The biggest problem with Zootopia is that the simplest version of its idea – “different animals living together as a metaphor for modern racism” – is already pretty gross, for the simple reason that race is not biological. It’s a complete myth, a cultural concept that we made up. A white guy has as much in common with a black guy as he does with a white guy with a different hair color. (Biologically, anyway. I have no idea what their favorite Pokemon are.) Every scientist in the world agrees with this, except the racist ones. Everyone from the KKK to the Nazis to the Neo-Nazis to the modern “alt-right” have embraced a philosophy known as “scientific racism,” which argues that skin color is indicative of a lot of other differences in strength, intelligence, charisma, and other D&D stats.
And so does Zootopia.
The movie starts with a history of the world, explaining that while predators used to be uncontrollably violent, they have since been civilized and can now live among prey animals, which also means behaving like prey animals (prey animals aren’t asked to accommodate their behavior for predators at all). Because in Zootopia there’s a right way to live and a wrong way to live, and some animals are – in the context of this movie – biologically programmed to live wrong. They have to be corrected in order to fit in with proper, civilized society.
This is the exact argument at the center of scientific racism.
I’m so in love DON’T TOUCH ME. Here are a few more headcanons because I have no self control.
Prince Adam physically kills me like just imagine this cinnamon roll, who’s so starved for affection from the person he loves because he spent so long as The Beast, that he literally shudders whenever you touch him.
A good sort of shudder as it reminds him that he earned your love and has gained your trust in the best ways possible.
The feeling of bare fingertips trailing on his skin. A sort of intimate affection he hadn’t actually gotten since his mother passed away.
Your hands brushing through his hair. It’s silky between your fingertips and leaves you feeling warm. Adam shuts his eyes and enjoys the feeling.
Imagine putting flowers in your hair and he absolutely lets you. Adam actually enjoys this a lot more than you thought.
You always choose colors that’ll make his eyes pop even more.
The gentlest and pure sort of love. Holding hands with one another and just generally enjoying one another’s company. Bonus points if one of you is reading to the other. You love to hear him read. He’s got a lovely voice.
If the two of you aren’t holding hands, he’ll wrap his pinkie finger around yours and pull your hand into an embrace.
Probably a bit protective too. Say, you’re out at an event together and he has the underlying feeling that someone he doesn’t like seems fixated on you, he’ll wrap his arm around your waist and keep you close to him.
Presses his lips to your hairline constantly through the night whenever he catches eyes with them to assure that they know you’re there with him.
PROT ECTIVE ADAM SHHH.
Adam trying to give you a kiss to the cheek after eating and he happens to have soup on his face from not using a spoon. He tries, but ultimately fails when you throw napkins at him from across the table.
Even sitting next to one another, and with a small smile, he bumps his knee against yours and convinces you with a rather sincere grin to lean against him.
Those exceedingly late nights where he finds himself unable to sleep and curls into a small ball, coaxing you to hold him because that’s all he needs right now. The assurance that you and your love are not going to leave him. Usually happens after a nightmare.
Even those nights where the two of you can’t sleep and you end up reading by the fireplace, snuggled next to each other.
Sort of funny though, he’ll seem more invested in your book than in his sometimes.
The small smile he gives you before he leaves you with a wisp of a kiss on your lips. Barely a touch, and his lips are still curled into a smile as he pulls away. Adam’s fingers trace under your eye, above your cheek. A tender stroke.
Even when he kisses the back of your hand, you can feel all of the emotion he pours into it.
Uhm, don’t get me started on forehead kisses okay. But, just imagine him cupping both sides of your face, looking at you with those beautiful blue eyes and craning his head down and kissing the middle of your forehead. His lips linger. Things are all right now and are only going to get better.
Y’all, I hoped you like these! Thank you for reading, and as always, Reblogs and likes are really appreciated! Thank you!!! -Em.
