'Zootopia' a film with a lesson for the whole family

'Zootopia' a film with a lesson for the whole family

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - "Zootopia" is the latest animated film from Disney Studios, meaning it is not unlikely that young ones will be dragging their parents to the theaters this weekend to catch the newest talking animal feature.

According to IMDB, "Zootopia" is about a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she is forced to learn how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a fox who makes her job even harder.

While many of us who have been to the movies in the past few months have probably already seen the hilarious trailer showing the sloth-operated DMV, the film is more than simple animals-doing-human-things jokes. One Bustle article even calls it the "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" of the 21st century. While "Zootopia" is not nearly as dark or mature as the '80s classic, there are some similarities past the animated rabbit lead.

Aside from the fact that they are both mystery movies involving a rabbit teaming up with a reluctant partner, they both address issues of race in a way that isn't so heavy-handed.

Where toons were treated like second-class citizens in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," Disney's "Zootopia" warns audiences on the dangers of stereotyping. Judy automatically doesn't want to trust Nick due to the fact that he's a fox, but she has to learn to work with him and look past her prejudices. Also, the classification of the word "cute" as one that only rabbits can call each other but can't be used by any other animals conjures up contemporary attitudes about the N-word. There is also the major plot of animal predators and prey supposedly coexisting, but the conflict revolves around the fear of the predators, a minority of the population.

Some reviewers think the movie might be more adult than the animation suggests, but that just shows it has something for everyone. Kids will walk away having enjoyed another talking animal movie, and parents will walk away thinking about the parallels between the animal world and our own society. If you need something to do, go check it out.