1. Themes
The themes in the early days of Disney animated movies were pretty simple boilerplate ones - good is better than evil, pretty people are always the nice ones, ugly people are always the mean ones, and if you lie you will turn into a donkey and get eaten by a whale (okay that last one was a little weird). But lately, Disney movies have found themes that are...well, WAY more mature and nuanced than anyone really could have expected. Namely Zootopia's focus on a kid's film that is explicitly about casual racism - as in, not overt KKK-style racism, but the subtler, more ingrained in social norms-style racism. It's incredibly well-done for such a tough theme, and manages to be hugely entertaining AND moving on top of it all.

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