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  • Why a moose in the American newscast and a beaver in the Japanese newscast?
    • Probably because Peter Mansbridge, the voice actor for Peter Moosebridge, is replaced by a Japanese celebrity, whose name is a pun on "beaver" rather than "moose" (if it is a beaver - I think it's actually a tanuki, since he has a leaf on his head). This is not the first case Disney modifies certain scenes in their movies for the Japanese market - the broccoli in Inside Out was replaced by bell pepper because it's more of a Stock "Yuck!" there.
    • The character is a tanuki in the Japanese version. I think you might be confusing it for a beaver since the thing that looks like a beaver's tail is actually a hat that's hanging down his back instead of on his head (since tanuki traditionally wear big straw hats in Japanese folklore).
    • It's a regional gag - the moose newscaster is a different species in each different region's trailer (and the film proper). See the Trivia page for the full list.

    Anyone Can Be Anything 
  • If 'Anyone Can Be Anything' in Zootopia, then shouldn't murder and other crimes be legal?
    • Also, throughout the film we see people show prejudice towards predators, which is ok because 'anyone can be anything' so they can think that way.
    • I think it's just a figuratively speaking motto for the city, just like 'Anyone Can Cook' in Ratatouille. In that movie, the main character (Linguini, the human guy, not Remy the rat) cannot cook at all, but that should't stop someone from trying their best to be what they want to be. Of course, not everyone can be a cook, just like you cannot be anything that you want to be in Zootopia. In Zootopia, anyone can try to be anything that is within the boundary of law. The reason crime still exist in Zootopia because it is Like Reality, Unless Noted. Real life has crime all over the place, so why shouldn't Zootopia, which is based on real life, don't have crimes?
    • To be more exact: Just as anyone can cook (but not everyone can cook well or become a chef), the fact that you can be anything doesn't mean they're automatically going to be good at it. As Chief Bogo says, "It's not about what you want. It's about what you are capable of". Conversely, the motto doesn't excuse prejudice — in fact, it's a strike against it. If anyone can be anything, then there should be nothing stopping Nick from being a Junior Ranger Scout, or Judy becoming a police officer, as long as they're willing to put in the time and effort to become the best ones they can be. As the Real Life quote runs: "Your right to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose".
    • Ironically, its exactly because it attempts to strike out against prejudice is why the movie fails at the morals. It rides its stereotypes, which Clawhauser even lampshades, while trying to make moral judgements against doing that. Scenes like the ones about "cute bunny" and "sheep wool" create artificial conflict out of "the offending predators" not having manners and the "victims" assuming their supremacy +over others.
      • What do you mean exactly?
    • Like in real life, genetic predisposition and actual dreams are in conflict. And then there's unnecessary discrimination: Judy was able to be a good cop, but the training regime and typical cop style was meant for heavy mammals. They had the opportunity to open it for smaller mammals, but intentionally restricted it due to discrimination. It took a mayor's initiative to expand diversity in careers for Judy to get the chance to get in. This is what the film stands for; the availability to do what everyone else can do, no matter the racial stereotype or physical disposition.
    • How is it discrimination (the overused-to-the-point-of-meaninglessness version of the term, not the dictionary 'making a distinction between unlike things' version) when there were apparently standards that Judy or someone her size previously couldn't meet? That's called not meeting criteria. The London Metropolitan Police, when originally formed in the 1830's, wouldn't take anyone shorter than 5 ft., 7 in. for intimidation purposes. Similar standards seem to be in play here.
      • That's still discrimination, just height-based discrimination. There's no reason why a police force would benefit less from cops who are physically short. It also sounds like they removed that restriction, implying there was a problem with it.
      • As someone that is physically short, I have to say you're taking the film too literally if you don't understand why having short police would as a whole be a very BAD thing. Being locally average wouldn't be a huge problem (just of no advantage), but if you have to physically restrain a resisting suspect, good luck if you're several inches shorter than the suspect, with the weight and muscle mass imbalances that can imply. Being smaller would make your job harder than a larger person.
    • I'm surprised no one mentioned this, but it's supposed to be a direct jab at The American Dream. Does the American Dream call for complete anarchy and a disregard for the rules? Of course not. Assuming Zootopia is a metaphor for America, or at least New York City/Los Angeles, the whole point - and arguably the joke - of the mantra "anyone can be anything" is how completely false that notion is, and you should tell that Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids which, in fact, Nick directly does.
      Nick Wilde: Tell me if this story sounds familiar. Naïve little hick with good grades and big ideas decides "Hey look at me, I'm gonna move to Zootopia, where predators and prey live in harmony and sing Kumbaya!" Only to find, whoopsie: we don't all get along. And that dream of becoming a big city cop? Double whoopsie; she's a meter maid. And whoopsie number three-sy: no one cares about her or her dreams. And soon enough those dreams die, and our bunny sinks into an emotional and literal squalor, living in a box under a bridge, until finally she has no choice but to go back home, with that cute fuzzy-wuzzy little tail between her legs to become... You're from Bunnyburrow, is that what you said? So how about a carrot farmer? That sound about right?
    • In another Take That! moment, when Nick and Judy visit the naturalist club, and Judy discovers they are nude, Nick makes another quip at the unintentional consequence of "anyone can be anything."
      Nick Wilde: In Zootopia, anyone can be anything. And these guys? They be naked.

  • Word of God says that only mammals are in Zootopia, but does that mean that only the mammals became humanoid?
    • The introduction implies only mammals as the children (all mammals) say in the play "we evolved" and specifically mention "predators" and "prey", but it doesn't specifically say only mammals.
    • There's a line in Gazelle's song, "Birds don't just fly, they fall down and get up". That would be a really bizarre metaphor if birds were a subgroup of people rather than just normal animals.
    • I personally think that sapient nonmammals inhabit other parts of the world, but avoid visiting mammal-populated areas because of Fantastic Racism. Alternatively, they DO live in mammal-populared areas, but have no interest in the two cities we see in the movie.
    • I'm also curious as to where reptiles and amphibians fit into all this. Maybe they're in another part of the world?
  • I just watched the movie and I noticed there were no apes or monkeys. Did the whole branch get chopped off to avoid humans? Also no domesticated animals save for pigs and sheep (so no cameos by Maggie, Mrs. Calloway, and Grace the cows, Dug the dog, Mittens the cat, or Maximus the horse), presumably since there weren't any humans to create them.
    • Also, if birds, reptiles, fish, and insects aren't sapient wouldn't it be possible for the intelligent animals to domesticate them? Imagine if Gideon's family raised chickens or an anteater with a literal ant farm.
      • It seems as if they aren't sapient, and the movies seems to avoid showing them because that level of Furry Confusion is distracting.
      • But we'll never know for sure. After all, all we see is two cities populated exclusively by mammals, so who's to say that there isn't Fantastic Racism against sentient nonmammals from elsewhere?
      • In the case of insects and fish (the two things that predators are explicitly stated to eat), it seems very likely that they would be domesticated. It's not like Bug Burga is going to go out into the woods collecting crickets for their Big Mac/Whopper equivalent; they're probably raised in terrariums. And there's no reason at all that these animals wouldn't be able to engage in fish farming using exactly the same methods that humans use in Real Life.
    • Maximus the horse actually makes a cameo - as Rapunzel, on the cover of the Wrangled DVD. We also see other horse background characters (one photographer at Judy's graduation ceremony). But otherwise Word of God confirms that, indeed, primates were omitted because they were too human-like, and cats and dogs because there were no humans to create them (the main character of Meowana could be a wildcat).
      • Original person, after several re-watches yes there's horses and there are small wild cats the size of "Meowana".
  • During a recent podcast involving a Q&A with the directors and writers of the film, the directors mentioned that because of the predator/prey tension they wanted for the story, they specifically focused on mammals for Zootopia. Interestingly during this discussion, the possibility of a city of reptiles was very specifically not Jossed (but wasn't confirmed either and there was no mention about birds).
  • A challenge about having sapient birds is that given the incredible detail the animators put into modelling the mammals of Zootopia, many of the "cheats" commonly used to anthropomorphize birds in animation (Toothy Bird, Disembodied Eyebrows, and especially Feather Fingers) would look downright odd in a "realistically animated" Zootopian world.

    Carnivore diet 
  • What do the carnivores eat? Are they all Vegetarian Carnivore?
    • Rich Moore said that they eat food made of insect protein. Byron Howard has also reported in saying the carnivores eat fish, insect and plant protein.
    • Co-director Jared Bush favorited a tweet speculating that the carnivores eat fish, but it isn't shown so as not to distract or confuse the audience.
    • It's possible that poultry is also an option. There are some indications in the story that birds aren't sapient, but the creators have not provided a definitive answer about this.

    Arresting giants 
  • What exactly is the protocol for arresting and detaining animals that are far larger than the arresting officer? How can a wolf officer arrest an elephant? Or a bear? Or a cape buffalo?
    • That problem exists (to a lesser degree) in the human world. How can a relatively small or old officer arrest a larger, stronger criminal? First, most lawbreakers that ordinary cops have to deal with are nonviolent (think Flash the speeder). Even violent ones will not usually add assaulting a police officer to their list of crimes just because they are physically able to do so. And then there is equipment, training and strength in numbers. A smart cop should know when to call for backup.
    • In the first teaser trailer, Judy is shown to be armed with sedative darts that can down a wildebeest in seconds. This might be how.
    • It's also shown in the Training Montage that the officers are trained to deal with significantly larger opponents. It's never expressed that the point of the exercise was to actually take down their opponent, but simply deal with the situation in a controlled manner and survive the experience (likely while waiting for backup). Obviously though it's easier if there are very few things bigger than you, which is likely part of why so many of the cops are enormous but even the wolf officers would have trouble taking down a rhino.
    • This exact problem is why Judy had trouble being taken seriously as a police officer. She's the first animal of anywhere near her size to be accepted into the police force; before her, everyone was huge.
    • It’s worth noting that the majority of Precinct 1, at the very least, are mostly comprised of large herbivore and apex predator species. Wolves in particular are known to hunt elk and musk ox, and under the right circumstances (namely, a very large pack) can pose a significant threat to bears. Similarly, lions can take giraffes, and on rare occasions, even elephants, and according to The Other Wiki there are at least two known instances of tigers successfully hunting elephants. So while it would be certainly much harder for some of the officers to take on larger criminals, it’s not impossible.
  • This also applies in reverse: How is District 1 policing the nearby neighborhood of Little Rodentia if all their officers are too big & clumsy to safely enter it and apprehend criminals?
    • They can't, which is exactly how the Little Rodentia gangsters like it.

