ZOOTOPIA: Should our children dream BIG or dream REAL?
|   Mar 23, 2016
ZOOTOPIA: Should our children dream BIG or dream REAL?


Whether you are 6 or 60.
Watch it.

My 7yo daughter and I love animated movies. While she enjoys the stories, the quirky characters and their jokes, I know she also gets the messages, that are so brilliantly woven in the story-telling. I personally find most movies so deeply philosophical, they’ve stayed with me for years! Zootopia is definitely one addition to this list. Your kids will enjoy it, and so will you.

It is a story of predators and prey who have evolved over the years to live together in harmony in Zootopia, a city where anybody can be anything they want. Or so it seems. It is a story of Judy Hopps, the cute bunny who wants to be the first bunny cop in Zootopia.

You'll realise there is a bit of Judy Hopps in all of us. And I don't mean just women. When we are younger, we all have big dreams. Unfortunately, as we "grow-up", our dreams shrink. We continue to have big aspirations, but they are more "realistic" now. 

I have been a victim of my own growth. And, now that I think of it, I am also guilty of using the words "real world", "be practical" with my daughter.

Recently, I visited an old friend whose 8-year old son told me he wants to be a Paleontologist. They have this huge glass cabinet with various species of plastic dinosaurs, school and out-of-school DIY projects, books on fossils etc on display; and the boy gave me an extremely animated 15 minute talk explaining all of it. I was very impressed and congratulated my friend on actively supporting him in his dreams. "Oh, its just a crazy hobby. He will be a neurosurgeon when he grows up", she said nonchalantly.

We think we're not like our parent's generation. That we are more open minded. Are we really?
We've all been there once upon a time, then why do we do this to our children?
Why is being 'realistic' so important?
Is it wrong to ensure our child has realistic dreams?
Ahem.. yes.
Because, it is an oxymoron. Reality is the antonym for Dream, you know. Google it.

The truth is, we are scared. We don't want them to fail.

Judy's parents in the movie are just like us, they have the confidence in their child, but they are scared she might fail. Because, the world is a scary place with predators on the prowl, ready to pounce and seize your opportunity and trample your dreams. They try to convince her to quit her impossible dream of being a cop and join the family business of carrot farming, because "That's what rabbits do". "The beauty of complacency is that when you never try, you never fail", her father reasons with her.

Judy however is a determined girl and challenges this stereotype. She sees the world in her rose-tinted glasses and ventures out to Zootopia to fulfill her dreams. Nick Wilde, the fox, and Judy's partner, on the other hand quits his good ways to fit into the stereotype and be the cunning and untrustworthy predator, he is expected to be.

Zootopia is the 'real' world, like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore or Timbuktu for that matter! Equality, discrimination, tolerance, intolerance, diversity and prejudice… These adorable animals show us humans a giant-sized mirror… in our face. You could use this mirror to reflect on people at your workplace, your child’s school or in our country! This mirror won’t lie. You will find a human-clone for each of the characters- Chief Bogo, Mr. Big, Flash the sloth, Mayor Lionheart, the Night Howlers or Ms Bellwether- a wolf in the sheep's skin.

My favourite was Flash the fastest sloth! He was just like my daughter at dinnertime!!! :)

The movie is super cute, it is absolutely hilarious and it is very deep.
It is true, we may have evolved but deep down inside we are just animals.

But is our fate really decided by the seat we take in the universal food chain?
Are you a predator or a prey?
What about your child?
Let's not clip their wings.
Let's encourage them break the template.

Here's an excerpt of some beautiful lines I have pinned on my board

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?” 
― Erin Hanson

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