First off, it’s a good kids movie with good kids morals. Secondly, it’s a gigantic anti-Trump ad with a gaping logic flaw.
Here’s the skinny: I went to see this because I wanted to hear Jason Bateman be a sly fox. And while he’s not quite as sly as I’d hoped (even though his bunny companion constantly refers to his “slyness” in an attempt to make the audience believe he’s actually that sly), the movie overall is fun. I smiled a few times here and there. And it doesn’t pull any punches with the vocabulary, meaning your kid might ask you what a lot of the dialogue means. I like that, a film with the balls to encourage kids to crack open a dictionary.
Beyond that, though, consider this: the film’s central themes are that we should all get along and hug each other, that breaking stereotypes is only a matter of willpower and determination, and that it’s good to be politically correct.
While two out of those three things are admirable goals, here’s the truth: reality doesn’t work like that (and can’t, the way our society is going about it). And that’s how Jason Bateman’s fox starts out in the story, as a realist who acknowledges just how shit the real world is. Then, through a RIDICULOUS set of circumstances, he manages to overcome his negativity and embrace hoppy-bunny’s go-getter SJW attitude. But let’s say his character hadn’t happened to meet this one bunny destined for greatness, that he ended up living out his life broken and sad like most Zootopians. Well then, nothing would change for him. Because the truth is, most people don’t get along. And most people don’t (honestly) try to break the stereotypes they (more often than not) fall into.
Now, consider this: the whole movie’s theme is that cohabitation is achievable and that segregation is bad, with plenty of direct references against Trump’s “kick the illegals out” mantra. Yet, in the movie, Zootopia only functions because most animals reserve themselves to their own respective biomes. Jungle animals live in the jungle, tundra animals live in the tundra, etc. What does this mean? While it preaches anti-Trump rhetoric, its world actively practices his ideology and directly supports it in its inhabitants’ actions. Even when it’s foaming at the mouth with positive integration-based rhetoric, Zootopia can’t escape its separate but equal trappings.