Zootopia - If Animals Can Overcome Racism and Sexism, Why Can't We?

Clankenbeard

Clerical Error
Mar 29, 2009
544
0
0
Marter said:
Idris Elba plays a buffalo police chief, J.K. Simmons is a lion mayor, Jenny Slate is the sheep deputy mayor, Shakira plays a pop star gazelle - whose song "Try Everything" is destined to be a hit. Octavia Spencer, Tommy Chong, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Alan Tudyk, Maurice LaMarche, and Tom Lister, Jr. - among many others - round out such a rich cast of voice actors.
I am confused. I saw Bruce Campbell's IMDB page a few days ago and he was credited for providing the voice of Pete in this movie. Now, all mention of this is gone. I guess his scene was cut form the movie. Sigh. I was looking forward to another animated voice from him for a character that dies in the movie. I think this would have been the hat trick after Rod Redline in "Cars 2" and Chicken Bittle in "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters".
 

Vausch

New member
Dec 7, 2009
1,476
0
0
FirstNameLastName said:
Oh yes, I forgot about her following him, and I remember thinking at the time that it seemed like it was supposed to imply racial profiling, but I feel like it kind of fell a bit flat. Partly due to how suspiciously he was acting at the time (which seemed more like what caught her attention to begin with rather than him being a fox), and the fact that her suspicions not only seemed justified at the time but also ultimately turned out to be correct (kind of). Plus the fact that she goes out of her way to stick up for him, and the extent to which she's nice to him (until she realizes the scam) kind of offsets it a bit too far in the other direction. I do see that they seemed to be going for some kind of prejudice there, but it feels like the context go way to far in justifying her actions that they cease to seem like prejudice.

As for the fox repellent, I honestly found myself far more confused by that than anything. In the scene where she first meets him she is shown to briefly reach for the repellent as well, but that's only after she walks into the ice-cream parlor and only while she believes there's some kind of altercation going on (as evident by the store owner shouting at him). But by the time that scene at the end comes around I had completely forgotten she even had it with her, and I still don't really see why she has it.
I'm aware that there are both conscious prejudices and subconscious, and the scene when she first meets him does seem to be implying some very slight subconscious prejudices against predators, but the decision to carry around fox repellent isn't a really a subconscious decision, it's a conscious one, which doesn't really seem to be supported by what's presented throughout the story.

The fact that she's still carrying it can be taken to imply that she's actually slightly afraid of foxes, but to me it didn't really feel like a revelation about her character, it just felt slightly nonsensical and more like a plot device to have the token "they're mad at each other" scene.

I guess you're right, the story does seem to be implying she has some kind of prejudice, but it feels slightly messy to me, especially since there seem to be so few examples of this prejudice, and so many examples to show how tolerant she is.
I think the idea that she was being especially nice to him was partly because she felt bad for the racial profiling on top of the sob story of the situation. Sort of a self-atonement. It's kind of like saying "Well crap, I did just what I kept telling myself I wouldn't do" so you do something to appease your own conscience even if nobody else knew. Not to mention it plays to her character; she wants to make the world a better place for everyone, even if it's just helping a dad get a freeze pop for his kid. Convincing herself little random acts of kindness will just make the world better if others lead by her example.

But the choice to carry the fox repellent does suggest that being bullied by a fox in her past did leave a bit of a scar. Knowing she had it on her throughout the entire movie to give herself some peace of mind, and subconsciously reaching for it when Nick winds up bringing up some bad memories of the bullying

The prejudices in the movie are meant to be mostly societal and sort of ingrained. The kind you don't think about but from an outside perspective become really obvious. The part with Nick's childhood honestly got to me. Was a real tearjerker. Shows even the ones society would consider harmless can be just as terrible as the ones that they're supposedly SUPPOSED to be afraid of.
 

PhiMed

New member
Nov 26, 2008
1,483
0
0
FirstNameLastName said:
Having watched it I'll have to agree that it's good, but I do have my criticisms, and most of them involve Judy (the bunny protagonist).
For a film all about prejudice and its causes, it comes of as rather strange that she's so morally pure and lacking in any real flaws or arc, especially considering the following:
A) They show her growing up in a small, isolated, rural town that's mostly populated by bunnies.
B) It's shown that her parents are terrified of predators, and foxes in particular.
C) She is shown to be bullied specifically by a fox.
D) The film is hammering home the theme that prejudice is largely the result of fear.

