Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What's Up Disney? Zootopia's Yax Yak Oms at Mystic Spa

What's Up Disney?  Zootopia's Hippy Yax Oms at Mystic Spa

Remember characters like Donald and Daisy Duck and Huey, Dewey, and Louie?  Well, things have changed!  Instead Disney's Zootopia, Pixar's latest animation marvel, has a cast of characters that includes "Be the Change Judy Bunny," "Oming Yax the Hippy Yak," and "Nudist Yogi Nangi the Elephant" among other animal prey and predator characters making one query, "What's Up Disney?"

While much has been written about Zootopia this review will zero in on its "middle of the movie moments" which include Judy and Nick's meeting of the zoned out nudist Yax the Yak, who mans the desk of Zootopia's Mystic Oasis Springs Spa; and their introduction to Nangi* the Yogi Elephant and the other animal "nudists" cavorting round the spa's "Pleasure Pond" in provocative positions.

*Note:  "Nangi" means "naked" in Hindu; and Nangi is voiced by actress Gita Reddy.

Thus, because of the disturbing content of these scenes this back story will give the reader a better understanding of what makes these middle of the movie scenes so troublesome.

Zootopia's Meditation Moment: Yax Yak Oms

Main characters Judy and Nick meet Yax seated behind his candle lit front desk in front of a sacred mandala.  Yax's mouth is opened letting out a continuous stream of that most sacred Hindu sound: OM or AUM!

Now OM is the symbol you'll see resembling a three having a tail with a tusk-like-shape and a diamond over it.  Aliyah Schick in her book: The OM Meditative Color Book: Adult Coloring for Relaxation, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Spiritual Connection, Prayer, Centering, and Coming Into Your Deep True Self  describes OM as the original primordial sound that created the universe.  It is the name of God.  OM is the vibration of God's manifesting into form."  Schick further says, "OM is the most recognized symbol of Hinduism ... widely used in Hindu traditions, by yoga practitioners,
by Buddhist, Janists, and others."  Schick continues, "OM is a whole prayer within itself, and is often used as a repeating chant ....  It attunes us to higher levels of being.  It is said that the vibration ... penetrates all the way to our souls."

Schick says chanting OM will enable one to find their "deep true selves."  But the Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that our true selves are "desperately wicked and who can know it?"  And that the only way we can find life and hope is through Jesus Christ, not through chanting OM.

If you've read my previous blog: "Disney Kids' Pixar Short: 'Sanjay's Super Team' Shocks with Hindu Story" you'll recall how Disney also inserted a meditative scene with  Sanjay's dad "oming" in the short preceding the recent movie: "The Good Dinosaur."  Recall this seven minute short was sprung on the audience without any warning.  And when the short ended the audience had its eye-full of Hindu idols and a Hindu demon.  Disney's insertion of such meditative methods was not part of its past fun-filled films.   However, content has changed, so be alert!

Disney Zootopia: The Essential Guide 

Yax Meditating on the Cover

A look into Dorling Kindersley's Disney Zootopia: The Essential Guide by Victoria Saxon will help give even more incite into Zootopia's mid-movie-encounters.  Just a glance at its cover shows five of its characters; Judy front and center surrounded by Yax, Flash, Nick, and Clawhauser.

And what is Yax doing?  He's meditating in the lotus position with his hooves in a mudra, and mouth opened in the "OM" position.

Yax Meditating in the Center

Just past the midpoint of the book once again we find Yax featured in a two page spread.  Yax, "the naked yak on Mystic Spring Oasis's front desk," is described as a "laid-back dude who doesn't seem to notice anything much."  Around the illustrations in DK fashion there are boxes.  One entitled:
 "A Warm Welcome" tells us Yax lights lots of candles on the front desk.  Yax's "Fact File" box lists  his hobbies as: "chanting and burning incense." 

Yax's "In the Zone" Box shares, "Yax won't let guests interrupt his meditation.  The more they try to bother him, the louder he chants."  Behind Yax you'll note the edges of the large meditation mandala on the spa's wall.  In the movie scenes the background mandala is very noticeable!

Moving over to the full page picture of Yax chanting while sitting with his legs crossed in the lotus pose with labeled arrows pointing out: "flies buzzing round," "shaggy unwashed hair," ""mystic orange beads with green charm," and "meditating in the lotus pose."  A blurb beside him is labeled: "The Body Is a Temple."  It reads: "Yax believes that his body is awesome, and he wants to keep it pure and natural."  (pp. 42-43)

Yax Meditating at the End

Just in case you didn't get enough of the "Yax" who do we find pictured on the "Acknowledgement" page at the very end?  Yes, Yax oming as the flies swarm round his mangy hair.

Mystic Springs Oasis

The Essential Guide has another two page spread describing "this awesome spa" as "the best place in the city to chill out and feel good."  This Mystic Springs box says, "Dudes of all types are seriously welcome here, from business yaks to bear cops.  Visitors can relax with meditation, yoga, hot springs, and lots of warm mud." 

