Some Thoughts on Zootopia

Z6

As I mentioned earlier, I did have some concerns about Zootopia when I first saw it.  Here are some examples but reasons I think they don’t exactly promote the progressive lifestyle or at least don’t represent them well.

1.) Nick Wilde and his partner Finnick walk into an elephant ice cream parlor pretending to be father and son.  The owner Jumbo basically says because they are foxes they are not allowed in the shop.  Nick proceeds to mention how Finnick says he “loves all things elephant” and “wants to be one when he grows up.”  At first stance it might sound like this may be commenting on the current situation with gays in bakeries and transgenders.

Some things to consider though: Nick does say Finnick wants to be an elephant “when he grows up”, not that he is an elephant in a fox’s body or that Finnick thinks he is actually an elephant.  As for the narrative of gays not being served; it does not fit well.  Bakers have stated they would serve a gay person under a normal circumstance; it is only gay “weddings” that they would refuse to serve them because it is the event, not he person, they morally oppose to.  Jumbo flat out dismisses Nick and refuses to serve him and Finnick based on who they are, not on any particular event they were celebrating.  This is easily a reference to Jim Crow laws that segregated blacks from whites from every aspect of public life.

2.) Towards the end Zootopia is plagued with strife between predators and prey.  They prey begin to feel threatened by predators for what Judy says is a return to “their primitive, savage ways” due to a “biological component”.  At first glance this might seem to be commenting on the situation with Muslim migrants seeing that the aggressors are typically Muslim and victims in the West are typically non-Muslim.

Muslims are not a race nor an ethnicity; they are a religious group.  Most Muslims are not Arabs; in fact Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in regards to population.  Then there are many white Muslims from Europe; the Tsarnaev brothers are Chechen which means they are both Caucasian.  Judy does refer to a “biological component”, a reference to genetics which effects race among other things.  Racists such as the Nazis used genetics to claim Aryan supremacy and used scare tactics much as Bellwether uses to get the majority of the population to gang up against the minority of the population based on genetics.

There are some things that still hold true though: e.g. do not stereotype people by groups as good or bad.  In Zootopia, not all the predators are bad and not all the prey are good.  Nick is the perfect example of a good predator while Bellwether is the perfect example of a bad prey; she does shoot him with Nighthowler serum, or so she thought, to kill Judy and frame innocent predators.  In this regard, a person can well learn from this that stereotyping groups of people is wrong.  This isn’t necessarily a political point though and those who say it is are wrong.

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