Just saw Zootopia- and was floored. As the story unfolded, I realized that a very strong message was being delivered, of racial stereotypes and inequality. Of fear mongering against certain classes of people. Of a government that pushes fear tactics to forward its own agenda. Of a "Zootopian" vision of everyone coexisting in harmony. So much resonated with the current political climate and social issues we're facing in these times, all wrapped up in a children's movie.
This is the power of storytelling, and communicating with art. Anything is possible. It allows you to put forth issues that are complex and hard to talk about in inventive and creative ways. This is why I find so much meaning and passion in what I do. The Zootopia plot is simple- a bunny rabbit moves to the big city and fights for what she wants against all odds of what she's been typecast- and in turn learns of acceptance. The freedom of animation allows for so much more- it can send powerful messaging through metaphors, subtleties, pop culture references, fantastical scenarios, and characters that are delightful, approachable, and easily digestible. Pixar films have always been well known for being sophisticated- but Zootopia just took it to another level.
I'm excited, and optimistic about what studios like Pixar/ Disney have tapped into. I grew up with the very one-dimensional recycled Disney stories of true love and romance- kids these days will be watching films like Zootopia, and learn something very real about the world in a way they can easily understand. When these kinds of stories resonate with the impressionable nature of childhood, we invest in future generations that will grow up to change the world for the better.
Go see Zootopia- the visuals are stunning, you'll be laughing for most of it, and you just might come out with a new perspective.