Today in class we begun by discussing a few details about our midterm paper. We discussed confusions over quotations and MLA formation for the Work’s Cited page. If a student is writing a paper based out of stories in Maria Tatar’s book, we only cite this book on the Works Cited page. In addition, when referring to a specific story within Tatar’s book in our paper, we still use the “(Tatar pg#).” at the end of our sentence, not the writer of the specific story. We also discussed the necessity to turn in a hard-copy in class on Thursday versus turning it in on eLC.
As class began we picked up Zootopia at the “Godfather” reenactment by the shrew named Mr. Big. Judy Hops, the energetic bunny cop, and Nick Wilde, the fox, are unwillingly brought to Mr. Big’s house after his security detail found the two searching in his company’s limo on his property. Nick expresses his fear for Mr. Big because of his past mistake in gifting him a skunk’s butt rug. The irony behind this entire situation is the enormous, intimidating polar bears work for a tiny shrew, which Nick still manages only to be incredibly frightened by Mr. Big.
Mr. Big is about to kill Judy and Nick because of the skunk butt rug incident, when his daughter enters the room and saves their lives due to Judy’s past run-in with the daughter. Mr. Big then forgives the two and promises to help them find what they initially came into the limo searching for, which was Mr. Otterton’s whereabouts.
At Mr. Big’s daughter’s wedding, he expresses to Judy and Nick that Mr. Otterton randomly started acting savagely and aggressively injured the driver, Mr. Manchas. He send Judy and Nick off by telling them of Mr. Manchas’s home is.
The next scene begins in the Rainforest District where Mr. Manchas tells of Otterton’s repetitively mentioning “night howlers” and shows them the scars from Otterton’s outrage in the limo. Mr. Manchas then randomly also turns into an aggressive creature and tries to attack Judy and Nick, whom barely escape Mr. Manchas’s rage in the rainforest.
Judy and Nick called the situation in and trapped Mr. Manchas to be detained, however, when reinforcements arrive, Mr.Manchas in his savage form are no where to be found. Chief Bogo, the Chief of the ZPD, Zootopia Police Dept., loses his patience for Judy’s overly-energetic quest for the missing animals and fires her. Nick, for the first time in Zootopia, honestly defends Judy and justifies her desire to finish the mystery to Bogo.
Upon discovering through the traffic security tapes, Judy and Nick are refreshed with vitality and discover where Mr. Manchas was secretly taken. They venture to an asylum outside the city, identifying from the videos that the “night howlers” are the wolves who protect the asylum’s perimeter.
Once Judy slyly finds away into the asylum, they discover that its habitants are conducting a medical operation inside what appears to be a hospital of sorts. They soon realize all the missing animals are caged in, including Mr. Manchas and Mr. Otterton, however they all appear to be in a rabid state. Soon after this discovery, the Mayor of Zootopia and the head doctor enter into the room, while Judy and Nick barely find a hiding spot. They overhear and record a video in which the Mayor and the doctor discuss their inability to revert their level of viciousness and cannot find a cure. Judy and Nick escape from security and attempt to show their evidence to Chief Bogo.
After time has passed, the Mayor, the lion, and the head doctor are seen arrested and taken into custody at the asylum and the savage missing animals are found. However, the animals, because there is no cure, are still harmful to society. Broadcasted on air to Zootopia, Judy unknowingly asserts that predatory animals are a threat to society because of their biological DNA containing a savage personality. Because of this interview, Nick, a fox and predator by nature, is hurt from Judy’s words. Judy realizes her prejudice words and does not feel like she has rightfully served her city as a police officer, so she quits.
After some time back in her hometown, Judy realizes the true meaning of “night howlers” and their effect on animals. The night howler is a plant that if consumed or interacted with creates a rabid personality, regardless of species. Her parents used the plants to ward off insects from eating their produce. Judy immediately returns to Zootopia and apologizes to Nick for the interview and what she said and they continue their quest to solve the mystery.
Judy and Nick find the source of the night howler in an underground lab in a train car. After a heated battle with the rams in the train car, Judy and Nick now have evidence in proving how the missing animals became savage. They became aggressive not because of their innate behavior as a biologically savage predator, but because someone was been pinning predators and injecting them with night howlers. This antagonist was trying to create the notion that predators are savage because of their biology, which would create tension among predators and preys and divide society. The antagonist wanted to have a concrete display of the confirmation of stereotypes and create fear among its society.
Judy and Nick, after overcoming a few more obstacles finally reveal the truth to the right people and save society from fearing one another. The cure is later discovered and the missing animals are restored from their savage ways back to normal.
Zootopia‘s message to me was the lesson of how society reacts to the concepts of racism and diversity. The variety of species and sizes among the Zootopian society is a reflection of our society in which there are many distinguishing characteristics that set humans apart on a physical level. Many people feel in society that stereotypes exist for a reason and that they are true. This message of a divided world cannot me more prevalent in society, especially in the US today. This movie breaks down this barrier of acting on preconceived prejudices and shows its viewers through an animated comedy that diversity is a good thing and that all people should be treated equally.
I personally enjoy animated films and was very excited at seeing how artistic and impactful this movie was. After winning an Oscar for ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ this past Sunday, it is no doubt a message from a great cinematic platform that everyone needs to hear in society today.