Zootopia 2/28

Today, we finished watching Zootopia, a movie which follows the society of animals who have evolved to the point where prey and predator coexist. The movie follows a bunny by the name of  Judy Hopps, who tries to become a police officer despite her tiny size.

Last Thursday, we left off at the point of the story where Judy was off looking for Emmett Otterton, a missing Otter who left a family behind. After inspecting a limousine in which they found Otterton’s ID, as well as claw marks and a damaged interior, both Judy and Nick are caught by the limousine owners: members of a local “mafia” or mob, run by mob boss “Mr. Big,” who is actually a tiny rat. Mr. Big informs Judy and Nick about the incident with Otterton and the limo driver, and set out to Rainforest District to find the limo driver.

Upon arriving at Mr. Manchas (the limo driver’s) house, Judy and Nick try to get some information out of him. Right before Mr. Manchas was going to speak, he suddenly turns into a savage and attacks Judy and Nick, who barely escape. Upon looking at the traffic camera footage of the entire incident, they find that Mr. Manchas had been captured by a pack of wolves, who they identified as “Night Howlers.” The Night Howlers throw Mr. Manchas into their van and Judy and Nick follow their trail on the traffic camera and go into their hideout.

Upon reaching the “Night Howler” hideout, they break inside to see all of the missing mammal cases (14, to be exact) as well as Mr. Manchas in captivity. All of them appear to be savage and very hostile inside quarantine. Suddenly, Judy and Nick hear someone coming and hide inside one of the open quarantine cells. To their surprise, the Mayor Lionheart walks in with a researcher and discusses the situation, urging the researcher to find the issue quickly. The researcher asks him to consider the animal’s biology: each animal that has gone savage was a carnivore. No herbivore ever went savage. Judy recorded the entire conversation on her phone, and eventually Mayor Lionheart and related parties go to jail. Judy becomes a local hero.

After reaching back to Zootopia, Judy holds a press conference regarding the case. She mentions that all the missing mammal cases of those animals who went savage were, in fact, carnivores. This sparked a lot of unrest, protest, and hate towards carnivores within Zootopia, with herbivores saying things like “Go back to where you came from” and other forms of verbal abuse. Judy realizes her speech split the city into two, and resigned her job.

She goes back to her parent’s farm as a carrot farmer and, after talking to her parents and an ex-bully Gideon Grey, she realizes that the Night Howler was actually a naturally growing flower that, when consumed, turns any animal into a savage, no matter they be carnivorous or herbivorous.

She goes back to investigate with Nick and finds a Night Howler lab, very similar to a meth lab that we would see in Breaking Bad. She breaks in and overhears that the Night Howler serum being produced in the lab was shot into various animals via some form of long distance gun, like a sniper, and gets away with some of the serum to take back to the Zootopia Police Department. They almost make it before being stopped by Bellwether, who becomes power hungry after Mayor Lionheart was arrested and tries to steal the serum from Judy and Nick so that carnivores would become savage again and herbivores would rule Zootopia. But due to the cunning of Nick and Judy, they escape with the serum and Bellwether and crew get arrested. Judy and Nick save Zootopia and rectify all the issues that were caused by her.

Ultimately, Zootopia was a commentary on social issues that we face today in society. What especially struck me as “eye-opening” was seeing how the herbivores were angry at the peaceful, protesting carnivores and told them to go back to where they came from. That one scene really made me say “wow” as, at least in current times, I feel like things happened here and there and suddenly there is hatred everywhere, almost as if it happened immediately. But in Zootopia, I could see the progression of the events that lead to the hatred that some felt, and how it relates to current times. Zootopia was definitely an entertaining film to watch, but it left me feeling kind of sad. Watching the Zootopian news scenes left me feeling a sense of sorrow as the carnivores were being portrayed in a negative light, just like many nations and kinds of people are being portrayed in today’s society. It’s definitely an eye opening movie! I think with the recent Oscar win for best animated film, this movie should get even more exposure, which is great. I feel that our society needs to watch this movie to really be able to see both sides of the most pressing issue in our country right now.

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