It’s the day that every kid and kid-at-heart has been waiting for! ZOOTOPIA is now playing in theaters everywhere!
As soon as I saw the toys hit stores for the new ZOOTOPIA movie, I was sure I was going to love it. Not knowing anything about the characters or the movie plot specifically, I was already drawn in just by the diversity and flair of the main characters. One hilarious preview in, and I was counting down the days to March 4th for the theatrical release of ZOOTOPIA.
I'm not saying that I'm always good at predicting a blockbuster, but I did call that Frozen was going to be a sensation, so….
We got to see ZOOTOPIA at the Seattle pre-screening, and it was just as good, and in many ways better, than I had hoped. It had action, it had adventure, it had heart, and it had a really wonderful message. Even days later, we’re all still talking about takeaways from the movie and parts that we really enjoyed as a family, and the conversations are only getting better as we process the movie and discuss it further.
After a few days of stewing over the movie and talking about it with the kids, I’m entirely convinced that this is a movie that every little kid should see. Not just because everyone at their school will be talking about it – because they definitely will – but because it starts a really important conversation about prejudice in a way that is easy for kids to understand while keeping them entertained and laughing throughout the whole film.
What it’s about: ZOOTOPIA is a city inhabited by anthropomorphic animals who have abandoned traditional predator/prey roles in favor of civilized coexistence. These animals aren’t just segregated into different sections of town with varying climates, but they are also very much divided in terms of what animals can fill what roles in society. We see that many animals are discriminated against for their size, attributes, and most importantly, by what their ancestors roles were. This discrimination is seen first with our main character, a big-dreaming rabbit named Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) who has finally fulfilled her childhood wish of becoming a police officer. Even though she’s small in stature, the adversity and obstacles she meets along the way have done nothing to deter her desire to make a difference in the big city instead of following the traditional path and staying in Bunny Hollow.
Along with a charismatic fox con artist named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), Judy sets out to crack a major case involving the mysterious disappearance of a handful of carnivorous citizens. Her investigation unexpectedly exposes existing anti-carnivore prejudice among the city's herbivores and Judy and Nick must work together to solve the mystery and restore peace in ZOOTOPIA. What I love: My favorite thing about the movie is that Judy is lovable from the very start. Smart, sure of herself, and with a big huge heart, Judy is set to change the world and won’t let anything or anyone stop her. Even when she might have just given up and gone the traditional, easier route, Judy continues to believe in herself and pursue her dream.
But, it’s not just herself she believes in. She believes in the utopia that is ZOOTOPIA and in treating those around you with respect – even those who typically don’t get a lot of respect in their animal society. What the kids will love: We all laughed a ton during the movie and it was incredibly well-received by our packed audience. The humor of taking animals and giving them human-like jobs and roles is always a hit with kids, but there is also some really clever less-obvious humor that was really fun to discuss with my husband after the movie. Little things like familiar logos and products being made animal-suitable, and clever plays on words and references to pop culture that had us smiling throughout the film.
The bottom line: Take your kids to see ZOOTOPIA. After you have seen the film, fallen in love with the characters, and laughed for the entire film, go home and start a dialogue with them about the deeper meanings that they have taken away from the film. If they didn't take any away from the film, take them to see it again. It's that good.
Don’t take my word for it though; ZOOTOPIA currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100% because it’s just a great film. Want some ZOOTOPIA fun? Check out this video on how to draw Judy Hopps:
How to draw Flash