“Zootopia” Wins and So Will You

A year ago this month, Disney Studios’ Zootopia was released in theaters. At the recent Academy Awards show, it won the Oscar for Best Animated Film. If you haven’t already seen it, go buy your own copy or head to the rental store.

Zootopia is smart, funny, and full of color. That’s typical of Disney movies. We can also expect endearing characters, a great plot, and a moral to the story. (One or two of those morals are relevant to what’s happening in our “neighborhoods” right now.)

Zootopia brings it home in all respects.

A cute little bunny, Judy Hopps, is determined “to make the world a better place” by becoming the first rabbit police officer. Her parents prefer she stay at home with her 275 brothers and sisters living a risk-free life. But carrot farming isn’t in the stars for Judy and she knows it.

She attends Zootopia Police Academy and, although she graduated at the top of her class, is assigned to ticketing cars at expired parking meters.

Zootopia police have been stymied by 14 cases of missing predators. When an otter goes missing, Judy convinces Chief Bogo she can solve the crime. Bogo gives her 48 hours.

Judy enlists the help of Nick Wilde, a fox who lives up to the stereotype. He’s clever and sassy. Judy uses Nick’s shady practices to trick him into assisting her and the story begins to unfold as a true detective tale.

Rabbit and fox are fortunate enough to discover a license plate number in the sketchy file Judy’s been given. That plate number leads them to the DMV where Nick’s friend, Flash, proves a big help. But Flash, like his co-workers, is a sloth.

Uh-oh.

For anyone who’s waited at the DMV, you’ll relate. Nick and Judy get to the counter immediately. But…er…you’ll love the sloths. Watch Judy be her usual upbeat self. Watch Nick bait Flash into a conversation. Watch Flash finish a sentence. Watch Judy lose her cool. Watch Nick’s smug expression.

The plate number results in an address which leads the duo to the naturalists. The naturalists give them enough information to take them to Mr. Big. He has enough information to lead them to a place where they hear about night howlers. Wolves?

In their search for the missing otter, Judy and Nick play the roles of detective with everything they have in them. Judy proves she’s not a “dumb bunny.” Nick’s foxiness comes in handy, but he also begins to soften. They form a bond that could only happen in Zootopia, where predator and prey can live in harmony. The line between them becomes blurred.

Zootopia includes the dense, color-rich scenes you expect of Disney Studios. The soundtrack is amazing. As usual, there’s visual humor and lines that kids probably won’t understand. (Think: Pixar’s Toy Story trilogy.) But that’s okay. Disney knows it’s the parents who bring the kids.

In the end, Zootopia shows us that we need friends who are loyal and always believe in us. We see that we can live in harmony with those who are different if all parties are willing to work together. Disney does it all so well. It’s a movie you’ll want to own so you can watch it whenever you need to see a great story told well. Or just for the laughs after a rough day.

One critic’s review named it “the best Disney movie in 20 years.” So go out and buy your own copy or get to the video store. Because you must see Zootopia now.

For parents: Zootopia is rated PG-13 for thematic material (animal violence), action scenes and some crude humor.

 

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A Visit to Zootopia

Released in theaters March 2016, Zootopia is now on DVD. I have to say if you didn’t catch it at the theater, you must see it now.

Zootopia is smart, funny, and full of color. That’s typical of Disney movies. We can also expect endearing characters, a great plot, and a moral to the story.

Zootopia brings it home in all respects.

A cute little bunny, Judy Hopps, is determined “to make the world a better place” by becoming the first rabbit police officer. Her parents prefer she stay at home with her 275 brothers and sisters living a risk-free life. But carrot farming isn’t in the stars for Judy and she knows it.

She attends Zootopia Police Academy and, although she graduated at the top of her class, is assigned to ticketing cars at expired parking meters.

Zootopia police have been stymied by 14 cases of missing predators. When an otter goes missing, Judy convinces Chief Bogo she can solve it. Bogo gives her 48 hours.

Judy decides to enlist the help of Nick Wilde, a fox who lives up to the stereotype. He’s clever and sassy. Judy uses Nick’s shady practices to trick him into assisting her and the story begins to unfold as a true detective tale.

Rabbit and fox are fortunate enough to discover a license plate number in the sketchy file Judy’s been given. That plate number leads them to the DMV where Nick has a friend, Flash, who proves a big help. But Flash, like his co-workers, is a sloth.

