Photo from Zootopia
This weekend I went to see Zootopia with Patrick, my four-year-old grandson. We laughed, jumped, and screamed at the scary parts. I love when a movie can entertain both children and adults because the writer was gifted enough to include multiple levels and layers in the plot that appeal to different ages. The movie is a true work of art. Each person’s take-away will be different depending on where they are in their lives.
This is the summary of the movie from IMDb:
“From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder.” Written by Jwelch5742
Here is one of my favorite quotes from the movie:
“I thought this city would be a perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, life’s a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means, hey, glass half full, we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what kind of person you are, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you.”
Isn’t that a great lesson for children?
Zootopia isn’t much different than America in that both have people with self-limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are thoughts which hold us back from believing in ourselves and by believing them, we never reach our potential. Some people have limited beliefs about rights, gender, abilities, and permissions. These attitudes limit us.
As parents, here are a few questions you can ask your child about this movie (or life) that will challenge them to learn about self-limiting beliefs and dreams:
- If you could have any job in the world what would that be? The point here is to squelch any self-limiting beliefs, to find the root cause of something that happened to them to make them believe they could never have that job. (However, I’m not talking about a profession that requires a talent or skill like a pro basketball player. There are some jobs that require more than determination. If your child isn’t athletic and will only grow to 5′ 6″ it’s highly unlikely that he/she will grow to be a pro ball player.)
- In Zootopia, Judy Hopps want to be a police officer, but her parents tell her she can never be one, that no bunny in their family has ever been successful in that profession. No one believes in her, yet she rises to the challenge. Discuss with your child a time when they did something or wanted to do something that they didn’t know they were good at until they tried.
- Do you believe that most people are automatically good at something, or do you think they have to work at it for a long time to get good?
- Tell me of a time when you started something new and you weren’t successful, but years (or months or weeks) later, you’re better. (Piano, soccer, typing, etc.) Learning is a process. Growth doesn’t happen in a day. It happens daily.
Look for patterns in your child’s answers. If you see the following patterns in their self-limiting beliefs, discuss and find examples that support otherwise.
- Fear of rejection, change, and the unknown.
- Blaming others or their circumstances as to why they can’t succeed.
- Excuses –Irrational or untrue thoughts about why they can’t succeed.
- Sacrifice — There is too much to give up in order to achieve.
- Talent — Success is only 10% talent and 90% hard work.
“Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Brian Littrell
What does your child want to be?