This is a spoiler free article.
Ever since I attended D23 (for those who don’t know, D23 is like comic con, but all Disney) this past summer, I fell in love with Zootopia. All they had to do was show me the Sloths working the DMV and I was hooked. I eagerly counted down the months until I could see Zootopia. The day finally came. It was on the same day as a huge party and drinking day at my university, but Disney movies are way more important than dealing with drunk people.
I was just expecting a movie that had cute animals, animal puns, some good jokes, and of course, the cheesy Disney message that all your dreams will come true if you just believe!
This movie was so much more than that. It was fantastic. Easily one of the best Disney movies in a long time (sorry Frozen fans!). The movie had great humor, but also had a deep political message and very deep, well-developed characters. The main character, Judy Hopps, aka the first bunny police officer, stole the show though. She was a fantastic character who was constantly growing throughout the film. Judy was the hero of the movie and here is why she should be your feminist hero:
1). She never gives up
Ever since she was a little rabbit, Judy always wanted to be a police officer. Whenever she shared her huge dream of being a police officer in the huge city of Zootopia where prey and predators live together in perfect harmony, she was immediately put down. When Judy’s parents told her there have never been bunny cops, she simply responded with “Well, I’ll have to be the first!”
Being the first Bunny cop was no easy task, especially since she was constantly being put down and made fun of for it. But Judy finally made it to the Police Academy! However, she kept failing. You would think she would give up because she could not physically get through the training? Oh how wrong you are. She kept training and training and made it to the top of her class!
Even when she went to Zootopia and became a cop, nobody believed in her. She was given the task of meter maid, which is giving tickets to cars whose parking has expired. Okay, maybe now she should give up? I mean who wants to be a meter maid? Again, WRONG. She took on a case (which I won’t go into details about because this is a spoiler free article), and proved herself to everyone. Judy never gave up, despite the challenges and failures she faced.
What I loved about Zootopia was is it went against the ‘all your dreams will come true’ message most Disney films have. No, achieving your dreams is hard, not going to lie. Life gives you tons of obstacles. What you do when you face those obstacles is up to you. Judy showed how hard it is to achieve your dream, especially when everyone is telling you to give up. Just work hard and never stop believing in yourself, and you too will be able to achieve your dreams
2). She sees past stereotypes
Yes, the animals have evolved from their biological species. Predator does not chase after prey for meals. Instead they eat meals with them in a nice cafe. However, there are still stereotypes surrounding animals. For example, foxes are sneaky (true to the phrase: sneaky as a fox). Judy doesn’t trust foxes due to a bad run in with a fox during her childhood, but she looks past those stereotypes and works with a fox on the case. At first, she sees him as that stereotype–a sneaky fox. After all, he gives her reason too. But Judy learns that there is so much more to him than just his stereotypes. She even helps him realize that he can be so much more than a con-artist. Judy learns that there is more to people than meets the eyes.
3). She is optimistic
Like I mentioned before, Judy never gave up on her dream. She always believed in herself when nobody else did. Even when she first became a real police officer, she always knew she would do bigger things than being a meter maid. She came this far, after all. When Judy first arrived to her new home in Zootopia, it was an awful, run down apartment. But our heroine made the best of it like she always does!
When others were encouraging Judy to give up on the case, she refused. This was her big break to prove herself as a real police officer. Judy knew through hard work and help from Nick the fox (yes, the sneaky fox), she could crack this case and become a hero in Zootopia!
Judy Hopps is a great character and such a great role model for kids when there are many great role models in media around. She achieves her dreams and sees the best in everyone and everything. Judy teaches us to never give up on yourself no matter what happens to life. You go out there and make your own destiny! If a bunny can be a cop, you can do anything!
If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go see it. Also, check out this song from Shakira or should I say Gazelle. It is such a fun and motivational song. Enjoy!