Uh-oh.at the DMV

For anyone who’s waited at the DMV, you’ll relate. Nick and Judy get to the counter immediately. But…er…you’ll love the sloths. Watch Judy be her usual upbeat self. Watch Nick bait Flash into a conversation. Watch Flash finish a sentence. Watch Judy lose her cool. Watch Nick’s smug expression.

The plate number results in an address which leads the duo to the naturalists. The naturalists give them enough information to take them to Mr. Big. He has enough information to lead them to a place where they hear about night howlers. Wolves?

In their search for the missing otter, Judy and Nick play the roles of detective with everything they have in them. Judy proves she’s not a “dumb bunny.” Nick’s foxiness comes in handy, but he also begins to soften. They form a bond that could only happen in Zootopia, where predator and prey can live in harmony.

Zootopia includes the dense, color-rich scenes you expect of Disney Studios. The soundtrack is amazing. As usual, there’s visual humor and lines that kids probably won’t understand. (Think: Pixar’s Toy Story trilogy.) But that’s okay. Disney knows it’s the parents who bring the kids.

In the end, Zootopia shows us that we need friends who are loyal and always believe in us. We see that we can live in harmony with those who are different if all parties are willing to work together. Disney does it all so well. It’s a movie you’ll want to own so you can watch it whenever you need to see a great story told well. Or just for the laughs after a rough day.

One critic’s review named it “the best Disney movie in 20 years.” So hurry to the store and buy your copy.

Because you must see Zootopia now.

Mr Big

For parents: Zootopia is rated PG-13 for thematic material (animal violence), action scenes and some crude humor.

Every Woman Is Mrs. Incredible

Mrs Incredible CUNext weekend is the national conference “Unleash Your Superpower” from Hearts at Home.

This information caught my eye in my Twitter feed because I’d already planned to write about what Hearts at Home is all about. It reminded me of my years as a young mother raising two children and enjoying my role as stay-at-home mom.

Then I watched a favorite animated movie, The Incredibles, again. Her name is Helen Parr, but I always want to call her Mrs. Incredible. When we first meet her in the movie, she’s a superhero fighting injustice using her unique power. “Elastigirl” can stretch her limbs like rubber. Helen marries superhero Mr. Incredible–known in private as Bob Parr–and they raise a family. She loves her husband and three children, Violet, Dashielle and baby Jack-Jack. And after being forced into retirement as a superhero, her focus is on the family.

Helen, You and Me

While Helen hasn’t stopped being a superhero, however, now we can see she’s a lot like us. Look and see:

Helen recognizes that her older two children have already discovered their own powers, not to mention their distinct personalities. Check.

She cares for an infant, which any mother knows is a full-time job, not knowing yet whether he’ll have a super power and if so, what it will be. Check.

Helen cooks meals, cleans house, does the laundry, in short, the everyday chores of a wife and mother. Check.

She worries about them. Dries their tears. Loses patience with them. Offers love and wisdom. She creates as best she can with her husband an environment of security.

Check. Check.
Check. Check. Check.

Forget that she can stretch herself. (Literally) Every mother tries to stretch herself, sometimes to the nth degree. What’s great about Helen is she knows not to stretch herself too far. She knows how to be “flexible.” And when push comes to shove for the family, conditions indicate she really is wise. Everything she’s taught her kids about how to survive pays off.

Helen, also like us, doesn’t do everything perfectly. She’s loving and devoted, but she makes mistakes.

How Do We Do It?

My children are grown and have their own kids. Watching them parent and interact with their kids is a lesson to me. I see in retrospect that we women have powers we fail to recognize. I mean, really. Doing laundry for an active six-year old and a six month old who spits up on his clothing ten times a day requires super-stamina.

Being faithful when push comes to shove and, with the help of your husband, pressing on through difficult times–that’s super power. “Incredibles” learn to stick together.

Listening to your teen’s description of being rejected by the one they hoped would pay attention–that one’s the super-fruit-of-the-Spirit power. (Galatians 5:22,23)

Sit girlfriends down together to share the home hearth’s journey and they’ll all have their stories. With more to come. A mother will always be a mother and even adult children need their tears dried sometimes.

We get to be Mrs. Incredible all over again.

Heavenly Father, I pray for the women who attend the Hearts at Home conference next weekend. Help them discover and unleash the super powers you created in them. Whatever they are. Give them a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit so that they’ll be able to teach their children how to live in that Power as well. Show them how focusing on You, on family and on staying flexible in the journey will bless You and those they love. I also pray it for the mothers reading this. It will be for Your glory. Amen.