10 Very Important Questions Left Unanswered by 'Zootopia'
Zootopia, as Kristy told you, is a very good, very smart movie that manages to combine a solid detective story, film noir, and incisive analysis of modern-day racism all in an engaging kid’s movie package. The eponymous city of Zootopia, a modern metropolis inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, is breathtakingly gorgeous. HOWEVER, Our Lord God Jessica “Jesus” Chastain would not allow me to have opposable thumbs for internet-writing purposes if I did not nitpick everything, and I have some QUESTIONS, Goddammit.
There are NSFW language and concepts herein, but no spoilers.
1) What do the carnivores eat? They can’t eat the other animals, presumably, because the other animals are sentient. But a lion isn’t surviving on blueberries. Are there ritualistic sacrifices? We know Zootopia is fairly high-tech, so have scientists figured out a way to create some sort of synthetic foodstuff that has all the required nutrients? Do they repurpose corpses? IS THIS A SOYLENT GREEN SITUATION?
2) Animals are sentient in the world of Zootopia, but there’s no word on insects, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Can they walk and talk and counter the insidious effects of institutionalized racism, too? Do they have their own cities? We see some bugs flying around Tommy Chong’s hippie llama character - are they exchange students?
3) For real, though—animals from different species have to fuck, right? I mean, they do in the real world. That’s how we get mules. But you don’t see any Avatar: The Last Airbender creatures that are half one animal and half another. What happens if an armadillo defense lawyer and the jaguar barista she flirts with on her coffee break fall in love and want to have a family? What happens to the kids? Do they get eaten?
4) We know from a fun scene with a DVD bootlegger that there are Zootopia versions of Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, etc. Is there a Zootopia version of Zootopia? Are we the Zootopia version of Zootopia?
5) And if we, in the Zootopia version of Zootopia, eat animals, it stands to reason that in Zootopia they eat… people. People, herded into pens and bred for maximum taste and nutritional value. WAKE UP, SHEEPLE.
6) Breaking Bad exists in Zootopia, too, but it exists in real life - there’s a reference to two characters named Walter and Jesse. What other shows are fictional in our world but real in Zootopia? Friends? Blake’s 7? The Walking Dead?
7) There’s a scene at an animal nudist colony where none of the animals have genitals or buttholes. What’s up with that?
8) How does the economy work in Zootopia? In one scene we see that a popsicle is $15 freakin’ dollars, which would make sense because it’s a huge, elephant-sized popsicle. But do large animals get paid more than small animals for the same job, then? Because it costs a lot more money to feed an elephant than it does to feed, say, a hamster. But then that whole issue is complicated by the fact that certain things—like, say, Judy’s parking tickets—cost the same no matter what species you are. A $200 parking ticket, for an elephant, is date night at Applebee’s, but for a hamster that could be the entire month’s rent! So are there different monetary systems for different species? There would have to be some difference, because a tiny, little vole isn’t going to carry around a rhino-sized quarter, never mind a Susan B. Anthony! It follows that different boroughs—Rodentia, Sahara Square, etc.—would have different financial systems, but then all the different types of animals have to come together in Zootopia proper. What’s the exchange rate? Is there a federal banking system?
9) Is there any role Idris Elba could play where you would not fuck him? In Zootopia, he plays a chief of police who is also a water buffalo.
10) In the Zootopia version of Star Wars, is Han Solo named Ham Solo?