The latest animated Disney film Zootopia portrays a world of animals in which predators and prey coexist in nonviolent harmony in a humanized, urban landscape. In the movie, there are no humans—only talking animals, like rabbits and foxes. In fact, the main character is a female rabbit named Judy, who becomes a police officer and unexpectedly forms an alliance with a sly fox named Nick.
The film brilliantly utilizes a literary tool called personification, or anthropomorphism, which is the superimposition of human qualities onto non-human characters and objects. This narrative sleight of hand is both captivating and believable, due to the story's superb craftsmanship.
As I was watching the show last night in an AMC theater, I kept having jaw-dropping reactions to the level of detail achieved in Disney's concoction of virtual reality. The fox's fur glimmered with shades of elegant and orange grittiness; the rabbit's ears perked up and drooped in accordance with a variety of emotional states; the hyper-resolution of the visual scenery bolstered and enhanced the witty dialogue and humor of the cornucopia of creatures.
It's not surprising that the Rotten Tomatoes website is currently reporting a 99% approval rate for the movie from well-renowned critics across the nation.
Like every blog I write, I will find a way to relate this topic to AYP. In this case, it's not a very hard task, since this particular piece of cinematic art is overflowing with jewels of bhakti, self-inquiry, and karma yoga.
So, going back to the details of the movie...a twist in the plot occurs when a group of normally civilized predators (a gentlemanly panther and law-abiding otter, to name a few) suddenly turn savage and attack innocent bystanders, thereby exhibiting traits of evolutionary regression. A wave of panic overcomes the city, and the protagonist police officer has to investigate and discover the root cause of these outbreaks. In her pursuit of truth and justice, the heroine gives the audience an opportunity to reflect on the trajectory of humanity and life on Earth.
In AYP, there is much talk about spirituality and evolutionary progress. To progress is the opposite of regression. It is moving forward in the spirit of growth and development, and leaving behind tendencies that thwart or stifle global unity. In Zootopia, random acts of violence and their misunderstood causes threaten the harmony of the culture. In our non-fictional realm outside of the movies, we have similar obstructions to dissolve, obviously.
The solution, both in the movie and in real life, is to amplify our pure awareness so that we can penetrate the dark clouds that have obscured the reality of Oneness. It is this same pure awareness that produces magnificent works of art—celebrating the beauty of diversity within unity.
The higher power is in us.