As a comedian in his early thirties, I – like so many others pursuing a career in the entertainment industry – once again find myself facing that age-old question: New York or Los Angeles? New York, my current home, has an undeniable heartbeat. It’s a dense, humbling metropolis, extremely well suited to doing live shows. Los Angeles, however, offers a undeniably better quality of life: bigger apartments, and more job opportunities in film and television. For each city’s unique advantages though, for all of their plusses and minuses, neither city is Zootopia from the Disney movie Zootopia so it barely even matters.
Zootopia is the place for me. That’s where I want to live. A city of only anthropomorphic mammals, each with a job humorously suited to their natural animal traits. Sure, maybe Zootopia used to have some problems with crime and inequality, but ever since rabbit police officer Judy Hopps cracked the case at the end of the movie Zootopia, the city has reestablished itself as a beacon of progressive values and professional opportunity, at least in my mind. It’s better than New York or Los Angeles. My vivid dreams of living in Zootopia have begun bleeding into my waking hours, and it’s all I can bear to think about anymore!
God, I wish Zootopia was real. I mean, anything has got to be better than this literal hell I’m living now, but a silly, colorful world so much like our own with an animal twist? If you remember how desperately I wanted to run away from society and fly to Pandora to live amongst the Na’vi after seeing Avatar, multiply that times ten. That’s how badly I want to run away and live in Zootopia!
If I lived in Zootopia, I think I would either be a big ol standup comedy bear, or a border collie who writes for a comedy website. My name would be something like “Dan ChamBEARlain” or “DOG Chamberlain”, and even though I wore a hat and a tie I would still do bear and dog stuff and people would just deal with it. No landlords, no taxes, no relationship problems, and no more bullshit because all the bulls in Zootopia wear people clothes and know how to use toilets.
I don’t want to be a human anymore. I want to be an animal. I just want to eat and howl and snarl and fuck and that’s it, y’know? I don’t want to have the life that I currently have any more!
It’s like Shakira (who is a gazelle in Zootopia) says in the song “Try Everything” from the end of the movie Zootopia: “try everything!” I’ve tried New York. I’ve tried Los Angeles. I haven’t tried abandoning my humanity and living in a fantasy animal world. I owe it to myself to give it a shot.
You can keep the coasts. I’ll be at my desk with my eyes closed, thinking about myself as a dog in a hat, kissing gazelle Shakira.