Popstar and Zootopia

Popstar – because sometimes you need humour that pitches to a seventh grade level, and does it reasonably well. Not stretching, but has its moments.

Zootopia – is an interesting one. Is a very contemporary reflection on the distinction between what’s inherent, and what is part of our choice to define ourselves. ‘Anyone can be anything’. Judith Butler would be proud.

In that sense, the story feels a little easy. It doesn’t meaningfully engage with the idea that identity is entirely a choice. The most mildly interesting structuring is how a vulnerable group uses perceptions of power to attack a powerful group. There is no connection to real, underlying power structures here – or a discussion of why if predators only number 10 per cent of the population, they seem to hold the key positions of power. Instead we’re left with the triteness of these concluding lines:

I thought Zootopia was this perfect place.
Where everyone got along,
and anyone could be anything.
Turns out, real life is a little bit more
complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker.
Real life is messy.
We all have limitations.
We all make mistakes.
Which means, hey, glass half full,
we all have a lot in common.
And the more we try to
understand one another.
The more exceptional each of us will be.

How underwhelming.


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