    Nick's scam 
  • Nick claims to have been running his scam for a decade or more. Just how many elephant ice cream parlors are there?
    • Nick has been shown to engage in different types of scams, such as the delivery of "Red-wood" to the Little Rodentia construction site, or selling Mr. Big a "skunk butt rug." He's clever, so it's quite probable that he has done a lot of different scams over the years.
    • In addition, maybe there actually ARE a lot of elephant ice cream parlors? And there might also be ice cream parlors for other "larger" animals like hippos and rhinos, and they might ALSO sell ice pops as big as the Jumbo Pop. That's just a theory, though.
  • Why does Nick jeopardize his plan by pretending to forget his wallet? If Judy hadn't offered to pay for the jumbo pop, he would have had to leave empty-handed.
    • Tricksters like Nick have to be good at judging people. Judy was so naive and supportive that he could count on her to pay for the jumbo pop. Had she not, he would simply have "found" his wallet and continued the scam. As it was, he increased his profit and tricked a condescending police officer as a bonus.
    • One could say that Nick derives a lot of satisfaction from bilking Zootopia for as much as he can without ever giving anything back. The Pawpsicle scam, run effectively, easily pays for itself, but he tries to get someone else to buy it for him (and sells the used sticks as "Red-wood") for his own amusement.
  • What was the plan before Judy showed up?
    • I think Nick was always banking on someone taking pity on him and falling for his scam. It may not have worked at that particular ice-cream parlour if it hadn't been for Judy as the other customers didn't very sympathetic towards him. It may work often enough for him to be able to nab a free jumbopop after a few tries at different places though, we can assume that the prejudice against foxes isn't universal amongst larger animals.
    • In all likelihood, the plan was probably pretty much what we saw: buy a Jumbo Pop, melt it down into Pawpsicles, sell the Pawpsicles, then sell the wood. It's just that the icecream-elephant's racism nearly derailed him and then he decided to see if he could milk some extra profit out of Judy, since she's clearly a very naive/idealistic person. Let's face it, putting $15 dollars in and then selling... let's say 200 Pawpsicles at $2 each? That's a profit of $385, not counting in whatever extra profit he adds on top for selling his "red wood" to that Little Rodentia construction company. No wonder he boasts about averaging $200 worth of income each day.
      • But then what would have been the point of having Finnick pretend to be his son? Trying to get someone to buy the jumbopop for him couldn't have been a spur-of-the-moment decision because the whole 'father-son' act was set up in advance. Also, one of Nick's defining character traits is that he's a con artist: rather than just buying things and reselling them for profit like a legitimate businessperson, he uses lies and emotional manipulation to get what he wants, like selling Mr Big a rug without telling him it was made from the fur of a skunk's butt. The jumbo pop 'hustle' was about manipulating someone into buying it for him so he could resell it for maximum profit.
      • Simple; what reason does a grown fox have to want to eat an elephant-sized iceblock? Having an elephant-worshipping "son" adds a certain level of extra credibility, which is one of the things a successful con needs most of all.
      • So why not just buy it openly as "a surprise for my elephant friend"?
      • It still seems like an over-complicated set up if all Nick planned to do was walk into an ice-cream parlour and buy an ice-lolly. In that case, they'd be no need for him to make up a reason for wanting to buy the jumbopop, he wasn't doing anything illegal and the shop-owner presumably wouldn't care as long as he paid for it in full. The elephant owner refused to serve him because of a prejudice against foxes rather than merely being suspicious of Nick's motives, otherwise Nick could have just explained what he really wanted the jumbopop for and flashed his food-selling permit to prove he wasn't up to anything illegal. And as the episode demonstrates, if he was refused service simply for being a fox, inventing a sob story about a disappointed son probably wouldn't earn him any more sympathy, so there's no plausible reason for him to want to lie about why he was buying the jumbopop if he intended to pay for it himself. His only reason for doing this could have been that he always intended to play the 'I've forgotten my wallet' card and wait for someone to take pity on him. Besides, as I said, buying something and reselling it for profit (if you have legal permission to do so) doesn't make you a con artist. He describes what he did to Judy as a 'hustle' that he'd been doing 'since I was born', referring to the lies and manipulation he engaged in to make money. I'm pretty sure that convincing someone to buy the jumbopop for him was Nick's plan from the start.
  • When Judy recorded his confession, why didn't Nick just brush it off, "I lied to sound richer than I really was"? Sure, it's not very convincing, but he seems to have precious little to show for all the money he supposedly made (perhaps he sends it to his mother?).
    • Likely because what Judy was asking for wasn't a big deal. Much easier to give her what she wanted than to risk ending up in prison.
    • Also, Nick's own rationale for cheating unsuspecting mammals is that he's retaliating for how virtually all non-foxes think the worst of his kind. He wouldn't expect anyone to take his word over a police officer's, even if the latter is a rookie.
  • The real question is, if Pawpsicles retail for that much more, for a given quantity of ice cream sold, than Jumbopops do, why the heck doesn't the ice cream vendor sell those instead? Is he such a die-hard racist that he's willing to forfeit that high a profit to avoid dealing with mammals that aren't pachyderms?
    • It is true that buying a product in large quantities makes it cheaper. However, to sell pawpsicles, Jumbeaux would have to go through the trouble to fit small quantities of pop on small sticks, which would eat up much of his profit. (Nick avoids this buy using free, though unhygienic equipment like a rain gutter and snow. Plus he sells the used sticks for more than they are worth.)
    • It's not necessarily racist but rather poor business acumen. Jerry Jumbo's store is entirely geared toward large size mammals. It seems that it never occurred to him to diversify his product offerings toward another demographic outside his target client base which isn't that uncommon in business and realistically, to start doing it now could take a certain degree of expense to retrofit his store to accommodate small mammals, as well as purchase the supplies (molds, sticks, etc) to make the smaller pawpsicles. He just doesn't seem to have an interest in the smaller mammal clientèle and, as such, is unaware that higher profits are even possible. There is also the question if many small mammals would venture in an elephant-sized enviroment where they might accidentally be stepped on, rather than find a parlour in Little Rodentia.
    • Could be a little bit of both. He's obviously racist toward at least foxes if not smaller mammals as a whole, but he also has at least one health code violation happening in broad daylight. It's highly unlikely that Jumbeaux didn't know it was happening, considering that he worked with this guy in close quarters and may have also been scooping ice cream that way himself. Wearing gloves is a basic rule of working with food; the fact that it didn't seem to cross Jumbeaux's mind that his customers might see the potential spread of snot and bacteria all over their ice cream as a problem before a cop showed up to point it out does not speak especially well of his mental acuity.

    Animal years 
  • Okay, also relating to Nick saying he's been doing scams since he was "twelve." Just how do these animals measure years? Do they all age roughly the same as humans, or each other? Or does each individual species have their own way of measuring years? If they do all age at the same rate, and one year is equal for everyone, why was Fru Fru's pregnancy so fast? Are the pregnancies as long or short as they would have been before they were evolved, but the aging process isn't?
    • Everyone probably uses the same calendar, so twelve years old means "twelve years old" regardless of species. Based on how Nick referred to his age, the animals all probably have human-like ages, so a twelve year old dog would still be a pup rather than a senior citizen.
    • On top of that, Judy said she was 9 in the skit/play she was in, and the subtitle after that says "15 years later", making her 24 years old. Thus, the characters in this universe age at a similar rate to humans.
    • Regarding Fru Fru's pregnancy, shrews only gestate for about a month. Per the news report time skip, it was a week between Judy cracking the case (the first time) and leaving the force, and some unstated period before she realized what Night Howlers were. So there's enough time for Fru Fru to start showing.
      • According to Word of God, Judy spent nearly three months in the police force before returning to the carrot farm. That should be enough for Fru Fru showing signs of pregnancy even if her gestation period is similar to a human's.
      • Especially if she's carrying a litter of 5-7, which is typical for real-world shrews.
    • Nick said his mom struggled to get buy him a scout uniform, implying his family was poor. That's why he had to work since he was young.

    Detectives & ZPD 
  • Don't they have detectives and inspectors in the ZPD? Someone like Judy playing detective might actually be dangerous because she didn't receive the same kind of training and experience that detectives and inspectors do.
    • In the scene where Mrs. Otterton begs Chief Bogo to find her husband, he states that all detectives in Zootopia are already busy with the other missing mammal cases, leading to Judy volunteering to look into Otterton's case specifically. So yes, ZPD does have detectives, they're just not as focused/motivated as Judy. And since Bellwether already sent a message to the Mayor that Judy will handle the case, Bogo has no choice but to let Judy do it.
      • Both the ZPD and Judy are caught up in a duel of masterminds. Mayor Lionheart wants to reassure the public, so the ZPD is being sent down dead ends trying to find mammals already being held at Cliffside Asylum while the doctors try to cure them of the savage state. Bellwether is trying to get the missing mammals found, so predators can look like a bunch of violent savages in the eyes of the prey-animal public — 90% of the population. Judy's recent addition to the investigation (and because she's not in the computer system yet), flies under the radar and is "assisted" by Bellwether at key intervals so that she can get farther in two days than the entire force has in weeks.
    • I'm pretty sure the confusion comes from the force's detectives being uniformed the same as the beat cops. Judy seemed to be highly competent and is old enough to have a university education, so I figured she applied for the training that took her straight to the starting rank in the detective career course.
  • Bogo later assigns the exact same "detectives" to Tundratown S.W.A.T. and undercover. Judy herself also demonstrates that she would have been just as good a health inspector as a meter maid. The implications appear to be that the officers of the 1st Precinct are all masters of the craft from top to bottom, with sufficient training and capacity to allow them to handle everything from S.W.A.T. to parking duty.
    • Did we see any official detectives? I don't recall. There's no way to know if they wear the same uniform. It's possible Judy took a detective course as well— maybe she was that intent on proving herself. But all of the obstacle courses and martial arts she took indicate that she trained to be a "beat" cop.
  • Judy isn't in the police database so she can't run a plate herself, but why couldn't she just call Clawhauser and ask him to run the plate for her? She could have gotten to Tundratown Limo then gone through the proper channels to obtain a warrant to search the car.
    • Adding to the confusion, Judy somehow managed to obtain Nick's tax records even though she is not in the system. Most likely explanation was that she did ask Clawhauser's help (he was right there when she identified her first lead after all), but that does raise the question: Why did she not call him up a second time?
      • Seeing as Bogo was basically setting her up to fail, maybe after she got his help once and Bogo realized she had a resource after all, Bogo prohibited Clawhauser from helping her further.
      • Two other possibilities are 1) Judy faked the form as a hustle. She took a blank tax form, filled in the basic information and played a hunch that Nick didn't fill out his tax forms. 2) Called in the help of a childhood friend, the jaguar who grew up to be an actuary and asked him to look up Nick's tax records.
      • There's actually a third possibility: In California, where Pixar is located, many people file their Federal and state returns through the city tax board. Since Judy had just seen Nick's many licenses, she would only have to go through Records to gain access. And since Records is in the basement, it would be appallingly easy for her to get by whatever poor sap was assigned to watch the desk. While this admittedly requires that Zootopia be based on California, use of the real police code 10-91 at least indicates that it's in the area. (That's the code for an animal attack, among other things.)

