Walt Disney Animation presents their newest animation blockbuster hit, Zootopia, in theaters on Friday, March 4, 2016. We saw the movie in a preview showing on Monday and my family thought it was terrific. Yet, I still heard the same old comment about it being “scary” – was it? Read on!
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery.
We we were thrilled to have the opportunity to view Zootopia early and everyone in the family LOVED it – seriously – we laughed and sat on the edge of our seat throughout the movie. There were funny jokes that made everyone in the audience laugh out loud and there were pop culture jokes that appealed to the adults. We found it to be fascinating to see the animal world come together to live like humans. And the animation was terrific.
Was Zootopia Scary?
I’m not going to give away any spoilers of the movie, cause I think that ruins all the fun, however, I do want to mention to y’all that there are moments in the movie that could be seen as “frightening” to younger kiddos. My children, 14, 13, & 6 – didn’t blink an eye at any of it and when I asked them if they thought it was scary they looked at me like I was crazy. “Mom, it was hysterical!” they all said. But in speaking to another mom of younger kids who saw it too, she had reservations about showing it to her youngest.
***climbing up on my soapbox***
Y’all – I LOVE the fact that Disney movies are REAL and I am getting tired of hearing the same complaint that there is too much sadness or conflict in kids movies these days. I’m always surprised when I hear people say this because it’s not like these movies became scary or violent all of a sudden. Remember when Bambi’s mother was killed in a forest fire? Or Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on a spinning wheel needle in the scary dungeon? Or Cinderella lost her parents and had to live with an evil stepmother? I don’t remember parents being all “up in arms” about the “conflict” in my days with these movies.
Seriously. Are we getting soft?
What no one is talking about is how the characters in these movies deal with their sadness – by persevering and striving to overcome the obstacle. Isn’t that what we want to teach our children? When I wrote about The Good Dinosaur a few months ago, I raved about the movie. I genuinely thought the movie was terrific. But so many of my friends thought it was “tragic” and “sad” and recommended that people not go and see it. I honestly couldn’t understand why – Arlo overcomes losing his father and fights to find his way back to his family, showing how perseverance and hard work pays off.
People – sad things happen to our children in real life. You simply can’t shield them from it. What you can do is teach them how to handle it, how to grow from the situation and become better because of it.
Listen, I don’t blog to tell you what you can or can’t do. All I want to do is show you ways to have fun and make memories with your families. And I recognize that it’s each parent’s decision to choose what they want their child to watch. So take what I am saying with a grain of salt, but don’t just rule a movie out because it may have a scary moment in it. Chances are the other 95% of the movie they don’t tell you about is funny and poignant and there is a great message to be heard.
***climbing down. Thanks for listening***
So, is Zootopia scary? I didn’t think so. There are moments where the animals don’t live in “harmony” but no one dies or is seriously hurt. And the movie has so many other great themes that it would be a shame if you didn’t see it.
Zootopia is about working hard to achieve your dreams, it’s about working together (even if you don’t necessarily like someone), and it’s about learning to not judge a person until you really know them. All great messages that children need to hear, even if it’s in an animated movie. I was happy to take my children to a movie that had so much goodness packed into it’s story….and laughter too!
Zootopia is in Theaters March 4, 2016
Check out these fun activity sheets to carry on the Zootopia fun at home.