We went to see Zootopia as a family during the Easter long weekend and I am so happy that we did.
As you may already know, I’m pretty particular in what my children watch. I’ve mentioned before that my boys can get scared easily and sometimes the storyline and scary characters stick with them and keep them up at night. So I generally research movies and shows before they watch them. I knew Zootopia would fit the bill, so we made a family date of it.
I first learned about Zootopia when I was invited to the Disney Social Media Moms “On The Road” event in Toronto this past fall. It looked so interesting and funny, but to be honest, it didn’t seem like a movie that would affect me.
I was so wrong.
In the news, more often than not, there have been terrible attacks all over the world. Most recently before we saw the movie, Brussels had been attacked. And just last week, Pakistan was attacked and children lost their lives. CHILDREN. It is always very difficult to explain any of this to my boys. We try, and I wrote about it. But now, we have another tool as parents. We have Zootopia.
Without giving away too much, Zootopia is a place where animals have evolved into a more civilized society, and “anyone can be anything”. Unfortunately, you find out quickly that not all animals get along, and subjects such as stereotypes and bias, bullying, tax evasion, extortion, and even hard crime are all happening right under Zootopia’s roof. Of course, some of this, along with classic movie references and jokes will go over some little people’s heads, but what they will understand is that there are “not so nice animals” in the wonderful the world of Zootopia.
With the help of Lieutenant Judy Hopps, the first bunny on the police force, and Nick Wilde, a hustling fox, the detective story is one with a lot of laughs, but also a lot of thought-provoking issues for young and old.
What parents need to know:
The movie is rated PG. The movie is perfect for elementary school age children and up. Kids in kindergarten might find it a little too fast paced and there are some scary scenes that even got us jumping in our seats! But as I have mentioned before in my posts, you know your child better than anyone, so you be the judge. If you want to be prepared in the theatre for the scary scenes (spoiler alert!), get ready for the secret prison scene and the jungle scene, where animals have “changed” their behavior.
The greatest message that I heard from Zootopia was that fear will not win. Of course that is my adult self hearing the message. What did my children hear? This:
“Everyone should show kindness and get along.”
“We need to help people and forgive.”
For some, fear takes over and clouds better judgment. When a child is bullied at school, with the US presidential election showing a lot of hatred for our fellow man, all the way to lives lost in senseless acts of violence, in one way, they are related. But what needs to be addressed each and every day, is that there are people (or in this case animals) making a difference.
Why you should see this movie:
Leave it to Disney to create a movie that is brilliantly animated, fantastically funny, true to today’s culture, and is able to hit on the most important errors of our ways as humans…through a story with only animals. It couldn’t have come at a better time: for us as a couple, a family, a community and a world. It’s a great conversation builder as well. I hope you take the time to go see this movie with your family. You will undoubtedly get something way more than humour out of it.
Zootopia is in theatres now, and some showings are in 3D! If you have seen Zootopia, I would love to know what you and your family thought in the comments below. Check your local listings for showtimes.