Around the two pages, boxes highlight various parts of the springs.  The far left box "Top 3... Yoga Positions" are given as "Downward dog, Half moon, and Tree Pose."  The next box "Pleasure Pool" says the spa's pool is an "outdoor haven" where animals splash and snooze.  The "Take a Break" box tells that upon entering the spa all mammals are to encouraged to breathe in the goodness of incenses...."  It continues, "The rooms are kept dark and quiet to provide a soothing environment."

The last box "The Naturalist Life" shares this 'amazing tidbit':  "The fact that guests exercise in the nude also keeps them cool--the spa is a naturalist's club, which means all the animals are naked."
(pp. 40-41)  And this is a children's book? movie? 

Disney/Subway Kids' Meal Decals

Along with Subway's kids' meals for six weeks this winter, children could collect large Zootopia wall decals that kids could peel, stick, and reuse.  Just who was featured on the very first pack?  Why, Yax in his lotus pose, Nick the Fox, and a Zootopia cityscape.  I would love Disney/Subway to tell us why this blissed-out Yax was a good character kids should stick on their toys or books?

Disney Movie Reward Mother's Day "Ohm Card"

View this Mother's Day card titled "Ohm...Ohm...Ooohmmmm..." with the in the zone, Yax in that same hideous--now colored almost all orange-- picture.  One can get this "chill card" with its "enlightened look" complete with a frame inspired by Zootopia.  To many this oming Yax is extra cute because Yax's voice is done by New Age actor Tommy Chong.

Zootopia's Not So Nice Nudist Playground

In the movie, just as Judy and Nick go out to meet Nangi the Yogi Elephant at the Oasis' exercise area, Yax brazenly turns round lifting his tail into Judy's face.  With much more on these playground moments Johnny Brayson's "The Zootopia Nudity Scene Makes It Worthy of Its PG Rating" (Bustle) shows movie clips of the next scenes: the naked hippo and giraffe volleyball game, the seductive panther on the velvet couch, and the giraffe's position as it takes a drink.

Brayson writes, "Yes, the most talked about scene in Zootopia involves an animal nudist colony."  Brayson also notes that the idea of animal nudity is so clever for animals are always nude.  Just the way the animals are posed, relates Brayson, is "pretty hilarious."  Brayson mentions also Judy's shock at the risqué images she sees as she strolls through the naturalist club.  And " ... this super funny scene," asserts Brayson, "is one of the many reasons why Zootopia is going to be remembered as one of Disney's best."

The truth is that, contrary to Brayson's opinion, anyone caring about young children would never consider these titillating scenes as hilarious or funny!  The question to Disney would be exactly what was the purpose of these naturalist club scenes in the first place?  If youngsters performed  these actions in their play time they most certainly would be reprimanded, or punished.  This portion of the movie not only is not a part to be remembered, but one to be lamented that Disney has reached a new low!  Parents should be cognizant of the content of all future Disney films.  As one young mom commented in a review she should have done her homework before taking her children to see it!  Amen to that!
Christian Reviews of Zootopia

Several Christian sites review the movie.  One "Christian Spotlight" missed the mark when it rates its moral content as "Average" rather than "Negative."  However, others commenting within the piece had far more discernment than its reviewer Blake Wilson giving its moral content the negative rating it so rightly deserved. A "Plugged In" review by Focus on the Family neglected  to mention anything about Yax's meditation, yoga, or the obvious meditative mandala.   Once more this highlights the fact that many Christian groups, churches, or pastors fail to step up to the plate and address current issues so as to alert their readers, or members!  Would they would awaken, and be serious contenders for the faith as Jude of old!

Pixar's Future Animation Agenda

Does Disney have an agenda incorporating meditation moments with Hindu content, or nudist clubs with cavorting critters?  Does Disney poke fun at family values, or anyone who would appear like a prude or a goody-two-shoes as Judy did in these clips?  The Guardian's "Cannes 2015: Disney Unveils Toy Story 4-and Their First Nude Scene" by Henry Barnes gives a sneak peek into Pixar's animation future plans.

Barnes shares that topics that will be popping up on the Disney slate in coming years will be "grief, racial profiling, and gender bias" among others.  At the time of this May 2015 article, the Mystic Spring Oasis scene was unfinished.  However, Barnes notes that, Pixar's Chief Creative Officer of Disney John Lasseter said, "This is Disney animation's first nude scene. ...  It's been a long time coming."  And what else, Mr. Lasseter, has already come in "Sanjay's Super Team, " and in "Zootopia?"  And what more will come?  Parents and teachers should stay tuned!

Pixar's World Trust Collaborator

Apparently with their upcoming agenda in mind Pixar hired a most interesting consultant, World Trust's Dr. Shakti Butler, to give them feedback on Zootopia's content.  Butler, a doctoral graduate of
the School of Transformative Learning and Change out of California's Institute of Integral Studies,
specializes in race relations and social justice.  Featured on the Institute's facebook, with its SriYantra logo, Butler is praised for her role in Zootopia in interrupting biases and stereotypes.

In Conclusion

In this upside down world where evil is good, and good is evil a cleverly animated animal film has all sorts of hidden agendas, and topics that behooves one to be ever alert as to what future films will entail.  So be nourished up in scripture, and be able to stand up for truth.  For as I Peter states one should be prepared, with courteousness and respectfulness, to give a logical defense to those who question one's faith!

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:  Isaiah 5:20

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"