It just seems like a perfect recipe for her to develop some kind of prejudice/fear against foxes, so that by the end she can have an arc where she realizes her prejudice against predators is not so dissimilar to the prejudice she herself experiences as a bunny-cop, but instead in the first few minutes of the film she's already lecturing her parents on how unfairly they're stereotyping predators. I mean, she even teams up with a fox for most of the movie. By the way it's all set up it almost feels like they were going to go that route but bailed on it part way through; perhaps they didn't want their protagonist to not be a walking embodiment of morality or something.
I'm not saying it's impossible for someone to ignore their upbringing and life experiences, but if you're making a story about prejudice, especially one that puts forth the idea that prejudice often stems from fear, you might want to acknowledge the fact that fear itself can often be the result of traumatic experiences, ignorance, and people's upbringing.

I don't know, she just seemed way too tolerant right from the beginning for a film about intolerance.
She is supposed to be feminism's insertion character. And ascribing any negative aspects to anything feminism says is automatically misogyny.
 

marioandsonic

New member
Nov 28, 2009
657
0
0
Over the last few years, shitty kids movies like Norm of the North have been trying to pummel the movie-going audience into accepting that all kids films starring talking animals have to feature nothing but toilet humor, pop culture references, and outdated dances.

Of course, the fact that a movie made a billion dollars just because it starred the most soulless marketing creatures ever imagined doesn't help.

But lo and behold, Disney shows us why they are the king of animated films and showed us just how it's done. You just have to actually put effort into it and (as the film puts it) try.

Really loved it.
 

PainInTheAssInternet

The Ship Magnificent
Dec 30, 2011
826
0
0
I really liked this movie. I'm one of those dorks who still goes to movies with his parents well into his 20s. We had a really good time, as did everyone else in the theatre young and old. The animation is especially a huge bonus for me. It was so bright and energetic, so expressive. I think the message was handled rather well. It wasn't all just one-sided grandstanding; everyone had their faults and became prejudiced at some point including those in the movie we're supposed to admire. The drama wasn't really forced for the most part as the logic could be seen as acceptable in a panic.

I must admit I'm glad it didn't do that thing where the mains get together in the end. Just really great friends, if not pseudo-siblings.
 

PainInTheAssInternet

The Ship Magnificent
Dec 30, 2011
826
0
0
FirstNameLastName said:
I'm not saying it's impossible for someone to ignore their upbringing and life experiences, but if you're making a story about prejudice, especially one that puts forth the idea that prejudice often stems from fear, you might want to acknowledge the fact that fear itself can often be the result of traumatic experiences, ignorance, and people's upbringing.

I don't know, she just seemed way too tolerant right from the beginning for a film about intolerance.
I think that most of her personality is the result of being at the receiving end of so much prejudice, making her super-sensitive to the prejudice against others. Even still, she has a blind spot to her own prejudice against foxes and predators in general. This causes her to have a massive blunder where she alienates her friend by exposing her innermost thoughts (she still carries around fox repellent after all that time with him) and causes city-wide riots. The person who is supposed to exemplify the best qualities arguably created the greatest moral failing the city experienced. The assistant mayor's plan wouldn't have been so successful if not for that failure on Hops' part.

Her prejudice against foxes comes from personal experience and constant information from others, which results in fear. It's my understanding, though I could be wrong, that's how prejudice generally works at the best of times.

webkilla said:
Zootopia does not do this.
I'd say it does. The moment, as I understand it it's called the Despair Event Horizon, is when she has no leads on what exactly caused all the trouble, has alienated a full 10th of the city's population as well as her only friend and gives up to sell carrots on her family estate just like Wilde said she would. She gets her second wind when (rather conveniently) she discovers that the Nighthowlers are actually a plant that her own family grows as a pesticide that caused the same symptoms in her own family.

This is the first movie in a while that I've actually enjoyed talking about. That's a good sign.
 