    Night howlers 
  • It's established that common carrot farmers know about the existence and effects of the night howlers (Midnicampum holicithias). How is it that there's no chemist or toxicologist reaching the same conclusions after the case is brought public?
    • Judy's parents only learned about its effects when a family member accidentally ate one, and it's possible that Otterton was one of the very few who resided in Zootopia who knew about the effects. It does not explain why it didn't show up on any toxicological reports but perhaps it's very hard to notice unless knowing specifically what to look for, and it was easily cured when the source was discovered.
      • To give a real world example, how likely would someone look into a mysterious death as poisoning from Wolfsbane? It's probably something known of but not that people would encounter or make use of like they did.
    • Also the doctor Lionheart had on the case did not appear to be looking in that direction. He actually suggested that it was "biological"...hearkening to doctors who treat patients of another race differently than patients of their own. Here, though, it's more justified, as rather than simple racism, all the patients are of different species.
    • What's more confusing is, if there was, in fact, a plant capable of causing an animal to go "savage," even if it wasn't well known, then why does everyone act like the idea of an animal going "savage" is preposterous? Sure, if an animal died, a specific plant or poison might not spring immediately to mind, but the savagery is such a peculiar symptom that you'd think that medical doctors, at least, would know about this plant. Think about it- if there was some flower that, if eaten, caused your skin to glow in the dark, or make you grow blue and purple spots all over your face, then if someone came into the ICU glowing in the dark with blue and purple spots all over their face, then SOME doctor ought to remember such unusual symptoms and connect it with a plant that country doctors are familiar with.
      • Conversely, maybe the communication between Zootopia and smaller towns like Bunnyburrow is lacking.
      • Also, just because it's a known thing doesn't necessarily mean it's a common thing. Any other incidents of it might have been rare, and note that Judy didn't seem to have heard about the case with her uncle until her parents brought it up. So, they might have been able to figure it out eventually, but it might not have been something the doctors would have thought of immediately for the first few cases of it.
    • Keep in mind that Doug and the other sheep were specifically concentrating an extract for the purpose of weaponizing it. The effects of ingesting a whole Nighthowler plant would likely be less extreme as being exposed to the concentrated extract, just like ingesting an opium plant would have a different effect than being exposed to any opium-based drugs. And from the way Judy's mother talked about it, the effects of normal nighthowler poisoning are probably temporary.
      • Indeed it is later stated that a special antidote had to be made to reverse the savage-state effects. Regular Nighthowler poisoning is thus temporary and requires no antidote, but something was done to the concoction made from it to render the effect permanent (at least until an antidote was made). Perhaps Lionheart's researchers did initially think it could be Nighthowler but discounted it when the effects didn't end, and indeed were skeptical to begin with due to just how aggressive the effected were (the effected rabbit bit his sister, but those effected by the weaponized form were outright trying to kill each other).
    • Judy identifies them as a Class-3 botanical, which implies that there is at least some form of regulation, and that, in turn, they are aware that the flowers are poisonous. Given that they were stolen from your average flower shop, Nighthowler in its natural, unconsumed state is enough to kill a garden pest, but probably no more hazardous to the average mammal's health than beer.
    • I just think it's odd how Judy would know its scientific name and that it's a crocus but didn't know the "common" name.
      • In real life, many serious gardeners refer to plants by their scientific names, and never use common names. Common names can be ambiguous, both in the sense that a given name can refer to unrelated species, and in the sense that a given species can have multiple common names. Using scientific names reduces ambiguity.
      • Judy might know the proper "common" name for the flower, but "night howler" might be a nickname or folk term. Gideon says his family used that name, but in a way that implied it wasn't necessarily the actual common name. Sort of how someone might refer to raspberry/blackberry canes as "pricker bushes", or how Athelas is referred to as Kingsfoil.
      • The term "nighthowler" might also be an older one that's fallen out of favor, due to having slightly-racist overtones about wolves. There are a number of Real Life plants whose original common names have similarly become socially taboo, because they incorporate racial references (e.g. Tacca chantrieri's common name is "Jew's Beard") or outright slurs.
  • Why does Judy not put two and two together? She grew up as an adventurous little bunny whose dad (a worrier) uses night howlers as bug repellent and whose mom was injured by her uncle under the effect of night howler poison. How could Judy not have been aware of the plants' dangerous properties? Her first real case in Zootopia (which she is likely to remember) involves night howler bulbs which she identifies correctly as controlled (e.g. dangerous) goods. Never mind names, why did it take her so long to associate the bulbs she saw with the effects those bulbs cause and with animals going savage for no apparent reason?

    Bunnyburrow population 
  • How can Bunnyburrow be an idyllic farming village if all its residents have hundreds of children and rarely move out? You'd think that it would quickly compete with the population of Zootopia, itself.
    • Maybe the Hopps are just unusually prolific breeders. Or maybe it was just a spike in birth rate; Judy doesn't seem to have any siblings close to her age.
    • This doesn't explain the fact that Judy already has 275 siblings when she's nine, and her parents continue to be surrounded by new baby bunnies even when she's grown up. And then there's the sight gag of the continuously growing population in the sign for Bunnyburrow.
      • The continuously growing population sign might not need to be taken seriously, as it is a sight gag. It could cycle through a range of about 1,000 and then loop back.
    • Who's to say they don't have as high a population as Zootopia, if not higher? Between rabbit-traditional underground homes and the surface farmers, you can fit an awful lot of rabbits into that area.
      • Wouldn't that be counterproductive to healthy crop production?
      • It's not just overpopulation. The bunnies need as much care as human children. Did Judy parents attend to the school presentation of every one of their 275 children? Yet they have 10 new babies to take care of each year.
    • The sight gag of the continuously-growing population puts the small town's numbers at 81 million.
    • This topic gets discussed a little on the Fridge population; the most likely possibility is that some particularly large and successful rural farming families grow to huge extents, but otherwise bunnies normally have much smaller families — remember, large family = more free laborers to help around the farm. We do see what seems to be a bunny with a single child during Judy's train-ride after she alienates Nick and accidentally sparks the anti-predator prejudice, so there's at least some evidence that not all rabbits/hares are having dozens of kids at once.

    Rodent crimes 
  • If the ZPD can't enter the rodent portion, how do they handle their crimes?
    • Given the appearance of a mouse police officer and a mouse-size police car in one of the movie posters, it seems that Little Rodentia does have their own police force, staffed by other rodents. It might not have been mentioned because, as seen when Judy chases down Weaselton, it's a poor idea for anyone but rodents to move around in the city, and it simply wouldn't have been relevant to Judy's story as she would have no reason to work there. As for why we didn't see said police force during the chase... the entire chase lasts for less than 2 minutes and Judy and Weaselton were running several blocks in a span of seconds. So there wasn't a lot of time for the rodent police force to mobilize and the chase was too fast for a rodent car to keep up with.
    • Little Rodentia does have its own police force. When Weaselton entered, the rhino cop shouted after Judy that she should not continue pursuit, but wait for the officers appropriately sized to continue the chase. But Duke would have escaped in the time it took for them to arrive, and Judy was too determined to prove herself.
      • Although a mouse-sized police officer likely wouldn't be able to arrest Weasleton, (unless they had high-power tranquilizers), they could drive him to a district exit where appropriately sized ZPD offices would be waiting for him.
      • Officer McHorn, said "Hey, Meter maid! Wait for the real cops!", so apparently he thought she was just a meter maid and had not been properly trained for entry and pursuit in the Little Rodentia district. Given the chaos she brings to the chase, McHorn has a point.
    • One of the movie posters for Zootopia is the incredibly detailed "cross walk" poster that shows almost all major and minor characters on the same city street with Nick and Judy standing under the crosswalk sign (a cropped version serves as the image on the main Zootopia page). If you find a full uncropped version of this image and look in the street in the lower left (just to the left of the crosswalk signal post), you will see a rodent-sized police car that has stopped another rodent-sized car and a mouse officer writing a ticket. Not exactly All There in the Manual but it does show that the artists were at least trying to show that mouse-sized police officers exist.

  • The last time Otterton was spotted was on a street corner. Nick points out that they have traffic cameras, so shouldn't someone have thought to check those sooner?
    • The photo in Mr. Otterton's case file WAS from a traffic camera so it means ZPD officer Bob Trumpet scanned through the city's traffic cameras and this was the last known sighting of Mr. Otterton and it wasn't very helpful. Judy noticed the pawpsicle and Nick in the image as well which gave her a clue, but the original officer wouldn't have had that knowledge so the case was at a dead-end.
    • Given that 10% of the population are predators, this could be the animal equivalent of Missing White Woman Syndrome at play. The missing predators might not get a lot of attention from the public as a missing prey animal might. It's the mayor's office that's pushing this case and it could either be that Lionheart, a minority mayor, truly wants to find out what's going on by getting the police to look at it from a different angle than his doctor, OR it's Bellwether for the speculation above.
    • This seems improbable, since the animals don't directly correlate with real life human social or ethnic groups, and the predators are not a discriminated minority as a whole before the feral incidents — instead we see, for example, that foxes are looked down upon, but lions are held in high esteem. Large predators also seem to make up a large portion of the police force. We don't see any particular views held towards otters, positive or negative, but they don't seem to be among the discriminated groups.
    • Given how little attention there seems to be given to Emmett's disappearance specifically, it seems likely he's just so low on the totem pole that nobody was really looking into his case at all, with the other animals to focus on. (It could also depend on whether or not Emmett was the first animal to go missing. If several disappearances happened before Emmett, it could make it more likely that the police were focusing on those before him.)
      • Emmett was the most recent "missing predator" victim; that's why his case file was so thin.
    • Most likely they didn't have a point of reference to start from like Judy and Nick did. Plus, the wolves were aware of the cameras and took measures to avoid them, which would have worked if Nick hadn't pointed their tactics out.
      • Not to mention Manchas was probably the first "feral" that was still in city limits after the initial attack or similar. With Emmett being the example, most of the others probably ran away from large areas of people and toward wilder sections. More than likely away from traffic cameras, especially as they seem to be mostly on high activity roadways.

  • So why exactly was Manchas shot by Doug right when Judy and Nick visited him? Was it just because he heard about the Nighthowlers from Otterton? Did Doug know about Judy and Nick? Or was he another randomly selected predator and it was a stroke of bad luck for J&N?
    • It appeared that Manchas DID know something about the Night Howlers, given how he mentioned them directly by name. Plus, it was he was probably attacked by Doug on orders by Bellwether to ensure Manchas didn't talk. After all, they don't have any idea how much he truly knows.
      • I believe Manchas told Judy and Nick that Otterton was chatting something about Night Howlers before he (Otterton) turned feral; Otterton was a loose end to be tied up, and Manchas got caught up by accident.
    • Also, given how Bellwether has been effectively stage-managing Judy's investigation (we outright see her maneuvering Bogo into having to put her on the case, though it looks a lot more like an innocent coincidence on first viewing), she could have had someone keeping an eye on them, or on Mr. Big's house, and passing her reports so she might have known exactly where Judy and Nick were at any given time. When the loose end presented itself, it needed to be tidied up.
    • Manchas was simply targeted because he knew too much. As for why it was when Nick and Judy were there, remember he was shot through a window - that particular window. A window he probably avoided meaning Doug couldn't get a clear shot at him. (He's not stupid enough to knock on the door and shoot him - he could be spotted easily.) It takes time and knowledge to set up hits like this, so it could have just been random chance it happened to coincide with Nick and Judy's find.
      • One simple support to the fact that Manchas is shot for knowing too much is his photo in Doug's lab; It shows him with a maimed eye, which means, regardless of how Doug manages to snap that picture (maybe posing as a door-to-door salesman with a hidden cam), that picture is taken after the Otterton attack. As for how Doug knows when exactly to shoot Manchas, that's another question.
    • Look at the timing and the villain's motive. The mastermind wants the public to know predators are going savage, but Lionheart has managed to keep it a secret. Manchas was shot right in front of Nick and Judy. My theory is the villain was keeping tabs on Officer Hopps and, since she wanted her to see a predator go savage so the secret would get out, they shot a jaguar at a time and place where she could see it happen. Unfortunately for them, thanks to Lionheart's wolves getting there so quickly, it didn't quite end as planned.
    • Two things need to be considered: The villains DO want the savage predators to become public, and they DO NOT want anyone to guess what is causing it. Manchas was attacked by another savage mammal; when he goes savage in turn, it implies the cause may be viral.
    • Actually, we're told how it works: The "JamCam" traffic cameras. After all, why would the assistant mayor have immediate access to them unless she — and the mayor himself — had been using them on a regular basis? Bellwether and Lionheart are playing chess at a distance — she uses the cameras to find targets, he uses them to find victims. So when Judy goes straight from Mr. Big's house in Tundratown to Manchas' apartment in the Rainforest District, she can tell Doug exactly where the person they're talking to is. No wonder Bellwether's work is so backed up...

