Zootopia: Helpful or Hurtful?

Zootopia_PosterIf you’ve been to the movie theater lately, you have probably heard of the movie Zootopia.  The main character in this animated movie, Judy Hopps, is an energetic little rabbit who is determined to become a cop in the big city.  She is the first of her species to be hired in the department and must overcome a lot of racial bias toward her and others.  Despite the fact that this movie attempts to address the current police brutality and racial issues currently happening in our country, the method by which they chose to portray Hopps and her success are more problematic than helpful.  I read this article about the issues with this movie.  The main point that this article makes is that the way Hopps climbs through the system is by assigning as many tickets as she can by the end of the first day to gain the respect of her colleagues.  They use this to show how dedicated she is, but in actuality the ticketing practices in this country are usually racially driven and there are still ticketing quotas active in some departments, which is technically illegal.  The reason this is a problem is that the movie represents this as a good way for someone to climb the ladder within a department, especially when she is a minority, when in actual practice it is used to put down a profile minorities.  That being said, this movie is attempting to tackle a very large problem in this country which way too complex to be properly address in a 120 minute children’s movie.  I think that this movie is probably a good start for the conversation about police brutality for children but might glass over some of the particulars about the situation. Overall, I think this movie is really interesting and well written, just a little problematic.

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