FirstNameLastName

Premium Fraud
Nov 6, 2014
1,080
0
0
PainInTheAssInternet said:
FirstNameLastName said:
I'm not saying it's impossible for someone to ignore their upbringing and life experiences, but if you're making a story about prejudice, especially one that puts forth the idea that prejudice often stems from fear, you might want to acknowledge the fact that fear itself can often be the result of traumatic experiences, ignorance, and people's upbringing.

I don't know, she just seemed way too tolerant right from the beginning for a film about intolerance.
I think that most of her personality is the result of being at the receiving end of so much prejudice, making her super-sensitive to the prejudice against others. Even still, she has a blind spot to her own prejudice against foxes and predators in general. This causes her to have a massive blunder where she alienates her friend by exposing her innermost thoughts (she still carries around fox repellent after all that time with him) and causes city-wide riots. The person who is supposed to exemplify the best qualities arguably created the greatest moral failing the city experienced. The assistant mayor's plan wouldn't have been so successful if not for that failure on Hops' part.

Her prejudice against foxes comes from personal experience and constant information from others, which results in fear. It's my understanding, though I could be wrong, that's how prejudice generally works at the best of times.
I get the fox repellent, and her interview, but I've discussed both those elements in other posts, and I feel she really wasn't all that out of line to claim there could be a biological aspect to the predators' sudden behavior.
 

IamLEAM1983

Neloth's got swag.
Aug 22, 2011
2,581
0
0
McElroy said:
Ah yes, Blacksad4Kids: The Movie, isn't it? Hilariously (or not really) in Blacksad racism has less to do with the species and it's actually about the fur-/feather-/skin-colour. Then again, Blacksad wouldn't be much different if its characters were humans - Zootopia giving us a more fantastical scenario.

Anyway... yay for furries, I guess.
I'm super late to the party (when am I not?), but I just had to add that someone drawing parallels to Blacksad makes me super giddy. I love that series. The purdy, purdy watercolors. I'm not a visual artist by any stretch of the imagination and I can just stare at Juanjo Guarnido's work for hours, as expressive as his faces and pose work both are.

Disney's got some of that too, but with none of the restraint of sequential art. Makes me miss their 2D Animation days.
 

shintakie10

New member
Sep 3, 2008
1,342
0
0
FirstNameLastName said:
As for the fox repellent, I honestly found myself far more confused by that than anything. In the scene where she first meets him she is shown to briefly reach for the repellent as well, but that's only after she walks into the ice-cream parlor and only while she believes there's some kind of altercation going on (as evident by the store owner shouting at him). But by the time that scene at the end comes around I had completely forgotten she even had it with her, and I still don't really see why she has it.
I'm aware that there are both conscious prejudices and subconscious, and the scene when she first meets him does seem to be implying some very slight subconscious prejudices against predators, but the decision to carry around fox repellent isn't a really a subconscious decision, it's a conscious one, which doesn't really seem to be supported by what's presented throughout the story.

The fact that she's still carrying it can be taken to imply that she's actually slightly afraid of foxes, but to me it didn't really feel like a revelation about her character, it just felt slightly nonsensical and more like a plot device to have the token "they're mad at each other" scene.

I guess you're right, the story does seem to be implying she has some kind of prejudice, but it feels slightly messy to me, especially since there seem to be so few examples of this prejudice, and so many examples to show how tolerant she is.
Late to this party, but I wanted to point out something you might have missed.

After the press conference when Nick is confronting her is the point that she (and the viewer) realize that she's still holding her old prejudices. Nick outright asks her if she's afraid of him, then makes a threatening gesture towards her. If she didn't have preconceived prejudices against foxes she'd only base her reaction off of how she's interacted with him, which for the most part has mostly been pleasant and never showed any hint of malice. Judy doesn't react based off their past interactions though. She cowers away and immediately goes for her fox repellent because she doesn't see her friend Nick, she sees a terrifying fox about to attack her.

That reveals is super super good because the prejudices that people carry are rarely super overt and it shows that perfectly. Most people don't go all "We don't like your kind round here," racism. They do however do little things without thinkin about it. Judy's reaction is based off of her buried feelings about foxes, a fear she doesn't even recognize as existing until its there staring her in the face with teeth bared. Its the fear that makes her keep her fox repellent around without actually intending to use it.

