Other Affairs by iPoke
By now, most of us have seen the Disneycember video, in which Doug Walker said that, while he thought Zootopia was ‘okay’, it wasn’t ‘great’ His main criticism of the movie stemmed from the fact that he thought it was too heavy handed (pawed?) in its allegorical depictions of racial stereotypes as species stereotypes. (This is actually par for the course as messages go in Disney animated feature. A critic whose name escapes me at the moment, once summed up Disney animated movies as films with a ‘now hear this!’ message. )
That was his opinion when he first saw the film, but according to the Disneycember video, Mr. Walker has since come to revise that opinion. Given the (numerous) instances of race hatred we’ve been seeing on the news and elsewhere, he now says that Zootopia needed to ‘nail it on the head’.’
While I appreciate that sentiment, I personally believe the movie didn’t quite nail it down; there was one area left unexplored…one that I think it should absolutely be addressed in the sequel.
I once had someone very close to me, someone who was one of the most enlightened, open-minded people I ever knew. He firmly believed in the equality of all men, and was thoroughly progressive when it came to the subject of race relations. He even once suggested to me that Martin Luther King would have made a great President of the United States.
So, imagine my surprise—and shock—when we were driving down the road one day and came upon an interracial couple, walking together and holding hands. Without missing a beat, he turned to me and said, “That’s just wrong.”
And that’s the part that was left untouched in Zootopia…and we’ve all known people like this, folks:
“You want to go to my church? Nooo problem.”
“You want to visit my house? Sure, come on in.”
“You want our kids to go to school together? Hey, why not?”
“You want to join my team? Love to have ya, brother.”
But that’s as far as it goes….
“You want to marry my daughter? Stay with your own kind, pal!”
I can easily imagine Bonnie and Stu Hopps taking that line. “Look, we’re perfectly happy to have a fox as a business partner…but as our daughter’s life partner? NOT! HAPPENING!”
Sad but true folks, this is the place where so many supposedly enlightened people draw the line, ‘we can be friends, but that’s ALL we can ever be.’
And it’s a line that needs to be erased. This is why, in my opinion, there needs to be a Zootopia sequel and that in the next film Nick and Judy should come together in a relationship that goes beyond simple friendship. The first Zootopia did a spectacular job of addressing the subject of racial stereotypes without getting preachy…but there’s still so much more to talk about; the first step towards dealing with that line in the sand is acknowledging it’s there.
That is not to say I want Zootopia 2 to be some kind of bully pulpit on race relation; the first film didn’t work that way and I wouldn’t want the sequel to be like that either. Just the same, I think the subject should be explored…and for that we need Wildehopps to happen.
Just my opinion.
Team Leader, http://zootopianewsnetwork.com