John J. Thompson
March 21, 2016
Disney's Zootopia grapples with troubling aspects of American society in a way that's both timely and Biblical.
Please explain the correlation to Donald Trump.
In Reply to Doreen (comment #27991)
It's not a correlation so much as it is a child's recognition of a parallel with Trump's demonizing of the Latino minority in this country and the use of fear (of irrelevance, of poverty, of disenfranchisement, of "the other") as a very powerful tool within his campaign.
Sorry, I thought that was clear. That was a thinly veiled insinuation that Trump uses fear to drive a wedge into the culture, painting minorities as threats and then scapegoating them, and in the process all we get is more fear, more anger, and more untruth. And it was an 11-year old that called it! Trump's not special, though. Demagogues have done this throughout history. What I love about this story is that it gets to the underlying problems with the human condition that allow infections like Trump to fester.
And it's funny.
In More's original Utopia, we get satire about a society that can't exist... Utopia means "nowhere". In Zootopia we have a society that closely parallels our modern society... attempting to bring peace and harmony simply through evolution. Being on the right side of history, as they say. But in the same way that the predatory instinct lurks in the dna of the animals, we have the issue of a sin nature. Zootopia is unintentionally satirical like More... because there can never be shalom without a savior and there can never be true community without a cross.
As I walked away from the theater, I considered the new Babel of humanism western society is building. We are intent on building harmony, peace, and unity without God's help. Simply supressing the predator won't work... we must become whole new creatures. Thats why the unity and harmony Zootopia leads us to hope for is a doomed pipedream.
Valid points. I think that was one thing I enjoyed about the way the story focused on police work. There would always be a darkness to deal with - a need for justice - even in Zootopia. I also noticed at least a couple references to God that, because I was taking my son to a movie and not preparing for a review, I could not cite in detail. I think had the story not included an ongoing problem of sin I would have found it way less interesting. However, I think it does an effective job of illustrating how fear threatens community even without the inclusion of creation's ultimate need for a savior. Even within the community of faith - amongst humans who have accepted that savior and the cross, fear and laziness continue to prowl, to seek, and to destroy.
I guess I see value in the resonant hunger for shalom that a story like Zootopia rouses, even if it doesn't fully answer that hunger. I guess that's our job to do.
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