Shattering of an Animal's World

Last night we rented Zootopia (2016), the latest in the run of Disney animated films that includes Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Inside Out.

This is an enjoyable but not entirely groundbreaking movie. It has a pretty heavy handed message about prejudice but it attacks that message in an interesting way, placing the viewer in the shoes of someone who makes prejudice worse, for a moment, in the society of animals. It also has an interesting take on bullying by revisiting a bully later in life and they aren't a darkened villain.

The most interesting thing to see in the movie is when the viewer is taken on a train ride through the multiple climates of the Zootopia city. It's a very interesting idea the city would have climates for animals from all over the world, and it's visually stunning to have that available.

In real life animals that live in a city probably feel like they are looking out on an alien world or a video or miniature models. We have two little cats that live in our apartment on an upper floor of our building that overlooks Minneapolis. They had previously lived on a lower floor in Phoenix where they would delight in watching birds land near the windows. The cats would fixate on these birds on the other side of the glass and chortle.

Yesterday, the cats had their perspective of the world outside their window turned upside-down when window washers dropped down from the sky and wiped down the glass. The cats didn't know what to think. One of the cats spent the rest of the day hiding under the bed and the other kept his distance from the windows and cautiously kept his eye on them from afar.

They didn't really have a sense that outside the windows was a place a person could appear from. When I first adopted our girl cat, Fran, someone was delivering yellowpages books by dropping them at the doors of everyone in the apartment complex. My door must not have been fully latched shut when the book hit it and I didn't realize Fran got out until I heard her meowing and noticed she didn't react to me calling out to her. I saw the door was open and looked outside to see her confusedly looking at all the other doors to all the other apartments on the hallway and not sure how to get back into her home. It was as though she woke up from the Matrix and way laying in ooze.

It's possible our cats think the outside world is a bit of a Zootopia. Maybe they dream of that. I do know that if that was truly the case our cats would show their scaredy cat ways like they have proved is their way any time they have come face to face with other animals. Perhaps it is our cats that are the most prejudicial of other animals of all.

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