Let me start off by mentioning how much
this movie means to me. I’ve kind of made my niche on the internet by
dreamcasting Disney movies as if they were live action. I’ve made a
ridiculous number of edits, I mean I’ve spent hours, days, probably weeks on this stuff at this point, and many of these edits have been focused on Beauty and the Beast. Live action versions of
Disney movies are like… my Thing. And, to be totally honest, this
really is only the second faithful adaptation. Alice in Wonderland
was a total reworking of the Alice story, not really a cartoon-to-live-action like this. Maleficent completely retold the story from a
different angle by making one Disney’s most vicious villains not only
sympathetic but good. Cinderella is so close (and
so good, I might add)
but visually it’s vastly different from its animated counterpart,
especially when it comes to Lady Tremaine and the Fairy Godmother,
and it’s not a musical. The Jungle Book is the closest we’ve seen to
a real and true “live action remake” as opposed to a live action
reinterpretation. But here we are. Disney did it. They took one of
their most beloved animated classics and straight-up made it into a
live action movie without cutting any songs or really very much at
And oh boy, did they knock it out of
I love this movie. This is what I’ve been waiting for.
I love Emma Watson as Belle. I think
she’s a wonderful choice, I completely buy into her as Belle. She’s
beautiful and intelligent and spunky. Her singing is fine. She’s not
Kristin Chenoweth or Sutton Foster, but Belle doesn’t need to be.
She’s also not Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis, you know, Emma
doesn’t go through a massive transformation and disappear into the
role, but she doesn’t need to because she’s already so much like
Belle. Still, I don’t find myself watching it thinking about Emma playing the role, I think of her as Belle, which is the goal of acting really. I love that this Belle is so active. I love that she is
continuously trying to find a way to escape from the castle. The
addition of the laundry machine and teaching the young girl how to
read is so good because it actually shows
us Belle’s intelligence. In the animated movie, we know Belle’s smart
because we’re told Belle’s smart. She reads books and, sure, she acts
rationally and she certainly shows the poise of an intelligent
person, but this new scene gives us an active example of her
intelligence and creativity while also demonstrating the oppressive
and small-minded nature of the townspeople. Emma’s Belle is charming
and smart and lovely, and I think she captures the essence of Belle
All that being said, our two male leads
really steal the show for me. I’ve seen the movie twice now and each
time, one of the leading gentleman really jumped out. The first time
I watched, Luke Evans felt like the true shining star of the film. His Gaston
reminds me of Jason Isaacs as both Captain Hook and Lucius Malfoy. He
isn’t just vain… this guy is a legitimate narcissist, it seems like
his mind has truly been twisted by the war. This Gaston is even more
evil than the one we left behind in the world of animation. Gaston
has always been terrifying because of his charisma. The way he’s able
to charm the people of the village is chilling and this time around
we see even more of that trait, paired with a darker and more violent
streak particularly illustrated by Gaston tying up Maurice and
leaving him for the wolves. Plus, both times I saw the movie the
audience gasped in horror when Gaston stomped on Belle’s lettuces.
The second time I saw the film, I was
specifically watching for Dan Stevens’s performance as the Beast and
man, this is good stuff. The Prince at the beginning is such
a drama queen. He’s so over-the-top with his costuming, wig, even his gestures are extremely theatrical. The make up at the beginning
is particularly brilliant, burying the Prince’s face in streaks of
blue and silver so he still feels like an obscure figure that we
don’t quite see. When Belle first meets the Beast, this is all still
evident. The way he hides in the shadows, even his lines of dialogue,
it’s all very dramatic. And then as the movie progresses, you can see
this flair for melodrama fade away as he becomes a more grounded
person. He becomes gentler, kinder, and his intelligence, which has
always been there, comes forward. By the time we see the Prince again
at the end, you can tell that this is the same man but he has been
changed. The animated film’s human Prince always felt disconnected
from the Beast for me. Sure, they made the eyes
the same, but it was hard to see much else because we just see so
little of him, so he always felt rather vanilla. That’s not the case here. When the Prince transforms back to a human at the end, this feels like the same character we have watched throughout the film. I’m sure this is aided by
the incredible motion capture and CGI work, because the Beast is
animated superbly, but Dan’s performance is just stellar.
