|Photo: Fox9 News|
Life inspires art, and art inspires life, and in this case it seems to have struck a very real chord right where it ought to.
Recently, the St. Paul Police Department screened Zootopia to all their officers as part of their annual equity training. The real-world parallels and issues the movie draws concerning stereotypes, prejudice, and the role of the police are obvious, but it’s portrayed in a way that allows everyone to learn without ever comparing animals to a real-world racial counterpart. Due to the way Zootopia masterfully handles such a delicate and often controversial topic, a lot of officers were able to come away from the training with new perspectives on their job.
“What was cool was so many officers have seen the movie so many times, and they never saw the paralells with real life, policing, the internal issues we deal with and the external,”
said Officer Colleen Rooney, in a recent article from Fox9 News. According to Fox9, the chief of police is looking to share the exercise with other departments and community groups in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.
All in all, this is exactly the sort of thing I love to see happening! Zootopia is far more than a simple children’s movie- it can teach men and women of all ages valuable lessons about the world we live in, and get us to think about how we might handle a situation before it ever comes up. I, for one, never understood what “microagressions” were until I saw how Judy handled the situation in Jerry Jumbeaux’s Ice Cream Parlor (especially immediately afterwards, with the line “I just gotta say, you’re a great dad, and just… a real articulate feller!” Ouch Judy. Just ouch).
In my opinion, Zootopia is the sort of movie that ought to be required watching before you graduate high school and enter the adult world, and DEFINITELY should be a part of job training for a lot of professions outside of police work. But that’s me. What do you think of all this? Should Zootopia be introduced into more widespread police training? Do you think it would be effective? Let us know down in the comments!