Skip to main content

Unrelenting Optimism and Crushing Cynicism

Image result for zootopia

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.


Popular posts from this blog

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
A profound simplicity of thought, a penetrating vision of what it means to be human, Flannery O’Connor embodies the spirit of bringing fictional stories to life.  Others might call her fiction ‘grotesque’ in a rather unflattering manner, but O’Connor was not content to live up to their criticisms.  In this short book of collected essay and lectures, Mystery and Manners, editors and friends of Flannery, Robert and Sally Fitzgerald have given us a glimpse into the vision of her faith, style and life as a writer.   A lifelong Catholic, Flannery O’Connor sought to wed together the moral integrity of her faith with the character of her craft in writing.  Specifically, fiction for her was an exploration in imitation.
In a rather illuminating statement in the chapter entitled, “A Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South, “ O’Connor writes,
“I am specifically concerned with fiction because that is what I write.  There is a certain em…

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …