Self Identity In Zootopia

1763 Words8 Pages
Zootopia tells the story of Judy Hopps, an optimistic bunny who seeks acceptance as a police officer within the anthropomorphic metropolis of Zootopia. Amidst the backdrop of species stereotypes and predator-prey discrimination, Zootopia’s motto “anyone can be anything” (0:03:00-0:03:05) is a clarion call for animals to freely define their identity. Through the willingness to persevere against prejudice and bigotry, Judy defies societal perceptions and establish herself as a competent cop. Thus, the movie’s narrative depicts how self-identity is constructed through battling stereotypes, portraying these stereotypes as overtly undesirable towards self-identity. Critical reviews praised Zootopia’s allegory of racial profiling (e.g. Washington…show more content…
Although Judy campaigned hard against the simple-minded, ignorant rabbit label posited by fellow Zootopian mammals, acknowledging her stereotype enabled her to finally seek Nick’s forgiveness and mature beyond her “dumb bunny” label. Contrary to the movie and critic’s popular belief of the dangers posited by stereotyping, Judy’s growth of character emerges from accepting these stereotypes. While species stereotypes may serve as constraints restricting Zootopian characters’ agency in defining self-identity, my essay argues that species stereotypes are nevertheless essential towards development of Zootopian characters’ self-identities. Through illuminating the conception of self using the symbolic interactionism framework which George Mead provides, I will outline how stereotypes create self in a reflective process, and argue that stereotypes manifesting as societal perceptions and innate projection of prejudice towards the other animals manifests different aspects of self. I will argue that only through social awareness and acceptance of these stereotypes can Zootopian characters such as Judy truly embody the mantra of “anyone can be anything” and build their
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