compared to many other animals in the movie, which are giants compared to her, there were other animals to whom Judy was a giant. That was neat. And... I guess I don't know what else to say.

Followed by the webseries Zootopia+

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