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Perceptions and Prejudice in Disney’s Zootopia

Essay 2: Perceptions and Prejudice in Disney’s Zootopia


Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination, while are infinitely part of our existence as humans, have become magnetized words in our current political climate. Often times, we have trouble or don’t understand the foundations of our tightly held beliefs (that help us see the world around us) are based on prejudice or stereotypes we have formed. These biases most often are learned from the family and culture we come from, and if we can understand and share them we can become a more integrated community, and we are able to share our authentic selves.

As we become more critical readers and citizens, it becomes beneficial and quite the powerful tool to recognize our own prejudice as well as prejudices of those around us so that we might understand these stereotypes and biases and why humans think the way we do. Part of the journey to becoming a critical reader and writer is to understand our own thought process, our own logos, and reckoning with the gaps in logic. When we can recognize those gaps in logic, this builds our foundation as critical thinkers.

Essay 2: Perceptions and Prejudice in Disney’s Zootopia

By focusing on the movie Zootopia, we can discuss the social, racial and identity issues that shape our world and delve into the thought processes and beliefs that shape these biases and beliefs.

With this assignment, we will continue to look at and participate in academic conversation between scholars as they, and we, attempt to discuss and analyze the roots of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination and how we can recognize it and combat it today.

Reading and Writing Skills

Over the course of this assignment, we will continue to work on developing key academic reading and writing skills, which you will use throughout your career as a student and which constitute the basis of most scholarly writing. We will be annotating and close reading texts, dissecting parts of argument, analyzing and critiquing opposing points of view and finally creating our own arguments by developing strong thesis statements, incorporating sources into our argument and thoroughly explaining and analyzing evidence.

As we now know from our previous essay, academic scholars do not write in a vacuum—their arguments are typically in response to other arguments about the same topic. With this assignment, you will get the chance to participate in the academic conversation once again. We will begin by watching the movie Zootopia before delving into the texts and videos attached to this unit.

Essay 2: Disney’s Zootopia Focusing Questions

Now that you briefly understand what we are doing with this assignment and why we are doing it, I will now introduce our guiding questions. Through our reading and writing over the next few weeks, we will be considering and discussing the following: What are ingroups and out groups? How do ingroups and outgroups shape how we discriminate? What is the difference between conscious and unconscious bias? How as a society should we treat these biases? How do these groups and biases play into certain social or identity issues present today?

Assignment Overview

The section below outlines the specific requirement of this assignment.


The purpose of this assignment is to:
1. Read and respond to college-level texts.
2. Compose college-level writing.
3. Produce an academic summary of an article.
4. Respond to a topic with an original argument.
5. Create a well-developed counter-argument and refutation.


1. Use active/critical-reading strategies to produce accurate, concise summaries of college level/academic texts.
2. Synthesize researched material from multiple texts to create and support an argument in response to a prompt. Draw direct evidence from texts in support of claims and analyze how that evidence supports the claim.
3. Utilize the various phases in the writing process—prewriting, writing revision, and proofreading—to produce clear, articulate, well-supported, well-organized essays.
4. Avoid plagiarism by properly citing quoted, summarized, and paraphrased material using MLA format.

This assignment will help students meet the following Student Learning Objectives, as stated on the course syllabus:

Perceptions and Prejudice in Disney’s Zootopia Texts

· Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. “The Danger of a Single Story.” TED. 10 Mar 2014. Web.
· Allport, Gordon W. “Chapter 2: Formation of In-Groups.” The Nature of Prejudice: Unabridged. Basic Books, 1979.
· Bodenhausen, Galen V. and Jennifer A. Richeson. “Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination.” Advanced Social Psychology: The State of The Science. Ed. Roy F. Baumeister and Eli J. Finkel. Oxford University Press, 2010.
· Demby, Gene. “In Tackling Bias In Policing, ‘Zootopia’ Veers Into The Uncanny Valley.” Codeswitch, NPR, 14 Mar. 2016.
· Oriqat, Haneen. “At 13, I Didn’t Expect My Teach to be Afraid of Me.” The Manifest-Station, 16 Oct 2015.
· Sapolsky, Robert. “This is Your Blame on Nationalism: The Biology of Us and Them.” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2019 Issue.
· Zakaria, Fareed. Interview with Robert Sapolsky. GPS, Season 3 Episode 10: “What Neuroscience Has to Do with Nationalism.” 10 Mar 2019.
· Zootopia. Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush, Walt Disney Animation Studios, 2016.


Compose an essay, between 5-6 pages in length, which presents an argument about social, racial or identity issues present in Zootopia.

Essay help

More Specifically:

· Your essay must include an academic summary of the movie and two core articles and cited evidence from at least tw0 of your assignment texts. (Academic Summary of Anchor Text and Supplemental.)
· Your essay must also include your argument about the social, racial, or identity issue you have chosen to cover. That means you need a thesis and topic sentences, which state your claim and reasons why. You also need support for your argument in the form of cited material. You will be using PIE paragraph structure as you did in previous essays.
o Your argument should include at least one counter-argument, or point your opposition could raise, to which you respond with a refutation. You support for the counterargument can come from one the texts we cover for this essay
· You must include a total of at least six direct quotes from at least two sources for the essay.
· Your essay needs to have a creative title.

NOTE: Since you are citing the article, and possibly your own sources, don’t forget your Works Cited page.

Requirements for Assignment Being Complete:
1. Essay Conference with Thesis Proposal
2. Rough Draft for Peer Review with Tutor, Pink Sheet from Tutoring/Questions for Tutoring Session
3. Final Draft

Final Draft Rubric

Not Yet Developing Adequate Skillful  Outstanding
Critical Thinking Skills
Authors uses a critical voice to answer all parts of the essay prompt and show substantial critical thought about the topic
Critical Thinking Skills
Author discusses complexities of the topic and does not make the subject seem less complex than it is.
Main Points
Essay has one controlling idea, stated in a thesis statement early in the paper that answers the prompt and contains both limited subject and attitude.

Main Points
Essay has multiple paragraphs with topic sentences that develop the thesis.
Main Points
Essay includes a sufficient and successful counter argument and refutation paragraph that address one claim/point made by the author.
Support (I in PIE)
Author cites relevant support from both texts—direct quotation and/or paraphrase—to illustrate the main point. (At least 6 direct quotes in Body Paragraphs.)
Author introduces citedinformation as specified in MLA style. Quotes are integrated and introduced properly with signal/introductory phrases.

Support (E in PIE)
Evaluation explains the connection between the example (I in PIE) and the claim (P in PIE) by explaining, analyzing, and signifying the importance (significance) of the information.
Author summarizes and explains the ideas in the text(s) for your readers who are unfamiliar with them.
Author organizes ideas logically and follows a clear pattern of development.
Essay contains a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
Author utilizes effective, well-chosen transitions between and within paragraphs and pieces of information.
Essay has limited proofreading and spelling errors that do not impede clarity and comprehension of the essay.
Author uses a variety of sentence structures.
Essay has a complete Works Cited page that demonstrates a working understanding of current MLA citation requirements.
Final Essay Packet is Complete with Rough Draft Peer Review and Thesis Proposal
Yes No

Perceptions and Prejudice in Disney’s Zootopia

Last Updated on June 30, 2019

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