The objects are
perfect. There’s only one shot that I think feels odd (when Belle is
carrying Lumiere with Cogsworth walking in front as they lead her to
her room) but other than that one moment, I never second guess them
as objects. They feel and act real. Lumiere’s movements in particular
are incredible, right down to his close up at the start of “Be Our
Guest.” I was worried about Plumette before seeing the movie because the bird design
is so unusual, but it makes sense since they needed her to be able to
fly to get around, and doesn’t feel out of place at all in the movie.
Mrs. Potts and Chip are also beautifully animated, they always feel
like real and solid objects with weight to them. Their relationship
is wonderful, so loving and caring. Chip’s line, “OK. I’m older”
is one of my favorite little moments of the whole thing. Cadenza is a
wonderful addition to our cast of characters and I did not expect his
relationship with Garderobe, but they were an excellent surprise. And
Frou Frou! I love that Frou Fou is Garderobe’s and that he becomes
Cadenza’s bench and is therefore the link between the two throughout
their years in the curse. They’re just so sweet.
Maurice has been an
under-reported character in all of this, and that’s a shame because
Kevin Klein knocks this role out of the park. He is absolutely
wonderful as Maurice. He is fatherly and kind but he has also clearly
made mistakes as a parent and that is kind of embraced and understood
in the storytelling. He is sincere at all times in a role that is
pretty exaggerated in the animated film. If Maurice’s arrival in the
tavern had been played exactly like the original, it would have felt
campy, but Kevin Klein’s earnestness grounds the moment in reality.
Not to mention his quips about snow in June and “apparently that’s
what happens around here when you pick a flower” are delivered
talk Lefou. I don’t like this Lefou, and here’s why. Every other character
in this film feels developed in a natural way. It feels like we are
learning more information about these characters that has always
existed, we just didn’t fit it in the first time around. Lefou, on
the other, doesn’t feel like a character who has been developed but a
character who has been rewritten. They clearly got the seed of an
idea to make him gay but felt squeamish about making him evil and gay
(and rightfully so), so they wrote this redemption arc that feels
forced and really doesn’t actually go anywhere…
Lefou’s turn during the battle with the castle objects doesn’t
actually do anything, so the whole thing feels arbitrary. After
seeing the film the second time, my friend and I spent probably an
hour and a half just talking about Lefou and came up with a brilliant
solution to this whole mess of a character… more on that in a
the Enchantress into the story is very compelling. I think it’s very
obvious who Agatha is throughout the movie, but it gives the sense
that she wants the
spell to be broken, she wants the
Beast to learn his lesson, which is very interesting. Having her
arrive after the spell has completed and actively reverse it is a
riveting choice, and I actually felt like we were missing a moment
with her where she realizes that she made a mistake. When she was
watching the separated loved ones reunite, it seemed like there was a
seed of remorse that was not addressed.
development is very well done across the board, but I think something this movie did
that was important and contributes to its success is the development
of the spell itself. I think this was one of the most brilliant moves
the film made. The eternal winter around the castle explains the
sudden weather changes in such a short period of time while still
using the seasons as an emotional storytelling technique like the
animated film. The wolves are also clearly part of the curse here –
I would have actually liked to have seen them included in the finale
sequence, either transformed into humans like the objects, or else
disappearing like mist with the rest of the eternal winter. Having
the castle crumble every time a petal falls from the rose is so smart
as well; it explains why the objects know every time a petal fall
while also representing their and the Beast’s disintegrating
humanity. But the best part of the curse’s development was definitely
the memory loss. Adding the simple line to the opening narration
about removing the people of the castle from the minds of
the people who loved them was absolutely inspired. This one quick
line explained a huge loophole that the animated film left regarding
the presence of a massive castle in the woods and a royal family that
apparently the entirely world did not know about. But even better than
that, it created some wonderfully emotional reunions at the end. My
friend beside me gasped so loudly when our favorite teapot exclaimed,
“Mr. Potts!” and the moment with Henri Cogsworth and his wife(?)
was so hilarious and, in my opinion, subtly hinted at our second LGBT
character in this universe. Which brings me to the Lefou thing.
Here’s what my
friend and I came up with: in the opening sequence, we see Cogsworth
lurking in the shadows telling the Prince that “it’s time,” we
see Lumiere handing the Prince a candelabra, we see Mrs. Potts chasing
after Chip… in the midst of all this, we could also show a masked
jester entertaining a few people at the ball. When the Enchantress
arrives, a lot of people run out – presumably that’s where Mr.