     Going Savage 
  • Getting bitten, and then being "reduced to a primal state". Is that their way of saying Rabies or am I looking into this too hard?
    • Going savage does not actually spread through bite, at all, but through extract from a poisonous plant that the victims have been deliberately shot with. So no, not really much at all like rabies.
    • It should be noted that While it appears this way in the case of Manchas, the jaguar driver for Mr. Big, it was actually because he was shot with the toxin rather than because of his injuries from the primal Mr. Otterton.
    • Not really. The investigators are mis-identifying a symptom (presuming that a berserker rage is atavism). Identifying a symptom isn't the same as leaping to an assumption about the cause.
      • This. Indeed, to anyone in-the-know about wildlife behavior the "savage" animals' actions are explicitly not predatory: they charge directly at any visible target, snarling aloud, rather than making realistic attempts at stealth or selectivity. Heck, Emmett Otterton attacked a freaking jaguar, and such big cats aren't exactly on a naturalistic otter's list of suitable prey species. If Zootopians conflate berserk rages with predatory instincts re-emerging, it's only because none of the sentient mammals grasp how the predator species' wild ancestors really hunted.

    Was Lionheart in jail during the Creative Closing Credits? 
  • IIRC, he's seen during the Dance Party Ending in a room behind bars and wearing a blue jumpsuit. Was he in jail? If so, how could he have been re-appointed Mayor as shown in those newscasts at the end of the story proper? More importantly, why? What crime(s) did he commit? Trying to find a cure for the victims? Preventing insane people from going on a rampage and hurting others? They found out he didn't cause the victims to go savage, so that can't be it... but it does raise another question. What did they arrest him for in the first place before they found out he was framed? They couldn't have arrested him for somehow causing the victims to go savage (ex. in some sort of Freak Lab Accident or experiment gone wrong) because the conclusion was "it's their predator DNA" — if they believed that was the case, what did they blame Lionheart for?
    • Illegally detaining people is a pretty big no-no in a civilised society. If he'd gone through the proper channels everything would have been fine, legally speaking, but even the mayor can't just capture and hold someone in some unregistered facility without knowledge of the police force or the court system, let alone their loved ones. How do you think the public or the justice system would react in our world if someone in the municipal government was caught covertly kidnapping and imprisoning mental patients?
    • Understandable, but if that's the stance the government took in-universe, how did he get reinstated as mayor? Which is correct — the newscast showing him becoming mayor again, or the shot of him in prison afterwards? Are they both true, and, if so, how? Or was that shot of him during the credits not in prison?
    • I don't recall a newscast showing him being reinstated, just being interviewed for his side of the story.
    • Considering the nature of his crimes, his public standing, and his motivations, it's entirely possible Lionheart is being held in a minimum security facility. As he appears to be in a good mood, it's likely he knows he will be Vindicated by History and will either work out how to get the charges dropped, or will get early parole.
    • Can you be mayor if you're being held in a minimum security facility?
    • Yes, the newscaster was interviewing him in what appeared to be an interrogation or visiting room, and Lionheart was dressed in a blue prison jumpsuit. There is no reason to think he had been reinstated as mayor.
    • No reason except one of the children's companion books to the movie says he was. Of course that might not be canon, we won't know for sure until a sequel comes out. But since the books are created with official endorsement from Disney, that at least suggests the idea is being considered and that they are willing to allow it, even if they might contradict it later.
      • Novelisations of films tend to be based on an earlier draft of the story because the script keeps getting honed to the last possible minute. It's possible that Lionheart was going to be reinstated in an earlier version of the script, but the creators ended up finding it unsatisfying, unrealistic or just plain unimportant when it came to the final product.
      • True. But as stated, until the sequels are made, we won't know if that novelization was based only on an earlier script, or if they do still intend to have him get his job back. Right now the book is all there is to go on.
      • A novelisation does not supplant the canon of the film, itself. The film shows Lionheart imprisoned even as the end credits roll, there's no ambiguity about this. If a novelisation contradicts this ending, it just means that it works with a different set of canon from the film.
      • But neither does the film contradict the novelization until a future sequel does so. While it is not ambiguous that he is in jail during the end credits, nothing in the film states he is going to stay so, or for how long (and in fact nothing is actually stated or shown to indicate who will become mayor next). The book claiming he is reinstated applies only to future events after the movie, so until the next movie is made and answers the canonical question of his fate, it can't be known whether the book version of events will apply or not. It all depends on whether the moviemakers think his fate matters, whether they want to deal with the ramifications of what him being reinstated will mean, and whether who is the mayor will even be relevant in the sequels (beyond assuming there's going to be one, of course). This isn't about being a fan of the character BTW, and he absolutely does deserve punishment. It's just noting there are variables involved, and until Disney decides whether the film canon will follow the book canon or not, we just can't know what will happen with him in the future.
      • Follow-up: it isn't a novelization that shows Lionheart as Mayor again, it's this official comic, images of which were posted on Twitter. While a future movie could still contradict this, the fact that the comic is considered official by Disney is a bit harder to dismiss than a simple novelization...
    • Personally I don't think it would be that shocking or unrealistic for Lionheart to get his job back. His crime was well intentioned, he was framed by a real villain, he admits his guilt and is obviously a model prisoner, he likely has a lot of friends in the legal world... and is slicker than an oil field. I agree that it's best left ambiguous however, because it would be at least a little bit of a glaring Karma Houdini.
    • It really just seemed like he was well on his way to being released and was being interviewed on his vindication, but just hadn't actually been formally released yet.
    • I would thoroughly disagree with the notion he did nothing wrong. The opposite in fact. He detained people without trial or appropriate authority, withheld information from the police that wasted police time and manpower looking for people that where already found, put the family and friends of the victims in great emotional and potential financial pain by hiding this information. Worst of all he ensured that only the available personal stopping savage animals were his wolf thugs instead of proper emergency services, which increased the odds that a savage animal was going to kill someone. His act of restricting the research to his private team delayed the search for a treatment, and since more and more animals were still turning savage he was in no way enforcing any sort of quarantine. In short, he made a bad situation worst and broke MANY laws. He is not getting off this. I am fairly certain the interview was in a holding cell and he was still in prison attire, so he is still awaiting sentencing and will not be getting off with his confessions and evidence.
      • I don't think he's in anywhere near as much trouble as that. Involuntary commitment is a real thing. Even in the real world, people can be taken up off the street and put in a mental institution if they present an imminent danger to themselves or the public. Clearly the savage animals do. Zootopia's laws don't have to be exactly the same as ours, and it doesn't make any sense to take a savage animal who's incapable of listening to reason, and take him through a bureaucratic "due process" procedure to get him out of public harm's way. The use of private, hired security to do so and not involving the police might be a different problem, but if a crazy person is on the street threatening to harm people, even in the real world you don't need a trial to institutionalize him for a little while.
      • Grabbing people off the street with private security without proper legal authority is kidnapping, NOT legal involuntary commitment. That requires a legal process, authorisation from judges, informing police and informing the public and family. Unless Zootopia is a dystopian dictatorship, none of what you claim applies.
      • The problem is that going through proper legal channels would have risked exposure of what was going on—namely that while they were getting the paperwork, going before the judge, etc., the condition of the savage mammals would have been revealed to the public unless the mayor was able to get a gag order to keep the public hospital staff and reporters from telling anyone. Once the news got out, there'd be panic, riots, and so forth like ended up happening, possibly even worse. Also, there was no guarantee if he had gone to the families of the missing mammals, they would have agreed to have them confined; if they were instead placed in a public hospital, this would increase the risk of exposure to the public, and also (since at that point they still don't know what was causing the savagery) the chance it could spread if it really was a plague of some sort. So while what Lionheart did was illegal, his reasoning was that he was preventing something far worse from happening—that basically the law was either wrong or was unfortunately interfering with the greater good, and that only by rushing to contain it as swiftly as possible, then study it in private, could they prevent a panic, protect people, and find a cure. I.e., Lionheart was in a To Be Lawful or Good situation, and believed that following the law would do more harm in the end, that acting quickly and secretly would do better in the long run. It's also entirely possible that he was having the legal paperwork drawn up on the side and intended to produce it at the same time they had a cure, so as to retroactively make everything appear legit, but this got undercut by Judy catching him too soon. What all of this means is that no, he isn't going to get out of jail (at least not any time soon) because he did break laws, but because there are mitigating circumstances the sentence is likely to be somewhat reduced. Particularly if Judy, feeling guilty for her part in falling for Bellwether's scheme, decides to testify on his behalf.
      • A comparison with a Real Life German case: Hamburg, 1962, a desastrous storm flood strikes. Contrary to New Orleans, Hamburg had Helmut Schmidt. He rips all competences to himself, even violating the Grundgesetz! (That the army may not be used for civil purposes.) Strictly judging by the book, he became a putschist crimelord that night. Countless lives have been saved due to his interference, and while his overstepping surely has been discussed in the aftermath, he never has been formally charged, and he became the most popular German politician ever. So, yes, it's quite conceivable that since Lionheart acted out of noble motives and in imminent danger, he will be fined with some symbolic public punishment ("not even the Mayor is above the law!") and then paroled.
    • Has anyone considered the possibility Lionheart managed to win re-election in the special election to replace Bellwether, and is serving time both in prison, and on the city council? It's been established that he's rather politically savvy (being a predator who won election in a city where, if Bellwether is to be believed, prey outnumber predators ten to one among his constituents). It's possible he was just that smooth-tongued and popular enough to get people to vote him back into power. Politicians getting re-elected from behind bars is not unheard-of in Real Life, though the laws on who can run for various offices vary from one time and place to another.

