“I thought this city would be a perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, life’s 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. But we have to try. So no matter what kind of person you are, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you.” – Judy Hopps.
I decided to write this post now, as I hope most of you reading this will have already seen Zootropolis or at least know of Judy Hopps. Nevertheless, for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, Judy Hopps is the main Bunny protagonist in Disney’s feature film Zootropolis.
Judy is a different character to many of the female protagonists before her. She is a driven, resilient bunny who will stand up for what she believes in. Even though she is only small, she is still capable of big things. With consistent reminders from her parents, that all she can really do is become a carrot farmer because she is a bunny. She decides and knows different. She leaves her small town to achieve better; to become a Police Officer.
Even though this ideology is similar to Tiana from the Princess and The Frog, where her main ambition was to open her own restaurant, she still had help from other people and a male at that. I am not saying that this is wrong, but Judy did it better. Judy was able to achieve her dream through being driven and never giving up her ambition, being determined to accomplish it whatever failures she faced. Despite appearing to be naïve, innocent and initially put as a ‘meter maid’. She did not give up, nor should we!
In today’s society is important that children are able to grow up on this message, that no matter what you look like, or if you fail, you can still achieve your ambitions and dreams. Previous Disney films have only shown that if you have a bit of faith, trust and pixie dust, these dreams will come true for you without having to put in the hard work. Which as you and I know is not the case. Judy reminds us that yes we should dream, but do not forget to put in that little bit of extra effort!
Judy is not a typical female Disney character. She is not a Princess, nor vulnerable. Disney is still having a poor representation of Females, even with the introduction of Frozen. With over 59% of Frozens dialogue being spoken by males, despite having two female lead characters! Exclusively Males populate the Disney world; with the exception of royalty, women are largely absent. No female innkeepers, no talkative best friend and no amusing female sidekicks. Therefore, giving girls limited positive images of women in the world. Similarly, in the animal-based Disney films, female characters were mothers, love interests or even baddies. Nothing really for young girls to aspire to be. Judy is a character that girls can identify with and aspire to be like!
Even within society today, it is difficult to be a female. It’s probably going to get a lot more difficult, even with the continuous strive between gender equality. Luckily, there are new Disney characters like Judy to show how this discrimination occurs, not only with gender, but also with ethnicity and sexual orientation. She gives people the chance to aspire to be more than they believe, and overcome society’s discrimination.
On a personal level, Judy has reminded me how I can achieve my dreams. Yes I may feel like I have failed on occasions, but all I can do is try my best and carry on. I aspire to be a bit more like Judy Hopps every day!
Overall, Judy shows us that we can be whoever we want to be and that all our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
CYA LATER ALLIGATORS
(Image Copyright: Disney)