Freelancer and aspiring journalist from Adelaide. Visual Arts graduate & current journalism student. Fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, art & food. I also write for The Adelaidian // theadelaidian.net/author/georgina-tselekidis
Published March 6th 2016
Making it in the big city is tough - Just ask Judy Hopps
I had the pleasure of attending the Zootopia movie premiere at the lovely art deco Wallis Cinemas Piccadilly in North Adelaide, and let me tell you, this film was all that I expected and more. Firstly, Zootopia is an animated Disney film featuring the voices of well known stars such as Shakira, Ginnifer Goodwin from Once Upon a Time, and Jason Bateman from Horrible Bosses.
Heartfelt yet hilarious, Zootopia focuses on the protagonist Judy Hopps, a small 'cute' bunny who's motivated to make a difference as she sets her sights high and dreams of making it in the big city as a police officer. Growing up, Judy learns that her stereotype 'dumb' bunny label makes achieving this dream appear almost ridiculous to others, after all, there's been no history of a bunny ever being part of the mighty police force.
Similarly, she defies her parents wishes to become a carrot farmer, ignoring their paranoias and overall fear of her departing them, yet Judy states it's merely a 'fear of the fear'; to put it simply, don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone as you reach your goals.
Proving the other animals wrong, she succeeds and lands her dream job that's based in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. However, she also learns that animals don't always live in harmony as she once experienced; from sly foxes, hipster giraffes, to yoga practicing hippos, Zootopia is filled with an array of unique characters that are looking to become something, or hurt others in the process.
Enabling the viewer to recognise the value and significance of their own dreams and goals, the beginning of the film lays its foundation with a true message for all, particularly children. It metaphorically conveys that we should never give up on a dream and never settle - no matter race, religion or gender. We're all equals and therefore should treat others the way we wish to be treated. The film immediately creates a potent sense of inspiration, informing both kids and adults to aim high, work hard and succeed, all whilst helping others by being the best person you can be.
Moreover, Judy settles into her new position as a police officer but once again she's perceived as just a 'small cute bunny' and is placed on ticketing duty. She's finally given her chance to prove to the chief of police that she's as good of a cop as any, and is given an immense assignment. Her mission is to find a missing otter, who happens to be 1 of the 14 missing animals in a significant case that no other police officer can crack.
This is when the film really begins, as we're taken on an adventure through Judy's discoveries and funny encounters with Godfather impersonating rodents, a sloth named Flash and the cool, calm and collected Nick Wilde, who soon becomes an integral part of the film and close friend of Judy.
Her relationship to the scam-artist Nick Wilde, also conveys several underlying meanings that aim to make us ponder our own judgmental personalities, whilst teaching a lesson to children on how people are different and unique in their own way. Nick Wilde is meant to symbolise the conventional stereotype of a fox - sly, witty, heartless, untrustworthy and dangerous. We see these characteristics as we're introduced to Nick, however as the movie unfolds, so does his personality, and we learn that there is a lot more to Nick than we predict. His actions stem from his past experiences, and we're therefore reminded of the classic English idiom "Don't judge a book by its cover".
Without giving too much of the film away, I have to say this animated wonder is truly a Disney success and one of the best I've seen in a long time. Zootopia is funny, witty, heartfelt, action-packed, educational and very symbolic. Each scene is filled with an interesting and riveting scenario that will leave you in stitches, all whilst educating kids on the importance of friendliness, kindness, understanding and empathy to all living things; I watched the film in awe as the fundamental connotations are profoundly apparent and relatable.
My favourite scene of the film would have to be Judy's encounter with Mr.Big; a gangster carbon copy and ironically-named tiny rodent who intends to resemble Marlon Brando from the 1972 classic, The Godfather. I absolutely adore the cliche Mafioso Italian accents, threats and offers the animals cannot refuse. I brought my two cousins along, and they thoroughly enjoyed the film, as well as all the giggling kids (and adults) in the theatre. Zootopia is suitable for all ages, and will be in cinemas from 17 March.