Zootopia is amazing for moments like that. A lesser movie would really purposely drive that point home in an annoying and obnoxious manner. Zootopia allows you to coast to it, following a logical course of action, until you all run into brick wall of prejudice together and are forced to confront it. I love this movie.
 

sageoftruth

New member
Jan 29, 2010
3,417
0
0
Looks fun. I may wait for it to get out of theaters so I can watch it at home. I don't like movie theaters.
 

Arnoxthe1

New member
Dec 25, 2010
3,374
0
0
Why can't we? Because Zootopia is a cartoon and, thus, not indicative at all of real life.
 

Dragonbums

Indulge in it's whiffy sensation
May 9, 2013
3,307
0
0
Well to be fair I don't really think the movie showed that racism and prejudice stopped in Zootopia. It did highlight how shitty it was and how even people with good intentions can still propagate and harm other groups through pure ignorance.

The original pitch was even more gloomy for the predators. All meat loving species living in Zootopia were required to wear shock collars. And the stigma got so bad that Nick's dad ended up losing his job and they had to scrape by just to make a living.
 

Dragonbums

Indulge in it's whiffy sensation
May 9, 2013
3,307
0
0
FirstNameLastName said:
It just seems like a perfect recipe for her to develop some kind of prejudice/fear against foxes, so that by the end she can have an arc where she realizes her prejudice against predators is not so dissimilar to the prejudice she herself experiences as a bunny-cop,
I mean, are you sure you watched the whole film? Because that's exactly what happened. Keep in mind that Judy was basically the liberal of bunnies and as such wouldn't openly shy away from species she's supposed to be afraid of.

But the first time she saw Nick the first thing she thought was that he was doing something suspicious and had to investigate. (racial profiling.) Later when Nick did a thing she didn't like she tried to frame him for a bunch of other crimes he supposedly broke. All of which he showed her up on. He only goofed up on his taxes. But for all intents and purposes Judy was looking to arrest Nick and trying to find any loophole she could to do it.


but instead in the first few minutes of the film she's already lecturing her parents on how unfairly they're stereotyping predators.
It's the same way you lecture your conservative parents for saying all black people are thieves or some shit.

I don't know, she just seemed way too tolerant right from the beginning for a film about intolerance.
She was Zootopia's version of a liberal. But throughout the whole movie she held on to and purported certain prejudices against predators- foxes in particular that weren't fair.
Hell the entire second arc of that movie was literally her fault. She basically claimed that predators were acting feral and dangerous because no matter how 'civilized' they appear at the end of the day predators are a hunting violent animals and they can't help it. Despite the fact that she was friends with a Leopard that is all softness and kindness and wouldn't hurt a fly. Despite the fact that her investigative client was a sweet Otter mother who was kind, despite the fact that her own unofficial partner laid out his most vulnerable story about how he quit Boy Scouts despite his mother working so hard to get the money for it because a group that's founded on honor and honesty had their very members put him in a muzzle because a 'predator' is never to be trusted not going feral even though Nick himself has never harmed anyone.
I mean, despite everything she still latched on to that fox spray deterrent even after telling off her parents for being idiotic. And that was the very first thing she reached for when Nick got rightfully mad at the mess she made of that crime bust interview to the Zootopia public.
 

Dragonbums

Indulge in it's whiffy sensation
May 9, 2013
3,307
0
0
FirstNameLastName said:
I feel she really wasn't all that out of line to claim there could be a biological aspect to the predators' sudden behavior.
But that's the point though. It was a rather specieist thing to say. Let's look at animals in the real world. There are plenty of herbivorous animals that are more dangerous than predators.

Hippos for example account for way more human deaths in their local habitats than Alligators or even Lions. Bulls, cows, oxes, etc. are much more violent.
Rhinos attack anything they don't know or can't see clearly. And yet in the movie, nobody ever targets those animals because they aren't predators. What was stopping a bull like Judy's chief officer from going wild? I'm sure if he did he would cause massive damage. But they would actually look in to WHY they acted that way.
Judy, despite all of her progressiveness didn't even really question the causation of their behavior outside of 'that's just predators I guess' and left it at that.
 