Potts and Mrs. Cogsworth escape and why they’re not included in the
spell – and the jester leaves with them as well. At the end, the
Pottses are reunited, the Cogsworths are reunited, and then Lefou
recognizes his old beau, Chapeau the violinist/coat rack, and joins
the finale back in his jester outfit. It makes total sense for Lefou
to be “the fool” of course and explains why he falls into the
abusive friendship he has with Gaston, since it would parallel the
relationship he probably would have had as a jester for the similarly
self-centered Prince. This adds two quick two-second shots to the
opening scene, one of the masked Lefou juggling or something and one of him fleeing when the Enchantress shows up, and about twenty seconds at the end for the reunion and revelation and, in my opinion,
is so much less problematic than writing our first ever LGBT Disney
character as an evil sidekick with a forced redemption arc – this
way, he had his memory erased, just like everyone else. Just our
little idea but I think it could have blended into this world quite smoothly. Alas, here we are.
Moving on! The finale is absolutely gorgeous. The whole ending
sequence is my favorite thing about the whole film. The fight scene
is fantastic and then from there to the end, everything is so
marvelous. We know the objects are going to be okay in the end, but
seeing them all finally lose the battle they’ve been fighting and
become motionless household objects is… emotional! Then the
Prince’s transformation is brilliant, giving the perfect nods to the
original film, and each character’s subsequent change back to their
human state is perfect (Cadenza’s teeth!), especially when Mrs. Potts
and Chip go sliding down the steps. And then when she says, “You
smell so good,” oh my gosh. Whoever contributed that line is a
genius. I go all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. Then we have
the wonderful and funny reunions and then the final dance sequence,
where Emma is beautiful and Dan is looking good
in bright sky blue and rococo curls in his hair. Audra McDonald sings flawlessly and we have that beautiful moment between Mrs. Potts and Maurice that made my little shipper heart do a backflip, even if there is a Mr. Potts now. I’m still not sure
if I’m on board with the growl, but I adore the line about the beard
– apparently it was written for the original film and Paige O'Hara
even recorded it! But it interrupted that finale sequence so they
never used it. I think it works perfectly
here, it’s so cute.
The first time
watching, I felt the pacing was so odd in the film, with some abrupt
transitions that didn’t quite work. I felt that less so the second
time, maybe just because I was expecting it, and sometimes I actually
liked the sudden change. I also don’t fully understand the shuffling
of scenes at the beginning. The animated film goes (1) “Belle,”
(2) Belle and Maurice at home, (3) Maurice leaves for the fair, (4)
Maurice arrives in the castle, (5) Gaston proposes, (6) “Belle
(Reprise),” (7) Philippe comes back and tells Belle to the castle.
The movie rearrange this so almost all of the village scenes happen
together, reordering that sequence as 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 4, 7. Because of
this we end up going from Maurice’s whole scene in the castle, back
to the village for about thirty seconds with Philippe and Belle, then
right back to the castle again. This made the whole sequence of
events feel rushed even though each moment was given about the same
amount of time, or more, as the original film. Additionally, I felt
some of the filming choices from a cinematography point of view were
weird. There were several times that we were zoomed in on a
character, usually Belle or Gaston in the village, and it felt like
the shot was kept tight to hide something but then there wasn’t
anything to hide… it’s a hard thing to articulate, but I definitely
noticed it through both viewings.
design of this movie is amazing. Breathtaking. Thousands of
beautiful costumes and such detail – human Cogsworth’s buttons have
the Roman numeral numbers on them! Not to mention the object designs.
Lumiere’s candlestick form is clearly inspired by the Broadway
production, which was an absolutely brilliant choice. Garderobe’s
wardrobe form is A THEATRE, it has box seats and a stage with
curtains as her mouth piece! Even the villagers are designed with such care,
memorable and reminiscent of the original in many places – the man
with the scissors and the guy with the mustache, the Baker is very
similar to his animated design… I would have liked to have seen
blonde silly girls to contrast them more distinctly with Belle, but they are what they are. The set design, from the village to the absolutely
incredible castle, it’s all so, so good.
