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Unrelenting Optimism and Crushing Cynicism

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Last night my family and I went to Zootopia, a film about a young bunny named Judy Hopps who aspires from a very early age to become the first cop in the city of Zootopia.  Her family desires nothing for her but to continue the family trade, carrot farming.  With an unstoppable zeal and an unrelenting optimism that she could become the first cop in her family, Judy sets out on this journey and succeeds in her quest to become part of the blue team.  Upon entering the bustling city of Zootopia one day on her first role as a ticket writer for the police, Judy stumbles upon Nick Wilde, a wily fox who turns out to be scamming people for money in order to turn a quick profit.  Eventually, they work together to solve a case of missing animals in the area, but not without some bumps in the road.  Nick has adopted a crushing cynicism that points to the hard life that comes through many failed expectations and real life examples of the not so fair kind.  Judy, in contrast, believes that if you want something bad enough, you can attain it through hard work and dedication.  And yet, along the way Judy finds out that people are not so hard wired as her for success, honesty, and hard work.

The backstory for Nick Wilde includes a childhood where he wanted nothing less than to be a cop, yet his experience with a young group of animals proved nothing less than abuse and abandonment.  He was kicked out of the club and from that point on failed to adorn rose colored classes, but opted for the black ones instead.  Sometimes in life there are experiences that shape the rest of our lives, and for Nick, this experience of being shunned and outed was paramount for the rest of his journey.

In the end, we see Judy looking at the screen and telling her audience that life is messy, that things don't always work out as expected, but that's not a pill for giving up, but for continuing on in the race. Nick is at her side patrolling the streets of Zootopia, looking for any wayward citizens and proving to the audience that foxes aren't always wily and deceptive.  And Judy, for all of her exuberant enthusiasm comes to realization that life in Zootopia will deliver its disappointments and celebrations, and on certain occasions both.

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