‘Zootopia’ provides insightful, but subtle, social commentary

As Disney's latest box-office-triumph,

Mary Lathem

As Disney's latest box-office-triumph, "Zootopia" has lived up to expectations with careful commentary on current issues.

Parker Van Riper, Opinions Editor

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Disney’s “Zootopia” beat out box-office hit “Frozen” with a $73.7 million in their U.S. opening weekend. The evil has been defeated. Maybe now, people will finally let it go.

But if you need more than just a couple million dollars to convince you that you’re not going to see just another talking animal movie, let’s begin! “Zootopia” takes place in a world where animals have evolved to live much like humans do now. They’re civilized, and predator and prey live in harmony.

The movie centers around a rabbit named Judy Hopps who, despite growing up in the little town of Bunnyburrow with 275 brothers and sisters, decides she wants to move to the big city. “Zootopia – where anyone can be anything!” — and Judy wants to be a cop.

Judy graduates top of her class at the academy and starts her dream job as a cop in District 1 of Zootopia. However, when she gets there, she realizes that it might not be as easy as she thought. All the other cops are larger animals, and she’s stuck on parking duty.

Through her initial assignment, she meets Nick Wilde, a fox. This is where the adventure really begins, and some of the movie’s central themes come to life. Through the investigation into missing mammals throughout Zootopia, the movie begins to touch on sexism, racism and stereotypes. However, unlike some movies that, in their attempts to focus on such hard issues, end up jamming them down your throat, “Zootopia” handles them in more tasteful, entertaining and intelligent ways.

Though some will undoubtedly have a hard time watching the movie without considering its “political agenda,” Zootopia is an entertaining and fun movie overall — even if you don’t leave the theater suddenly inspired to talk about any of the issues presented. The characters will pull at your heartstrings. There are twists and turns in the plot, and the cast of voice actors is spot-on for their animal counterparts.

I’ve seen the movie twice already and could go on for awhile trying to find ways not to spoil things and rave about it. I really feel that “Zootopia” is something special — I can’t elaborate on that too much without spoilers, so I suggest that you go check it out for yourself.

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