  • How come some ungulates (like the pachyderms, Bogo, Gazelle, the sheep) are depicted as having hands, yet some ungulate characters you see in the background clearly don't even have fingers and just have hooves instead?
    • Gulliver's Travels describes those horses (who walk on all fours but are sentient) as grasping things and scooping stuff in the joint between the hoof and the... ankle? I know nothing about horse physiology, but I remember the description made me think it was the horse-equivalent of the human wrist. Maybe that's what these upright ungulate animals use for a hand. But I can easily picture them occasionally asking animals for help with things they don't have the dexterity for like Dr. Dillamond does at least once in Wicked.
    • It would be comparable to a human having just one long, thick finger at the end of their arms, in place of a hand. Which is actually what ungulates have. The hoof is a highly specialized middle fingernail.
      • That's only true of horses (and their immediate relatives, zebras and asses). Every other ungulate has at least two fingers, and the same is true in Zootopia. The movie ungulates, like the carnivores, just have fingers that are longer and more prehensible than their real counterparts. The exception are elephants, who instead rely on their trunk (like in real life).
    • It's possible that odd-toed ungulates can use their ergot (the little bump at one of the joints above the hoof) as a thumb, similarly to the Gulliver's Travels method described above.
      • That's pretty much what the gerenuk - the only extant hoofed mammal to routinely stand on its hind legs - does with its forefeet, when it hooks them (very loosely) over a branch when browsing.

     You Know You Love Me 
  • About Judy and Nick's final lines... were they just messing around or were they secretly implying some sort of relationship?
    • Yes, in complete sincerity. A mark of excellent writing: Different viewers can interpret the exact same line or scene in completely different ways and debate and write critical papers on it for centuries — just ask Prince Hamlet and Petruchio. Even if the writers come out and say specifically say what their intent was for the line (but I'd bet any money it was meant to be ambiguous and open to interpretation), it matters not. That's what makes reading or watching a story fun.
    • What matters is that Nick and Judy still accepted one another, whether due to romantic attraction or plain platonic friendship. Nuff said.

     Interspecies Romance 
  • Regardless of whether different species can produce offspring or not, is Interspecies Romance a thing that exists in this world? Or do animals always and everywhere stick to their own species for a partner? One would assume that given all the commentary about stereotypes and Fantastic Racism, this MIGHT exist, but be considered extremely taboo, or even immoral to some.
    • Judy's noisy neighbors, Bucky and Pronk Oryx-Antlerson, are an oryx and a kudu. We have an example of an inter-species (and inter-genus) romantic gay couple which was confirmed as being married by Word of God.

     Zootopia Movies 
  • Late in the film, Duke Weaselton is seen selling bootleg copies of Disney's popular animated films. I'm kinda curious. If all human and/or human-like characters in these movies are played by animals, then who or what is playing the 'animals' roles? For example, the cover of Wrangled (a parody of Tangled) shows Rapunzel as a genderbent version of Maximus the Horse, so who's playing Maximus? Just for fun.
    • His role is taken over by the Captain of the Guard, probably.
    • Yeah, but then who's playing the Captain of the Guard? If he's a stand-in for Maximus's role in Zootopia's version of the movie, then does that mean all animal character roles just get dropped and let some other 'human' character takes over in Zootopian films?
      • Maybe. Maybe not. If you pay close attention to the opening, you'll notice that only mammals are said to have become 'civilized', in their words. So, going by that, anything outside Class Mammalia is still a 'normal' animal.
      • Or, in short: It depends on what mammals use for riding animals. Figure that out and you've got your Maximus. Same goes for pet species in various films. (At least Pascal from Tangled doesn't need a rewrite...)
      • Maybe they ride alligators...? Wait, why was that not in the movie! That would have been amazing!
      • Kinds of make you wonder what animal plays Mochi (The Hamada family's pet cat in Big Hero 6) and other similar roles, considering that cats, dogs or other similarly domesticated animals don't seem to exist in Zootopia. Does people in Zootopia even own pets anyway?
      • The sheep in Zootopia are domesticated sheep. Their ancestors look a lot like bighorn sheep.
    • Maybe the movies are not scene-by-scene translations of the original movies? And thus, both Rapunzel and Maximus are anthropomorphic horses in this version? Similarly, in "Floatzen", maybe Kristoff and Sven are simply merged into one single character? (Although on the "Floatzen 2" cover, the Kristoff equivalent appears to be a moose rather than a reindeer...)
      • I always assumed that the moose on the cover of "Floatzen 2" was intended to be Sven...

  • It seems like the world is set up pretty black and white between carnivores and herbivores... so where do omnivores fit in to this? are they forced to Pick a side?
    • The movie cleverly never uses the terms "carnivore" or "herbivore" — animals strictly classify each other as "predator" and "prey." In their eyes, if your species eats meat (even if it doesn't eat only meat), you're a predator (whether this is logical or not doesn't matter — racism is never logical). Omnivorous foxes, for example, are treated like all other "predators."
    • Omnivores certainly exist, but people are eager to make either/or classifications in the animal society, just like in ours.
    • Foxes are omnivores. Nick eats blueberries in the film, which is something that real foxes actually eat. Yet, Nick is classed as a predator.
      • Yeah, because of this, it seems fairly likely that omnivores would all fall under the "predator" category in this movie. I'd assume they'd only use the "prey" label for animals who are only ever going to be preyed on.
    • And we can probably assume that scavengers aren't classed as 'predators', although they may be stigmatized in a different way.
      • I bet scavengers are feared just as much as, and therefore treated the same as, predators because their species traditionally ate meat. That seems to be the standard that causes prey to treat a species as the enemy.
      • There are no mammals that are exclusive scavengers. Obligate vertebrate scavengers must be large soaring fliers, so only vultures are exclusive scavengers. Mammal scavengers are also predators.
      • While there are no mammals who are exclusive scavengers, there are non-predatory omnivores that eat a combination of vegetables and carrion. Rats and pigs are a couple good example of this. I think they would probably still be considered prey, however.
      • Pigs appeared in the film on the "prey" side of the debate. It's not eating meat that distinguishes predator from prey, it's hunting it. If you scavenge meat that's already dead, that's most likely given a pass, because it means other species' ancestors didn't have to fear being attacked by yours.
    • In a deleted scene of the earlier collar plot, they mention sharp teeth as the factor that distinguish them.
      • Wouldn't work. Rodents' incisors are sharper than pretty much any carnivore's, even though the majority of rodents are herbivorous.
    • "Predator" and "Prey" are the classifications from the original movie, with "predator" describing all of the animals that were required to wear T.A.M.E. collars and "prey" those that were not. While the collars were dropped from the plot, it is still highly likely that similar restrictions for "predator" species did exist in Zootopia's pre-civil rights era (Pine Marten Luther King, anyone?). Biologically, Nick is an omnivore, but in different times, he still would have had to wear the collar.
  • The main distinction line seems to be that "predators" used to hunt other mammals. In a world of sentient mammals, that would be seen as cannibalism. Many rodents are omnivorous, but they eat insects and worms. Pigs, who are really omnivorous and would eat meat of any kind when the chance arises, are nevertheless classified as prey animals, because they don't actively hunt other sentient beings.
    • Going along with that thought, it seems that it also matters which prey you prefer: big cats and wolves seem to be less looked-down upon than foxes, so you can speculate that big game hunters are seen as more chivalrous than others ("at least they take on opponents of equal size" - which might also be a reason the big police animals are on good terms with their carnivorous colleages; to them, the predator-prey-relationship is more of a sports rivalry compared to the horror small prey animals used to endure all the time). Foxes and weasles on the other hand mainly hunt small rodents, so they might be perceived as those who pick on the small and weak. On a sidenote, the victims of Nick's con scheme are composed of several small rodents and a rabbit - the usual range of prey animals for foxes.
      • On this note, it should be noted that the herbivores who worked for the ZPD before Judy were all hardly "prey" to begin with. Adult elephants, hippos, and rhinos have no natural predators. And while lions occasionally prey on the cape buffalo, they typically prefer smaller prey such as zebras because the buffalo are capable of defending against and sometimes killing lions.
    • Basically, it's not your ancestors' eating meat that makes you qualify as a "predator". It's your ancestors' making meat out of other mammals' ancestors.

  • Do sentient bats exist in this world, or did the only winged mammal not "evolve" with the rest?
    • Give the animators a break, they were limited to 64 species in Zootopia because animating individual body language for wildly different animal models takes time and effort. Bats just happened to be left off the list. You can assume that they exist and are sapient like everybody else, but just don't play a part in the story.
    • For what it's worth, in the toy line Clawhauser's action figure is packaged with a "bat eyewitness".
    • There's some concept art from early development of the film that shows bats living in special upside-down houses.

     Mr. Big 
  • Mr. Big is a crime lord who regularly ices his enemies. Did Judy just let him get away just because they were friends? Alternatively, she let him get away because it would be unwise against a Mafia... Still, I am kinda disappointed. I thought she was a good cop.
    • There is a difference between knowing something and having evidence. Mr. Big is a notorious crime boss, but they do not actually have anything solid they can use against him in a court of law.
      • While Mr. Big is certainly upfront and unapologetic about being a criminal, it is never actually revealed WHAT kind of crimes he is committing. We know he threatens to have people "iced" (but have never actually seen him following through on these threats), but beyond that, all we know by the end of the film is that he owns a limo company.
    • The thing with pursuing a legitimate businessman like Mr. Big is that they have plausible deniability on their side. Sure, he was about to "ice" Nick and Judy, but he didn't actually do it, and it's not proof of any other wrongdoing other than a threat against trespassers that could easily be tossed out of court by application of a high-powered lawyer. At the time, I'm sure Judy was more relieved she was not gonna die than attempt to take down an entire crime syndicate with no investigation.
      • Also, they develop some kind of friendship with Mr. Big because of his daughter. It's possible that they just talked to him later and persuaded him to cut down on the lawbreaking. (If a scammer like Nick can become a cop, then perhaps Mr. Big can change too.)
      • Pardon me, but there is a world of difference between what Nick did and what Mr. Big did. Nick was a small-time crook who engaged in some minor scams and tax fraud. Mr. Big is a powerful crime lord who is implied to have murdered several people for business reasons in the past. Letting Nick off the hook for all his help at the end was understandable; letting the shrew off after all the things he did is something else entirely.
      • Key word there is "Implied". He may actually not have murdered anyone, and simply uses it as both a threat and coercive method to get rivals to back off of his turf. Plus, even if he has, there's no evidence of it.
      • Judy is just one cop. The last time she tried to force Mr. Big to cooperate her in solving the case, it almost got her and Nick killed. Yes, at the end of the movie, she does gain the respect of all of the ZPD and could easily call down the thunder on Mr. Big's crime syndicate, but throughout the course of the movie, Mr. Big is never shown committing any illegal or immoral action (besides almost icing several characters, but that's just business) and accepts Judy into his good graces. If Judy decides to become the good cop, attempts to put Mr. Big's entire syndicate out of business, chances are Mr. Big would be furious at her 'backstabbing' him and would've sworn revenge agaisnt her. Being a crime boss implies lots of underground connections in the city that doesn't really bode well to Judy's future. And if Mr. Big's reputation is well known, the ZPD must've heard of him before, but decided to do nothing even before Judy became a police officer, suggesting that they prefer to leave him alone, either because of bribes or he's a benevolent crime boss who sometimes assists ZPD where and when they are unavailable (such as perhaps patrolling in Little Rodentia, where big police officers can't get in). Maybe Judy leaves Mr. Big alone because she already considered that his good points outweigh the bad, and as long as his syndicate doesn't directly interfere with her job or threaten to throw Zootopia as a whole into chaos, she can leave him alone. Besides, since Judy already got into Mr. Big's good graces, she can ask for his syndicate's help in some difficult case that the ZPD cannot crack alone. In other words, Mr. Big's organization is Judy's unofficial 'asset' Like that one time she and Nick dragged Duke Weaselton to him and ask Mr. Big to interrogate him. Sure, it means Judy let Mr. Big get away with his crimes, but that doesn't mean he's totally off-the-hooks since Judy already knows about his organization and how to bring it down if she really has to (Mr. Big's daughter would make a good bargaining chip). So Judy might think that the two can have a mutually beneficial relationship as long as they stay within each other's rules.
    • Mr. Big is a career criminal; he probably wouldn't see anything unusual in Judy (in her professional capacity) being determined to catch him. If there's one thing a mafioso understands, it's the concept of 'Nothing Personal'.
    • Besides, I think cops are not the ones that go against the organized crime, it's federal government (which is imply in the movie to exists, as she threatens Nick saying that he committed a federal crime by tax evasion).