FirstNameLastName

Premium Fraud
Nov 6, 2014
1,080
0
0
Dragonbums said:
FirstNameLastName said:
It just seems like a perfect recipe for her to develop some kind of prejudice/fear against foxes, so that by the end she can have an arc where she realizes her prejudice against predators is not so dissimilar to the prejudice she herself experiences as a bunny-cop,
I mean, are you sure you watched the whole film? Because that's exactly what happened. Keep in mind that Judy was basically the liberal of bunnies and as such wouldn't openly shy away from species she's supposed to be afraid of.

But the first time she saw Nick the first thing she thought was that he was doing something suspicious and had to investigate. (racial profiling.) Later when Nick did a thing she didn't like she tried to frame him for a bunch of other crimes he supposedly broke. All of which he showed her up on. He only goofed up on his taxes. But for all intents and purposes Judy was looking to arrest Nick and trying to find any loophole she could to do it.
I'm aware of that, and "racial profiling" was the first thing I assumed they were going for when that scene began, but it kind of fell flat for me. First off, it doesn't really help that Nick was acting rather suspicious before he entered the building, which is something police should be able to pick up on, so to me, despite what they were clearly going for, she seemed justified in investigating him. And it certain doesn't help that he was up to no good, making her suspicions both justified and correct.

but instead in the first few minutes of the film she's already lecturing her parents on how unfairly they're stereotyping predators.
It's the same way you lecture your conservative parents for saying all black people are thieves or some shit.

I don't know, she just seemed way too tolerant right from the beginning for a film about intolerance.
She was Zootopia's version of a liberal. But throughout the whole movie she held on to and purported certain prejudices against predators- foxes in particular that weren't fair.
Hell the entire second arc of that movie was literally her fault. She basically claimed that predators were acting feral and dangerous because no matter how 'civilized' they appear at the end of the day predators are a hunting violent animals and they can't help it. Despite the fact that she was friends with a Leopard that is all softness and kindness and wouldn't hurt a fly. Despite the fact that her investigative client was a sweet Otter mother who was kind, despite the fact that her own unofficial partner laid out his most vulnerable story about how he quit Boy Scouts despite his mother working so hard to get the money for it because a group that's founded on honor and honesty had their very members put him in a muzzle because a 'predator' is never to be trusted not going feral even though Nick himself has never harmed anyone.
But she doesn't actually claim that all predators are like that, just that these instances of animals going crazy could be down to biology, and I'll explain in a bit why that really isn't all that out of the question.

I mean, despite everything she still latched on to that fox spray deterrent even after telling off her parents for being idiotic. And that was the very first thing she reached for when Nick got rightfully mad at the mess she made of that crime bust interview to the Zootopia public.
That is something I'm willing to accept at least some fault on; I had no idea she was still, or ever, carrying it beyond the scene where her parents hand her it. I though it was just a throw away joke, and when she looked like she was going to pull it out in her initial meeting with Nick when the store owner started to get angry I thought what she was reaching for was just a generic pepper spray carried by police officers. So when it was suddenly brought up near the end it felt like it came out of nowhere, and left me more confused than anything else.

Dragonbums said:
FirstNameLastName said:
I feel she really wasn't all that out of line to claim there could be a biological aspect to the predators' sudden behavior.
But that's the point though. It was a rather specieist thing to say. Let's look at animals in the real world. There are plenty of herbivorous animals that are more dangerous than predators.

Hippos for example account for way more human deaths in their local habitats than Alligators or even Lions. Bulls, cows, oxes, etc. are much more violent.
Rhinos attack anything they don't know or can't see clearly. And yet in the movie, nobody ever targets those animals because they aren't predators. What was stopping a bull like Judy's chief officer from going wild? I'm sure if he did he would cause massive damage. But they would actually look in to WHY they acted that way.
Judy, despite all of her progressiveness didn't even really question the causation of their behavior outside of 'that's just predators I guess' and left it at that.
Yes, if there were any herbivores going wild they would probably look into it a bit further ... if. But there weren't, because the people behind it were only targeting predators, so it's not really their fault for assuming it's a problem unique to the predators when that's exactly what the situation was designed to portray.

