Idealism and its Aftermaths – ZOOTOPIA (2016)

Zootopia.jpgIt appears that I’m simply against animated film produced by mainstream, popular animation studios. So I found it hard to ignore the hardened prejudice that gloated maliciously at the premise of American-Dream-turned-sour-but-yet-somehow-managed-to-save-face-due-to-the-individualism-of-the-hardworking-underdog, or precisely, the hardworking bunny rabbit. While the story was one of empowerment and social mobility, and therefore, the same-old, I was delighted at the meta-generic Godfather spoof and the Sloth bureaucracy. The Fox is charming and suave, basically the same-old Flynn Rider, with an adorable suave shrewdness, bad only due to circumstances, and not incorrigible; the Bunny whats-her-name naïve and optimistic like those rote female protagonists representing a better future and converting the beast into prince–in this case, good cop.

The world is divided into preys and predators, who have become domesticated enough to live in a mixed, cosmopolitan community. Puts in mind normal humans and vampires, or whites and blacks, or, in a coarse extension of the metaphor, at least in the case of rabbits and foxes, of women and men.  However, the division doesn’t stop there; there are hierarchical classes too among the animals, a hierarchy determined by size, strength, and culturally assigned qualities. Therefore, Sheep (stupid, clumsy),  Rabbit (timid, dumb), and Fox (untrustworthy, sly) belong to the lower end of the spectrum while Rhino (strength and size, perhaps), Lion (obviously, royalty), and Bear (size, strength) belong to the upper echelons. The biggest fear among the animals is the fear of recursion to a previous state, that is, to the primitive, to savagery, in keeping with the sentiment popularised by William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

The theme of the film is the subversion of barriers and hierarchical divisions. So bunny outwits fox, tiny skunk becomes mafia don who employs predators like polar bears, jaguar, etc, sheep succeeds disgraced lion as mayor, only to be disgraced in turn, which goes to prove that not only lions but sheep too can be rotten apples when in power. Which is to say, a communist uprising and the rule of the proletariat is not the solution. So, is anarchy the solution? Not in the least, the mayorless Zootopia run by a racially and sexually integrated police force is the only hope for a Utopia comprising of a menagerie of mammals, ‘cos the rest of the animal kingdom do not count. (Trivia: the cops may use the power and influence of mafia tycoons to “make the world a better place”.)

Since I don’t want to re-watch,
Query: Are any female predators shown in the film? I don’t recollect any, atleast anyone of the least import to the story.

CLOWNIN’ score: 2/5, for the voice of Fox, the sloths, and the Godfather.

For a great review (negative, of course), check out: http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/03/03/zootopia-review-a-muddled-mess-of-racial-messaging…-and-cute-animals

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