     Anyone need coffee for this investigation? 
Judy and Nick seem to spend the entire 48 hours investigating the Otterton case. Day to work through the naturalists and DMV, Night to talk with Mr. Big's people, at which point Bogo gets mad and Nick points out they still have 10 hours, going into a rising sun for a new day when they go to check traffic cameras, which then gives them the rest of the day to reach the secret hospital, at which point Lionheart gets arrested and Judy gives her first press conference. Now with all that running around, finding leads and the like, how in the world were Nick and Judy able to keep going like that without needing Coffee, sleep or anything like that?
  • It's not shown what Nick and Judy were doing during the period between checking the traffic cameras and reaching the hospital at the dam, so maybe they took some time to get some rest. Like you say, the traffic camera checking was in the morning, and they reached the secret hospital in the evening. If they had done some more investigation during the gap between these two events, it would've been shown in the movie, so we could imply that they simply waited until evening to go there because they would have some advantages (Judy has good hearing, and Nick can see well in the dark).
  • Maybe they fell asleep at the DMV.
  • Some animals are nocturnal.
  • While it's certainly not the healthiest thing, staying awake for 48 consecutive hours isn't a particularly hard feat. Factor in the near constant drip of adrenaline they'd be getting and maybe a 20-minute nap here and there (buses and subways are good for that sort of thing) and it only gets easier.
  • They also could have had some coffee at Fru Fru's wedding.

     Tiny Bellwether 
  • The animals in Zootopia are supposed to be the same size as their counterparts in real life, and for the most part this seems to be consistent in the film, but somehow it breaks down with Assistant-Mayor Bellwether, who is a fully grown sheep, but just as short as Judy, who of course is a rabbit. Even more confusingly, the other sheep in the film are realistically sized. Is there such thing as a pygmy sheep that I should be aware of?
    • There are miniature sheep bred for cuteness and to eat vineyard weeds, but they're still a good bit bigger than rabbits.
      • But are they bigger than hares? Because I think Judy is actually supposed to be some sort of large hare.
    • Hey, if there are dwarf-sized Homo sapiens, I can buy that there are dwarf-sized sheep who just happen to be much shorter than typical members of their species.
      • So when the Mayor chose her as a token vice-mayor, he went all the way? Prey, small, female, domesticated (if that's an issue), glasses, and disabled?

    What hustle? 
  • "It's called a hustle, sweetheart." The thing is, as Nick explains to Judy, nothing he just did was technically illegal. Technicalities aside, we didn't see him do anything dishonest, either — he bought a product and sold it for a profit (which he apparently had full legal permission to do). Even calling the popsicle sticks "redwood" doesn't count because if the mouse really had a problem with the red dye, he wouldn't have bought them. The only dishonest thing we see Nick do is trick Judy into giving him $15, so if she hadn't gotten involved, there would have been no hustle at all! Why do Judy and the promotional material characterize Nick as a con man again...?
    • While the explanations below do good job analyzing the legality of Nick's venture. The context of Nick's statement is in response to Judy saying "you lied to me, you liar". To which Nick fully admits he hustled her with his "elephant-son" routine at the ice cream shop (especially since, at that point, he didn't know that Judy had followed him around to see the other things he did).
    • It's the emotional manipulation, which is admittedly one of the least serious cons out there (and it is out there, as many examples on Not Always Right show), aided by the blatant lie about Finnick.
    • The best scams are always legal. That way, while you may have done something unethical, you haven't done anything for which you'll go to jail.
    • True, but what's unethical about legally buying a popsicle and turning it into something you can legally resell for a profit? Nick didn't target Judy, so if she hadn't gotten involved, would he have tricked someone else into giving him $15, or would there have been nothing unethical about his plan at all?
    • We know he would have tricked someone else into it - that's why he pulled the "oh darn, left my wallet at home" bit. The bit about his kiddo is to sell the con. And yeah, it's a relatively minor con, but considering it's a kids' movie, they might be trying to avert Do Not Do This Cool Thing by not showing all the steps needed to commit an actual crime.
    • What makes it a hustle is that Nick is doing a superficially legal business while sidestepping all the conventional systems of distribution, leaving no paper trail for his acquisition of the raw materials of his product, thus making it easy to avoid most of the fees and all of the taxes for his enterprise. That he managed to con some bunny into even paying for the said raw material itself is just bonus.
    • Yeah, the hustle is the tax evasion, which is how Judy manages to blackmail him into helping her in the first place. What he's doing otherwise is just sort of regular old arbitrage, and even the fake kid thing seems to be just in order to get the racist elephant to sell him the popsicle in the first place.
    • First, he used the roof of a building and a gutter (violating both the health code and trespassing laws) to funnel the melted popsicle into the jars. Then, he poured the liquid into somebody's footprints in the snow on the ground (another health code violation) to mold and re-freeze it. A legitimate business would have to buy food-grade molds and spend time and money making sure the work area was sanitary, which would increase their prices. In short, Nick is able to undercut his competition by cutting so many corners that a legit business would have lost their license and/or been sued into oblivion. (There's also the sales tax he didn't pay, but we don't even know if there even is sales tax in Zootopia, so call that one a maybe. Another "maybe" is whether those licenses he was waving around are forgeries or not.)
      • Since Nick and Finnick are selling their pawpsicles from a street stand, they only face the same regulations as a child's lemonade stand. Because of this, it's all right for them to use a clean clay roof to melt the Jumbeaux Pop, a clean glass bottle to collect the liquid, the clean feet of Finnick's elephant costume to make the molds, and clean pawpsicle sticks to hold the frozen result. (And since the pawpsicles bring in about $72, they don't have to worry about sales tax.) If they were a licensed food producer, of course, it would be a different story.
      • ^ They are a licensed food producer. Nick shows his license to Judy. And Judy implies that, without a license, the sale would have been illegal. So who knows, maybe children's lemonade stands have to be licensed in Zootopia. Or maybe there are different laws for children vs. adults, and Nick is an adult.
      • He has a license to run a business, though I couldn't make out if it was specifically a food license (which would require a lot more hoops to jump through). In any case, Judy only needed the threat of reporting him for tax evasion to get him to do what she wants. Nick was undoubtedly breaking some rules in processing those Pawpsicles, but the tax evasion bit would've been the easiest crime to accuse him of: Judy has a confession from Nick and his documents. Judy has no hard evidence for any of the Pawpsicle scheme. It is possible, however, that Nick and/or Finnick owns the house with the roof they melted the big one on and the land where they created the snow molds and that they somehow keep the whole thing within Zootopia's health laws. (Though, at least in the United States, it's illegal to sell food that was prepared on the ground.)
      • Selling from private property (like a lemonade stand) is considerably different from selling from an inner city sidewalk. For one thing, selling off private property means you're more easily traceable, should your customers suddenly drop dead. And Nick does seem to have a food license, though how he got that is a riddle for the ages.
      • ^ I'd assume he took an online class and paid the licensing fee like anyone else.
      • There are some places where neighborhood lemonade stands are illegal.
    • Even if the scam is 100% legal, and you don't consider it's shadiness to be enough to qualify it as a "hustle" or a "con", Nick would probably still call it a hustle to play into his "They want a sly fox I'll give them a sly fox" persona.

    The Villain's Plan 
  • So the plot to the movie is kicked off when 14 predators go missing, and the police are trying to find them. Turns out, Assistant Mayor Bellwether is having them injected via sniper with a seemingly permanent rage-inducing plant in order to cause a big panic and gain power. Okay, so why on Earth (/Zootopia) did she do it to the first 14 victims in such private circumstances that the Mayor was able to kidnap them before anyone saw? If she can cause anyone to go crazy at any time, and she wants to cause a panic, why wouldn't she do it in the most public way possible, like at a crowded mall, or busy street, or someone who was on live television? I could maybe understand doing it that way for the first couple when she's testing the Night Howler and the reaction, but 14? Her plan only succeeds (temporarily) because Judy and Nick manage to find the facility (albeit with some minor help from her), infiltrate it undetected, find the savage animals, hear the badger doctor's theory that it's biological, escape undetected (all within 48 hours), and then give an insensitive press conference repeating the badget doctor's theory. But all she needs to do is have her super-sniper hit a couple predators in the middle of the day somewhere...which is exactly what she starts doing *after* the press conference.
    • If predators suddenly started going savage in public, it might tip off the authorities that it is an unnatural cause with someone being behind it all. By starting slowly, it makes the cause of the "outbreak" harder to track down, while pushing Mayor Lionheart into a panic that prompts him to start an incriminating cover-up.
    • If you shoot a predator in broad daylight, there's a chance that someone will see the "bullet" as it hits the victim. Even just watching the victim react for a moment when he says "What just hit me?" (before the serum takes effect) is an important clue. And the last thing you want is for the public to suspect that this is all the result of sniper fire. In order to incite prejudice, you need people to believe that predators are going savage for no reason. That's what'll get people scared.
      • Bingo. Manchas and Nick both stagger and fall over when they are shot. Even if the predator's response is just something as simple as "Ow, something just bit me" right before going savage, that's still enough for the rest of the populace to rule out all of the culprits the conspirators want them to focus on.