As for more dangerous, I don't think she ever implied predators are the only ones who are dangerous, or more dangerous than herbivores. She only claimed that the actions of this handful of predators could be explained by their evolutionary past, and I've sort of already explained in this thread why that is a fair assumption to make, but I'll go over it again.

This whole "don't judge the animals by their species" idea kind topples over due to the fact that since this is a world of anthropomorphic animals, when ever they need a joke they often fall back on animal stereotypes, and it really makes me wonder how much of that is intentional, because I have a hard time believing they intentionally undermined the message in that way.
This is just one of the many examples of this kind of thing in the setting; why do the wolves howl? And why do they seem to do so almost uncontrollably, even when they seem to be consciously aware that they shouldn't?
There's that scene were they're sneaking into the facility and Nick almost gets caught by one of the guards, but Judy makes a howling noise knowing it will start a chain reaction (it seems her stereotyping was both useful and well founded in this case). That one wolf begins to howl before his partner runs up and stops him, then both of them begin to howl when they hear the others, despite the fact that one of them clearly showed they know they shouldn't. They appear to do it almost involuntarily, like an uncontrollable reaction.
So, again, why do they howl? If it's not an evolutionary behavior left over from their past, then what is it?

Further more, despite Nicks outrage at Judy's stereotyping, he seems to do some stereotyping of his own, and since its a comedy scene, his stereotyping likewise is justified by the movie. In that scene where Nick is selling the popsickles to the Lemmings, he gets the attention of one of them, and all the others behind him just follow in a line and all purchase a popsickle, then all immediately eat their popsickle and throw the stick in the bin. The joke is of course that they follow the leader, because Lemmings are known for mindlessly following the group (I guess a mass suicide off a cliff would be a bit too dark for the movie), but this, once again, shows an example of certain species all acting in the same way. Nick seems to know of exploit their predictable group behavior, and this behavior does seem to be an element of the Lemmings.
In fact, it seems like wherever you look you see species exhibiting behavior that seems to stem either from some stereotype of their species, or some real world behavior that ought to be in their past. The animals quite clearly haven't lost all their prior behavior, so it really doesn't seem all that outlandish that the predators, who have an evolutionary history of violent behavior, could keep some of that violent behavior among their more humorous, joke-fodder behavior.

I'm willing to admit Judy has more prejudice than I gave her credit for, but the overall setting just feels like a world of humorous stereotypes whom we're supposed to pretend aren't stereotypes as soon as the message comes round.
 

Leoofmoon

New member
Aug 14, 2008
391
0
0
Just mainly because we don't have a clear cut answer to some issues. Sometimes people do horrible stuff for no reason and sometimes people are doing tings because of race. I liked the movie but really you have to remember its a Disney movie, things are black and white and things are resolved in that movie in a matter of days.
 

Scarim Coral

Jumped the ship
Legacy
Apr 30, 2020
18,157
1
3
Country
UK
So I finally watch it.

First thing first, why the hell was it call "Zootropalis" in the UK (and I think in Europe aswell)???

Ok I had a look online and I got this-
"In the UK we decided to change the US title (Zootopia) to Zootropolis to merely allow the film to have a unique title that works for UK audiences."

I'm sorry, what is it us UK audience that we won't get with the word "utopia"????

That aside, overall it was an ok/ good film. I was more invested with their universe than the actual plot. Before you mention what the predator eat, I just assume either they were able to evolve to eat what the prey eat (can you tell me a real life Cheeta can eat cereal and dougnut just fine) or somehow make fake meat for them.

While it is a shame they seen to have several selection of the mammals (I didn't see cow, panda, ostrich etc) to animate for the film but I can understand. It would of been too much if they animated every single mammal spcies on the big screen and it would had taken alot of times.

Speaking of the species, it does make me wonder if their universe, the other non mammals are sentient too like reptile and birds and etc.

Lastly, too bad we didn't see much of the desert section of the film other than the intro. They give time for the frozen, rainforest and the main city but not the desert (well other than that ice lolly con).