Is 'Zootopia' The New 'Animal Farm'? Fans Target Similarities Between Both Satires

Jonathan Franks

Is Zootopia a modern version of AnimalFarm?

The similarities between the 2016 Disney hit film and the popular George Orwell novella have generated a lot of buzz online -- especially via social media.

— TIME.com (@TIME) March 14, 2016

However, the parents of those young moviegoers likely started drawing connections between Zootopia and Animal Farm long before they packed up their things to leave the movie theater.

What exactly is Animal Farm?

— TRAPOLOGY (@trapphase) March 9, 2016

After Old Major dies, two young pigs -- Napoleon and Snowball -- take over and help the animals to prepare for an upcoming Rebellion. During their revolt, they are able to get rid of the farmer Mr. Jones and completely take over the Manor Farm -- renaming it "Animal Farm."

At that point, Animal Farm evolves into much more than just a story about animals. Even though most young children may read the story and think exactly that, George Orwell designed Animal Farm to be much more. The book apparently shined a spotlight on historical events that progressively led up to the Russian Revolution in 1917 as the country eventually moved into the Communist era.

According to the BBC, the success and popularity of Animal Farm helped to cement George Orwell's presence in the history of literature.

"A political fable set in a farmyard but based on Stalin's betrayal of the Russian Revolution, it made Orwell's name and ensured he was financially comfortable for the first time in his life."

How is Zootopia like Animal Farm?

It is true that Zootopia has absolutely nothing to do with Joseph Stalin or the Russian Revolution. However, at its core, it is clear that Zootopia focuses on a number of current events as well as ongoing issues and debates that are on the minds of people of all ages from all around the world.

— Thomas Catan (@tomcatan) March 13, 2016

— Christi-On-A (@ChristianaLove) March 12, 2016

— Yarely Chavez (@yarelySays) March 11, 2016

— Mexican Morrissey (@Spookwavve_) March 11, 2016

"It's worth noting that Zootopia touches on 'smaller' sociopolitical elements, such as government-mandated job programs (a 'mammal-inclusion' program) and government-bureaucracy ineptitude (the sloth-staffed DMV set piece plays like a direct, knowing homage to Bob & Ray's vintage 'Slow Talkers' routine). But it's the last, cutting twist involving the power-hungry con artist as two-faced political operative that delivers the biggest depth-charge in a campaign year. When the film's press-conference pronouncements begin to sound eerily like TV headline 'crawls' — as 'Zootopia' leaders and the message-repeating media scare people into fearing their neighbors because they're 'different' — it's not just the appearance of a Wolf or Fox that distinctly reminds 'Zootopia' viewers of 24-hour cable news channels."

[Image Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

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