I felt like I was the last person on the face of the earth to watch Zootopia until a friend said she hasn’t seen it. So that would make me second to the last person? Plus made me wonder about our friendship and that thing they say about birds and feathers and flying. Fill in the gap.
Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. This is about the lessons I picked from the movie. This isn’t a review but I loved it so much that I had to do a post about it. I’ll try not to drop any spoilers in the event that, by any chance, there are still some people like my friend and me who are lazy movie watchers like to save stuff for later. So without further ado, let us begin.
- People will surprise you: I know that’s probably not surprising for some people, but I thought I’ll stress it again. Sometimes we put people in boxes and just label them, expecting that they would just be in that box, and just exist there. This isn’t always the case. People can and will surprise you. People will do things, positive or negative, that would seem to be outside of character but it does not necessarily mean that they have changed, it just means that everybody has some latent characteristics and we are all predisposed to certain behaviours. Our desires, society and experiences more often than not shape our behaviour. Everybody is capable of good and everybody is capable of bad. It’s what you choose that makes the difference. We see this play out repeatedly throughout the movie from Gideon Grey, the neighbourhood bully, to Nick Wilder, the sly fox.
- Anybody can be anything: Anybody can aspire to be anything they want. One of the greatest gifts we have is our imagination. Once you can see it in your mind, as clear as day—sometimes it might not even be clear, might just be a fraction of it you see—and you begin to align yourself to that picture you see, start to do the things that would make that picture you see in your mind a reality, then you can most definitely achieve it. It might take a while, but nothing is beyond your reach, you just have to want it bad enough. You just have to be ready to work your butt off to achieve it. This is mirrored in Judy Hopps’ blind determination to be a cop even after she was told countless times that Bunnies can’t and have never been cops. She did it anyway. Which leads to my next point…
- There’s always a first time: And you can very well be the first one to do something that has never been done before. When people tell you nobody has ever done that before, it might be even to the simplest things and you can’t for the life of you understand why? It’s okay to be the first. Someone has to try things first. History is rife with so many firsts. Firsts that became inventions we enjoy today and can’t imagine life without. This is mirrored again by Judy, who after being told that Bunnies don’t just become cops, said ‘then I’ll be the first one’. She worked her butt off and became the first Bunny cop. There’s nothing wrong with being the first. It might be tough to actually achieve it, but the idea that it hasn’t been done before is not enough reason to not try at all.
- Reality does not hold up to our imaginations: Yes, it seldom does. Because real life is messy and you can’t get to point C from A without a few bumps in the road. Some bumps would even make you want to abandon the wheel and get out of the car. But the good news is, there’s always a way out, you just have to be willing to get back in the car and keep going. You might have to back up and retrace your steps but you’ll surely find a way out. Judy’s only goal was to become a cop and make the world a better place and then she realised that it wasn’t that simple. She had to learn that the hard way when everything she did seemed to make things worse but she learnt from her mistake and came back better for it.
- As surely as the sun sets, there will be Naysayers: Block out the naysayers, block out the chatter that does not help you achieve your goals. The voices that tell you not to dream so much. There was a scene where Judy’s dad was telling her that there’s beauty in complacency; if you never try anything new, you never fail. Sometimes, these naysayers would be people close to you, could be your parents, closest friends etc., well-meaning in their intentions, they would want to tell you that this thing you want to do cannot work because of this reason, or that reason, but remember that they don’t know your journey. They do not see the picture you see; that thing that keeps you up at night, that thing that even when you manage to sleep, you dream about and then spend every waking hour thinking about. They can’t see it, and that’s okay. You can see it, and that’s all that matters. Surround yourself with people who understand this yearning and can help you fine tune it into that picture that you see. Because let’s face it, you already deal with so much fear about it, you don’t need anyone piling or projecting their own fears on you. People will always have an opinion about everything even when you are doing what they want you to do. Do what YOU want to do and don’t apologise for it.
- Good deeds: Don’t hesitate to do good to others whether you get a thank you or not. Always, always pay it forward. Take out time for a friend, give to someone who needs it, use kind words when you address people, whatever it is, if it helps someone else, do it. You have no idea how invaluable that seemingly little gesture is. Acts of kindness yield huge rewards at times when you least expect.
Zootopia is a movie rife with so many lessons, exploring themes of discrimination, racism, etc, and one blog post would not be enough to highlight them all, but these are the ones that stood out for me and if you are an animation lover like myself, then this is one to watch. Nick the Fox was my favourite character! Which is absolutely no surprise cos I love Jason Bateman who voiced the character.
If you have seen it, what did you think? Any takeaways? Please share, share, share! And if you haven’t, and you watch animations, wyd? #judgingyou.
I absolutely loved the theme song as well (animations just have the best soundtracks!); “Try Everything”. Talks about not giving up and just trying everything. Advice from me to you (I’m taking this advice too), Try everything! Explore all your passions and interests. Make mistakes, grow, learn. You can do more than one thing; you can actually do many things.