    What was the villain's original plan had they gotten the case from Judy? 
  • Had Judy given Bellwether the case without suspecting anything, it wouldn't take long before she found out nobody turned it into the police or reported the conspiracy, which would have led her to conclude Bellwether was in on it. After she's earned Bogo's respect and the whole city has come to regard her as a hero, was Bellwether banking on nobody believing Judy if she told them all about finding the lab and who took the weapon and serum from her? That would also require believing Judy would never try to stop her again and that no doctor would subsequently at least look into Night Howlers as the cause or trying an antidote for Night Howler poisoning. Even if they'd gotten the case, the whole plan was blown now that someone knew why predators were really going savage. So if she wanted to keep up the secret, her only option was to kill Nick and Judy. But in that case, why keep up the innocent, friendly act after they had Nick and Judy surrounded and not drop the act until after they ran?
    • Affably Evil. I don't think Judy and Nick were ever going to be allowed to leave the Natural History Museum alive and/or civilized...
    • She could have tampered with the case before turning it in. Then, she throws all her support behind Judy, proclaiming her as the one who uncovered the conspiracy, putting her on as high a pedestal as possible. That way, when the crime lab reports that the (tampered-with) case wasn't the cause, Judy falls and falls hard in the public eye. Sure, Judy and Nick know that the poison is real, but have no way to prove it. With enough psychological manipulation, Bellwether might even be able to convince Judy that she was mistaken; after all, at that point, her only information about Night Howlers came from her mother's story from when they were kids. It wouldn't take too much to plant some self-doubt in her mind.
      • This probably wouldn't have worked since the moment Judy suggested the possibility of night howler poisoning the doctors working with the afflicted predators would have started testing that theory. This would then blow up in Bellwether's face once the tests came back positive despite the case not being related to the predators going savage. More likely the villain was grasping at straws since no one was supposed to even find out about the lab let alone get their hands on key evidence.
    • I'm under the theory she needed the case as it was the only remaining doses of night howlers they had left. Assuming the lab contained all their supplies (raw and refined), then that case is all that remained (about 3 shots worth judging from my memory) to continue incite the public's fear. It might take too long to both establish a new secret lab and acquire enough night howlers to make another shot (who knows how long that would take), which means it could be possible that the lack of new cases may lead the cooling of the public. As a result, it was imperative to place the case under the conspirator's control as soon as possible to keep the remaining samples safe. As far as I was concerned, Bellwether considered them as good as dead to keep the truth hidden.
    • I think that Bellwether would have knocked Judy and Nick into the pit, and fired the serum at Nick; exactly what she tried to do after catching Judy and Nick after they didn't hand over the case.
    • Or after getting the bag, she would have just ordered her ram mooks to grab Nick and Judy, take them somewhere where she would have tried to convince Judy to join her, while injecting Nick with Night Howler serum, and if Judy refuses her offer, releasing him on her. The scene would have played out similarly to the actual movie, but without the chase and Bellwether having the upper hand.

     Mrs. Otterton 
  • Did she knows that her husband works for Mr.Big, or that he's visiting naturalist club?
    • He had been going to the naturalist club for six years by Yax's estimate, but for the purpose of taking yoga classes — not exactly anything unsavory (just taboo). If anything, the fact that the naturalist club is a revelation speaks less of the Ottertons and more of the overall incompetence (or apathy towards the "little guys") who failed to list Yax and Nhangi as leads in the initial report.
    • There's nothing wrong about going to the naturalist club, nor is there any indication that he hid it from his wife. But to say that he "works for Mr. Big" is a slight stretch - he sold the man flowers.
    • Mr. Otterton working for Mr. Big is pretty clearly stated. Mr. Big refers to him as "my florist." and "like a part of my family." if Otterton knows about any of his employers more illegal ventures is uncertain.
      • That still does not mean Otterton works for him; only that he is a recurring client. Which, given that they were planning a wedding, probably meant they were seeing a lot of each other as of late.
    • Given Mr. Otterton is hinted to be going to Mr. Big to talk to him about the disappearances, he is almost certainly aware that Mr. Big is an important person with considerable resources. It also makes it clear that he personally trusts Mr Big with this information, and his protection afterwards. I'd say he likely knows what Mr Big does, though he's kept on the outskirts of the organization. I'd wager any jerk who harasses any of Mr. Otterton family might find some polar bears 'gently' suggesting said jerk modify their attitude, but that's about it.
    • It's likely that anyone Mr. Big does business (shady or mundane) with on a regular basis is considered an "associate" and friend. Since Mr. Big is a tiny Don Corleone parody, he presumably likes to be seen as a friendly community figure who people can bring their problems to. Consider how Bonasera the mortician came to Don Corleone for justice, or how Enzo the baker was willing to stand with Michael to protect his father when he was in hospital out of respect for him, despite not being part of "the family". Mr. Otterton was most likely on friendly terms with Mr. Big, a regular customer, and when he worked out about the Night Howlers thought to bring it to his attention first rather than the police. He's not an "employee" of Mr. Big.

     Marine mammals? 
  • Pretty self explanatory. If all the mammals evolved to anthropomorphic sapience what does that mean for marine mammals. That there are otters in Zootopia indicates that at least some marine mammals evolved. Is there an under the sea whale, dolphin, etc.-topia?
    • A map of Zootopia found in one of the extra features documentaries shows highways going underwater via Shark Tunnel in the southeast, and another map has a massive archipelago to the northwest with its own districts and neighborhoods, suggesting that they might live there.

  • Zootopia has ice cream shops, which imply that milk is used on an industrial scale, but all the mammals are essentially people. Do mothers just sell their milk?
    • Also, cheese is a familiar product (Judy's interjection of "sweet cheese and crackers"), and Nick refers to Judy "milking it" in a metaphorical sense.
    • The film never specified it was dairy ice cream and the juice stand in the train station when Judy first arrives has a "Coco Nut-Job" drink on the menu that lists soy milk as one of its ingredients. The existence of a plant-based milk would explain how ice cream and cheese exists.
    • Either it's plant milk as listed above, or, since Homo sapiens see nothing gross about drinking milk from cows, goats, or other species, it's possible other sentient mammals would adopt the same custom. It's not hard to imagine that it's perfectly acceptable in this society for female cattle or goats to sell their milk.

     Weaselton's Job 
  • Why did Weaselton need to steal the Night Howler bulbs? Given that they're just a cheap insecticide, couldn't they just be bought legally?
    • Two possibilities: They're strictly regulated and/or the Big Bad needed a larger quantity than they could buy legally.
      • Judy specifically tells Bogo after capturing Weaselton that the bulbs he stole were not for a run-of-the-mill plant but a "Class C Botanical", but Bogo cuts her off before she can explain further. (Considering it's revealed to be an insecticide, as well as the effect it has on the mammals, this is a nice case of Foreshadowing.) So it's very likely that it's regulated and Weaselton wouldn't be able to bypass that unless he had a special license or official dispensation—something that would have looked strange for a grubby thief like him and could have led to an investigation that eventually culminated in the Mayor's office... And even if none of that happened, the price for the Night Howlers may have simply been more than Weaselton could afford, even with the money Doug paid him.
    • There's also the possibility that the villains didn't want anyone looking into animals who've bought Night Howlers recently in the case the real cause of the contagion was discovered. Better hire a small time crook and make sure that he wouldn't go to the police with suspicions by incriminating him in the process.
    • Maybe he's just been so much of a scumbag that he's rather well hated by a large amount of people.

     Nighthowler Residue 
  • The Big Bad infected predators by firing concentrated balls of Nighthowler essense at them. We see these balls explode in a smattering of blue liquid. Why was this residue never discovered on any of the predators Lionheart's team was researching? In some cases like the Panther I assume the rain may have washed it off, but that couldn't have been the case for all of those afflicted.
    • The pellets are shown to be fired long-range. And we do see a blue splatter. The fact that Big Bad wasn't alerted by the appearance of a large blue splatter suggests that the splatter is there. In fact, that splatter likewise disappears. So it's likely that the Night Howler serum is quickly absorbed and doesn't leave a residue when its concentrated like that.
    • The victims also seem to have torn off all their clothing during their initial frenzy, meaning whatever residue wasn't in direct contact with their bodies would've been left behind at the location where they were exposed. Neither bystanders nor the wolf capture-teams spotted the "savage" creatures until later, after they'd had time to wander away from their abandoned clothing and either lick the residue off themselves (if it tasted good) or rub it off as irritating (if it stank).

    "You can't just touch a sheep's wool" 
  • I'm almost afraid to ask this, but... what is "touching a sheep's wool" supposed to be a metaphor for? A white person fascinated by a black person's hair...? A man fondling a woman's breasts...?
    • It doesn't have to be a metaphor for anything. You can see Zootopia as a metaphor for human situations, but you can also just as easily see it as a story that takes the premise of a World of Funny Animals and has realistic situations that arise in that world. In the latter interpretation, the ’touching a sheep's wool‘ taboo would be a detail of Worldbuilding that is not meant to mirror anything real, but instead to show the kind of thing you might expect to arise in an animal society.
    • I think the metaphor is intentionally ambiguous. The point is that, as Nick says, "Sheep don't normally allow me to get this close." So he feels like he's finally being accepted as something other than a Scary Predator. (Obviously Judy was the first prey animal to treat him with respect, and now it seems like Bellwether is the second.) And at the same time, he's being rude and invading someone's personal space, which is why Judy tells him to quit it.
    • It'd be like a stranger walking up to someone with an afro and poking it- common decency would say not to do it.
    • I thought it was comparable to running your fingers through the hair of a woman you don't know- you just don't do that. You don't touch a strange woman's hair.
    • I thought it was more like the "cute" situation between Judy and Clawhauser, where it's innocently... speciesist? to the point that most people don't even know it's something you shouldn't do.
    • I think it's pretty obvious that you shouldn't just touch/run your hands through a total stranger's hair.
    • It is exactly white people wanting to "pet" black people's "weird" hair, something that is unfortunately a fairly common patronizing occurrence in the U.S., at least.
      • Insensitive, yes. But not necessarily patronizing or even malicious. Many such occurrences are little more than simple curiosity. Most white people have never touched a black person's hair, just as Nick had never touched a sheep's wool. He just wanted to know what it felt like.
      • It may not be malicious, but I can attest that it feels quite patronizing, and very unnerving. Like someone's, well, petting you like an animal.

    Why hamsters? 
  • Remember those chubby, business-suit-wearing hamsters that Nick and Finnick sell their Pawpsicles to? Why did the creators choose to make them hamsters? What stereotype are they supposed to represent?
    • The animals don't all represent specific stereotypes. (Consider the elephants, for instance. We see an elephant cop and an elephant yoga instructor, which are two things that have no stereotypical connection.) I figure someone at Disney just realized that hamsters look funny in business suits, so they made a lot of businessmen hamsters.
    • The "hamsters" are intended to be lemmings, they emerge from "Lemming Brothers Bank" and they act out the untrue but generally believed "follow the leader" lemming gag.
    • There was a lemming in the original script involving shock collars. Nick asked for a loan to open his "no collars predator theme park" to a lemming banker, then to an elephant banker, and both turned him down. It seems that the first joke they thought up was that Nick was getting the exact same treatment from a dwarf and from a giant, and they made the dwarf a lemming and not a mouse so they could make a pun on Lehman Brothers. In the end they discarded the scene, but gave the already created lemming model a different purpose.
    • On the other hand, hamsters would make a good Animal Stereotype "banker". Cheek pouches and food-hoarding, y'know. So maybe they're hamsters and their boss is a lemming?
    • In addition to all of the above, the models were a reuse of the "Gerbil Jerks" who run over Nick's tail in the first-draft version of the film. It saved a lot of time and money to be able to reuse an existing character model.

