Most of us stop watching programs or movies that are targeted towards kids at a certain age. We begin watching them again with our own children and might then do it only for them and not for ourselves. Although I don't have children of my own yet, I still enjoy watching family friendly movies by Pixar/Disney or Japanese Anime in my free time.
Although animation movies like "Zootopia" represent an ideal world, they teach real values to adapt for a better life throughout every demographic.
So I went to see Zootopia last week, a film probably everybody heard of while sitting in the pre-rolls of Star Wars VII - the trailer with the sloth? You'll probably remember. Of course trailers usually show you one of the best scenes in a movie, and Zootopia was not different, but the underlying tone of the movie is not necessary comedy as shown in the trailer.
I would even argue that Star Wars VII and Zootopia have much in common and have a similar theme. Let me explain: Forget about the setting and just think about the characters and the story. We know the typical hero's journey story-wise but in both movies we have a strong heroine in the lead role. This has been a trend for several years now and is a major shift in the movie industry. Just think about popular movies of the past 50 years, basically all of them had a lead male role and this is what drove our society. Now we are given the chance to see this shift towards another angle and a focus on other values as well as qualities, such as compassion, empathy and the believe in fighting the system.
To give you some more context, if you like, have a look at this TED Talk from 2012. Colin Stokes gives an amazing insight into his observations and the role models for his children.
So I really recommend you take the 10 minutes for this talk to really gain some insights about this topic. For my part I totally agree with this new perception of values and how we need to change education in that way.
So why are movies for children relevant for adults?
Well, the basic line of every story told for children is that the possibilities are limitless and that you should fight for your dream. Great stuff, right? Right, the problem is, that these movies then end with the hero/heroine who found their purpose in life and everyone is happy.
Let's just assume that all the other valuable lessons regarding empathy, self-reflection, motivation, passion, thankfullness etc. are given in us all every time and we do not need a reminder...
But in the end, think about how the movie and its characters would look in 10 years time, how'd they evolve and change. Look at your own path and you might find out, that what was once your passion has become routine and you may not want to do it for the rest of your life, because things change, people change and priorities change. But that does not mean, that your own happiness has to suffer or that you are just not that flexible at a certain age. I don't believe that.
Learning and change are a constant companion
This is the point that even those movies for children get across in great fashion. In Zootopia, Nick Wilde the fox, is the character you should be looking at very closely. At first he is a very sly and unlikeable character, but as you get to know more about him and especially his past, things begin to change. What his journey implies for you is that when you spend more time with people who inspire you and give you purpose, that might just change your life for the better, regardless of position or age.
Coming back to real life, it is not just a trend with the "young generation", our life, society and technology is rapidly changing and evolving - lifecycles have drastically shortend within the last decade - just look at the smartphone market. Every 9 - 12 months a new model with almost twice the power. After 18 months your smartphone might not even run most recent apps.
It doesn't matter if you are 20, 40 or 70; if you want to stay relevant you have to embrace technology.
I mean, sure, there are still companies that run Windows XP and are making enough revenue to live a beautiful life, but today you should be afraid that at any time a new technology can come along and it will make you or your service obsolete.
Coming back to modern cinema
So in my opinion, you learn a lot from oberserving others and movies tend to inspire you to live life differently. What is so bad about being naive sometimes, about believing in yourself and embracing an adventure?
I know that my next 10 years will vastly differ from the last 10 years. What do you think?
Thanks for reading!