I love the little flowers painted on the doorway to Maurice’s cottage
and I loved the magnificent, baroque-meets-gothic design of an
extremely unique castle. I know people are up in arms about the
yellow dress, I know it’s not perfect, but it doesn’t stick out so
horribly in the movie and it moves so beautifully
in the ballroom scene. And honestly, I’ve never cared about the
yellow dress, the blue dress is the one I’ve always loved and I just
think the live action interpretation is glorious. It does not feel
like a costume, it feels worn-in, it feels natural, like it’s just
Belle’s favorite dress, and I just love it so much.
Speaking of detail,
they named the village. And they named it Villeneuve. As in
Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, the original author of the
fairy tale. Come on. That’s fantastic.
see, some of my other favorite moments that jumped out at me that I
wanted to mention… the whole “Gaston” scene in the tavern is
awesome, maybe my favorite scene besides the finale sequence. I love
that Lefou is going around paying everyone off to boost Gaston’s ego,
I love the dance, I love the use of Tom, Dick, and Stanley as cronies throughout the entire movie, I love lifting the young woman and then lifting
Lefou, the whole song is fun and funny and exciting and the new
lyrics are just amazing
- “Then I shoot from behind!” “Is that fair?” “I don’t
care!” …That’s exactly what’s going to happen in the final
battle. Ugh. So good.
The moment in
“Something There” where the Beast moves to Belle’s end of the
table, she puts down her spoon, and they both sip their soup out of
the bowl… that hit me in a way the animated movie never has before.
It’s amazing symbolism. He can’t eat with the spoon, she’s not going
to lap it up like an animal, so they find a way they can both eat the
same way. They’re meeting each other halfway. That’s some good stuff
and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned “Be Our Guest!” Come on.
They went hard with
that. They put on a full Broadway production on the table in front of
Belle! The way it just kept growing bigger and bigger was delightful. Plus I love that the grey stuff is designed after Be Our Guest
Restaurant’s grey stuff, complete with the silver and grey chocolate
the animated film’s bookstore, which never really made sense in a
town of people who think reading makes someone weird, with a small
shelf holding a dozen old and worn books that Belle has read over and
over is just such a wonderful touch. I love that Belle’s favorite
play is Romeo and Juliet
because she’s barely read anything else and I love that the
Beast’s reaction is to roll his eyes at her selection. I would have
liked to have seen the giving of the library be a little more
deliberate and a little less off the cuff, and I definitely missed
the “promises you don’t intend to keep” line, but I’m so
satisfied with the choice to make the Beast a reader. Having “a
very expensive education” totally makes sense, and what else would
he have had to do with all that time? They each develop the other’s
literary taste! What’s better in a relationship than that?
The new songs are
lovely as well. “How Can A Moment Last Forever?” is so much
better than “No Matter What,” I wish it could logically fit into
the musical instead because it’s really, really good. “Days in the
Sun” is so sweet, it’s nice to have those moments with the young prince and each of the objects and even Belle, and honestly I
can’t stand “Human Again” so I’m good with this one, plus the
lyrical nod to “A Change in Me” is nice. But “Evermore” is
clearly stealing the show as far as the new songs are concerned. What
a great song. I still think they could have done a little tweaking to
the lyrics in order to still use “If I Can’t Love Her” but if
we’re going to write a new song for the Beast, I’ll take this one.
(But can we not digitally lower Dan Stevens’s voice next time? It
sounds like a computer singing at some points.) I also loved all of
the new/old lyrics that were incorporated into the songs we were
familiar with. They felt fresh without being forced. The new “Gaston”
lyrics are definitely my favorite, but the new lyrics that Mrs. Potts
sings in the finale are touching. Plus, using the Broadway songs as
underscoring was really nice, especially “Home.”
just so delighted with this movie. Everything from the original is
there but now there’s more.
The stove is there. The coat rack is there. The footstool is there.
They just paid so much attention to detail and did this movie the
justice it deserved. I’m already prepared to call this my favorite
movie. Easily. By miles. It’s beautiful and just absolutely
everything I was hoping it would be.