I've been a Disney girl since I was a little one. I know all the major songs to a Little Mermaid, Alaadin, and of course, The Lion King. But not until 2016, well into my adulthood, did I find a Disney character that resonated with me on a deep level. Ms. Judy Hopps isn't just another "adorable" creation, she's emblematic of millennials fighting for their dreams in a world we didn't create, but where we have 1st hand access to the worst humanity has to offer, via social media.
Judy Hopps represents what a person needs to be in order to get past the negative BS we see daily: Resilience, a positive self-view, compassion for self and others, and strength. And as an aspiring show runner with her own share of emotional battles to overcome, I can relate to Ms. Hopps struggle.
Disney's animated fare as of late delves into complex topics, ones that the average 4th grader wouldn't catch on to. Inside Out covered emotions and mental illness; Frozen covered Sisterhood, and Big Hero covered conflict resolution using non-violent methods. Disney is stepping it's story game up big time - and the themes of Zootopia are relevant to any underdog (or "underbunny"), especially those working in an industry that's not known for it's stability. Add to that, the current racial climate makes it very difficult for any person, especially those of color, to ignore how Americans struggle to get to the "promise land" together, but we have to try. And I LOVE that Zootopia tackles racism, the epic fail called the war on drugs, and sexism.
Watching Zootopia made me cry a few times because of how close it hits home to own my story. I grew up in a suburb of a major city (Detroit) and left Southfield, Michigan to pursue a career in film and television. The only way I got my 1st job at ABC, was by applying for an associate position at Touchstone TV [Now ABC Studios] via an unpaid internship in Detroit that my father begged me not to take. After I graduated college, Michigan was knee deep in the middle of a recession and I was spending all my time at home writing, so I figured, why not get some experience?
And boy I am so glad I did. Had I not trusted my gut and taken that internship, I probably would not have made it to L.A., as soon as I did, if at all! When Judy's parents tell her that no bunny has ever been in Zootopia's police force, Judy could have accepted what was safe, but she had to follow her heart. My dad was only looking out for my best interest, but only you know what is going to make you happy and as long as the risks you take are calculated, then how can anyone fault you for doing what's best for you? I've spent ten years, living in LA and it's still not easy, I work daily to overcome my shortcomings and money management is always a thing. While this Hollywood ride has taken me the long way - I fought for what I have and I continue to fight for what I want.