Lilly is getting to the age where she can sit still and watch a full-length (hour and a half) movie, so I took her to the theater on Sunday to see Zootopia.

I’ve only seen a handful of the Disney/Pixar offerings, mostly since I became a mom. I’ve loved all of them, and this one is no exception.

Zootopia is a grand city of “evolved” animals, where predators no longer hunt prey, and the anthropomorphic animals live together in apparent peace and prosperity. Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin), a rabbit from Bunnyburrow, is Zootopia’s first rabbit police officer, something she’s dreamed of since she was a little bunny. She was the first rabbit to attend the police academy, worked hard, and graduated at the top of her class. She excitedly waves goodbye to her worried parents, hops on a train to Zootopia, and starts her new job with the city police department.

On her first day, she eagerly awaits her first assignment, and gets…parking duty. Disappointed but determined, Judy goes above and beyond the call of duty and gets 200 parking tickets before noon. She also meets Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a fox who outfoxes her, and tells her to get used to being treated like a, well, like a cute little bunny no one is going to take seriously. Nick’s attitude stems from his own experience of being stereotyped, and we get the feeling that all is not completely perfect in Zootopia.

Judy and Nick eventually get involved in trying to solve a missing persons case, and begin to become friends along the way. Due to the cleverness of both, they not only find the missing otter, but discover that some predators are mysteriously reverting back to their wild ways and “going primal”. Judy ends up facing her own prejudices and assumptions before she and Nick solve the mystery and bring Zootopia back to balance again.

I think I loved this movie more than Lilly did. It’s rated PG, and so some of the humor went over her head, as well as the theme of prejudice and stereotyping. Lilly’s still at that wonderful age where she doesn’t see any differences in people. People are just people, whether they’re white or brown or purple, so I think the essential message of the movie wasn’t apparent to her.

Her biggest concern in the movie was when Judy left home for the big city. “She’ll see her parents again, won’t she?” she whispered to me in a worried tone. That, and the occasional sudden scares, when something would jump out unexpectedly, were the only things that bothered her. Otherwise, I was afraid she’d get bored and want to leave. That couldn’t happen: I had to finish watching this wonderful movie!

But she got through with minimal fidgeting, and claimed to like the movie afterward. But probably  not as much as Frozen (duh). I’m just glad I have a kid now, and have an excuse to go see these animated pieces of genius without shame.

Even if you don’t have children, go see Zootopia. You’ll be glad you did.



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