This is a scene from the 2016 Disney movie Zootopia. Zootopia is a city lived in by anthropomorphic mammals exist, having evolved past their predator/prey instincts thousands of years ago – though predators make up 10% of the current population, and prey make up 90%. The movie mirrors the buddy-cop genre, telling the story of Judy Hopps, a rabbit police officer and Nick Wilde, a red fox con artist, as they uncover a criminal conspiracy involving the disappearance of predators. In this scene, Hopps is holding a press conference about the case she has supposedly just cracked, where certain predators who were kidnapped went savage. Hopps is answering questions, and says that the reason they went savage “may have something to do with biology…something in their DNA…thousands of years ago predators survived through their aggressive hunting instincts, for whatever reason they seem to be reverting back to their primitive savage ways.” She and Nick then fight over her belief that predators are inherently dangerous. Arguably, the movie serves as an allegory for systems of power, most obviously gender or race.
What is Detective Hopps saying about predators?
Do you think these statements are similar to statements we hear about gender or race? Are there other identities that we can see mirrored in these statements?
Considering what the movie is discussing around prey/predator relations. What does it mean to be set in a world where predators make up 10% of the population and prey make up 90%, but Judy is the only prey animal species on the police force?
How do these representations of police and police power structures mirror other media representations of police? What about police in the real world?