    Who does Judy know? 
  • Would someone please help a confused troper out? I assumed that the kid playing the tiger in the play at the beginning was Clawhauser, but when Judy first meets Clawhauser in the city, his dialogue indicates that they've never met before. So does that of Duke Weaselton, who I assumed was the weasel who bullied Judy alongside Gideon. So, none of the main characters grew up together? That kid playing the tiger and that weasel bully are completely separate one-shot characters?
    • Correct, none of the main characters grew up together. Since Zootopia is about a world of animals, it makes sense that you'd see many foxes (or many weasels etc.) who don't know each other and aren't really related. The kid playing the tiger in the opening play is actually a jaguar and the weasel who is Gideon's buddy is called Travis.
    • Who is a black-footed ferret, not a weasel, by the way.

    The victims of Night Howler poisoning 
  • How does Bellwether decide which predators to target? Are the Night Howlers' victims just chosen at random?
    • It's basically random. Judy notes that all the savage predators were different species, and I assume Bellwether planned it that way because she wants people to fear all predators, not just some of them. She also probably picks victims who are (relatively) alone at the time of the attack, to minimize the chance that some witness will spot Doug doing his dirty work. Also, it may be that Otterton suspected that something was up (he apparently wanted to meet with Mr. Big for some reason), so he was targeted specifically in order to shut him up. And then the panther was targeted to shut him up, because he had heard Otterton say something about Night Howlers. But aside from those two, I think it was pretty much random. Bellwether wanted people to feel afraid, after all. Savagery is scarier if it's unpredictable.
    • The victims seem noticeably spread about the city, likely for the same reason as them being different species. Bellwether doesn't want it to look planned, and preferably not even like a disease.
    • Priority #1 would be ensuring that the actual moment of infection is not witnessed, ergo they were likely targeted because they were in positions where they were unseen for just long enough to be infected, but not so long that it would not be understood as something that can occur quick and abrupt.

    Why Mr. Otterton? 
  • Why did Doug hit Mr. Otterton with the Night Howler capsule instead of Manchas?
    • Because Otterton was his target. Apparently Otterton was suspicious that something was happening behind the scenes, which is why he wanted to talk to Mr. Big. Doug targeted Otterton in order to shut him up.
    • Mr. Otterton is a florist, so he would know about plants and recognize or guess at what was going on.
    • This is supported by the fact that he is already talking about night howlers before he went savage since from what we are shown the night howlers take effect too quickly for him to tell Manchas what was happening to him.
      • But then this leads to a different headscratcher- why didn't more people in Zootopia recognize the effects of Night Howlers? I mean, there's got to be plenty of florists in this city, not to mention biologists and doctors who had to have heard it. I find it really hard to believe that knowledge of the Night Howlers and the "savagery" symptoms were limited to Mr. Otterton and the country bumpkins of Bunnyburrow.
      • Even doctors and biologists don't know everything there is to know in their profession, instead they mostly specialize in limited aspects of their field (mind the badger doctor who is completely unaware of the possibility that a poison of some sort is involved - since they are dealing with "savage" behaviour, she's most likely a psychiatrist and may not know much about toxicological symptoms of poisoning with a specific insecticide). Given the backwater nature of Bunnyburrow, it might even be that the use of night howlers is not common anymore and the knowledge about is somewhat restricted to country bumpkins who still use it in the traditional way - or some florist who wonders why exactly the sale of these nice blue flowers is restricted (and possibly why some of them were stolen from his store). Many people might not know more than "heard they're somehow poisonous" about them.
      • On the flip side, if it's normally ingesting the plant that causes the problems, who would ever think that fourteen carnivores ate a plant? This might fit in with the idea that maybe the effects of non-concentrated Night Howler poison is temporary; this predators aren't getting better; they're not snapping out of it. Add to this the fact that one of the things that the doctor says to Mayor Lionheart is that "it may be time to consider their biology", I wouldn't be surprised if the doctor has assumed it was something inherently predator-ish, and was looking more for predator specific illnesses/issues rather than poison.
    • Otterton's flower shop may have also been stolen from by Duke Weaselton, and, given his connections to Mr. Big and his familiarity with the slang "Night Howler", he very likely knew about the effects of the plant's toxins.
    • Manchas was driving a car at the time. Had he gone savage that moment, he likely would've crashed the car in his throes, killing him and the only witness of his attack and thereby not progressing the bad guys' plot.
      • Also, Manchas's window was closed. Even if the pellet could penetrate glass, it would leave a highly suspicious bullet hole in the glass, evidence of an outside assailant. Also, if it could penetrate glass, it would have just killed him.
    • Consider this possible sequence of events: It's possible that other victims were seen going savage before disappearing (whether this is the case or not is not made clear in the movie). Doug goes into Otterton's shop to buy as many Night Howlers as possible. Otterton starts gathering them up to sell and mentions off-hand that ingesting them can make you go crazy. He has a "Eureka!" Moment and realizes that they may be connected to the animals going savage. Doug says something along the lines of, "You know too much, you're next." Otterton, fearing for his life, first hides out at the Naturalist Club (he must have been nervous - Yax mentions that he stayed clothed while he was there), then calls Mr Big to tell him what was going on. The only question remaining is why, while running in fear of his life, he would stop long enough to buy a popsicle from Nick. It's possible that the answer is simply: Nick is that good of a salesman.
    • He could have bought the popsicle as a way to appear nonchalant, or an excuse to pause and scan the street out of the corner of his eye to see if he was being followed. There are lots of ways to account for minor details.

  • Judy calling Weaselton "Weselton" was a great Mythology Gag and Actor Allusion. But in-universe, it doesn't make sense. How could she have mispronounced his name like that? Unless it was a Malicious Misnaming. But then, if that was the case, then how did Judy come up with Weselton? Why not something like Peeselton or Cheeselton? (The latter would also make a great Take That! towards a certain infamous CGI movie.)
    • Maybe in Bunnyburrow, "ea" is pronounced "eh." It would probably be prejudiced in-universe to automatically assume a mammal's name pronunciation relates to their species.
    • Or it could be a case that she's met someone named "Weselton" before in the past and assumed the name was pronounced the same way. Similarly spelled names can have widely different pronunciations, even in our world. For a comedic example, we have Doctor "FrAHNkensteen" from Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.
    • Also possible that she didn't see the 'a' in his name and made a best guess from what she had seen.
    • I think, the easiest explanation is that she saw the movie. Which does exist in-universe, although under a different title.
    • Ever wondered why Reading, the city, is pronounced Redding? It's because in the olden days, 'ea' was pronounced 'eh'. So "reason" sounded like "resin" and "feast" used to rhyme with "guest". Assuming "Weaselton" was pronounced "Wesselton" isn't too odd, especially since it sounds a bit like an English-style surname.
  • The bigger question is: Why do the captions and closed-captions on the dvd spell the word in Judy's line as "Wezzleton"? Even if whoever wrote that hadn't seen Frozen, the gag is all but lost without the Weselton vs. Weaselton similarity.

  • Why does Doug look more realistic than all the other animals? At first, I thought that exposure to the Night Howler serum was changing his appearance to a "normal" sheep. But the fact that the serum doesn't revert animals to their instincts, it simply makes them savage josses that idea.
    • Generally, a head-scratcher question should try to be answered in-universe but, in this case, there's not sufficient reason presented in the movie to provide a plausible explanation and we have to revert to story-telling in animation. Basically, all background sheep in Zootopia are presented with their natural rectangular irises and realistic appearance with three exceptions: Bellwether, Sharla and her brother Gareth. They are rendered with Cartoony Eyes and a more anthropomorphic body form as they are characters the audience is supposed to connect with. Doug, Jesse and Woolter, although minor characters, are left with the rectangular irises and realistic appearance because it makes them look scary and sinister.

     48 Hours 
  • The 48-hour timeline seriously doesn't add up. On her second day in Zootopia, Judy catches the weasel. Once she's done she gets chewed out by Chief Bogo, and by the end of that conversation she has 48 hours to find Mr. Otterton. So she finds Nick, forces his cooperation, and they go to the naturalist club where they learn the number on the license plate. Once that's done, Judy comments that she only has 36 hours left. Wait a sec. Judging by the shadows, it was roughly noon when Judy caught the weasel. 12 hours later ought to be midnight, but it's broad daylight on both occasions. Ok, so maybe there was a delay she didn't actually talk to Chief Bogo until about 6pm, in which case 12 hours later would be 6am the next day. That's daylight on both occasions, right? But then you'd expect the lighting to indicate sunset/sunrise, which it doesn't. So ok, maybe somehow she caught the weasel around noon but didn't talk to Bogo until 10pm that evening, in which case 12 hours later is 10am the next day, in which case the lighting in the post-Naturalist scene is reasonable. Then they waste the rest of the day at the DMV. It's night when they track down the limo, and it's still night when they meet Mr. Big. It's still night when they meet the Panther, and just after that they talk to Bogo and Nick points out that they have 10 hours left. So ok, what happened here? If it's night time and 10 hours remain, maybe it's 4am and the deadline is noon. But we've already established that the clock couldn't have started at noon, because then "12 hours later" would be midnight, which it wasn't. So maybe it's 6am when Nick talks to Bogo, so it's nighttime but dawn is nearly here? Well no, because then the deadline is 2pm, which means the clock started ticking at 2pm two days ago, which means "12 hours later" should have been 2am, which is definitely not what we saw. So maybe it's actually 10am and the sun doesn't rise till 11am for some reason. Gah, this doesn't make sense! On top of that, the sun rises when they're on the sky-tram, but once they find the secret lab at Cliffside (the one with the wolves), it's nighttime again! Did it take half a day to travel from Zootopia to Cliffside? And if so, doesn't that mean that more than 10 hours have passed? Or did the sun come up and then immediately go back down again, for no reason? Or maybe it really is supposed to be daytime during the Cliffside scene, but it's so cloudy that you can't tell the difference (somehow). But even if you ignore that, the rest of the timeline doesn't make sense. My friend suggested that Zootopia takes place on an alternate Earth which rotates at a different speed from our own, so one day no longer equals 24 hours. Except that, ya know, Chief Bogo specifically states that "2 days" and "48 hours" are the same thing.
    • Maybe when Judy says she only has 36 hours left, she was being imprecise? Except that she proved earlier that she's really good at math (when she calculates all of Nick's tax-dodging), so yeah...I don't know...
      • If Judy had claimed that she had 24 hours left post-naturalist club, rather than 12, the timeline would work out. She got her mission at noon, then she recruited Nick around 11am the next day (having spent the previous day looking up his tax records or whatever). Then they spend an hour getting to the naturalist club, which gets us to noon again and "24 hours left" (with our altered dialogue) and when Nick talks to Bogo later it's 4am. And then Cliffside only looks dark because it's stormy. So yeah, this just may be a writer's math error that nobody noticed until it was too late.
      • It can't be handwaved with Cliffside just looking dark. When Clawhauser goes to inform Bogo of the call, night lighting shows through his office blinds.
      • For the gap between checking out the traffic cams and going to Cliffside, I ascribe to the above theories answering other questions that they waited until nightfall to go to Cliffside, both for the advantage of the cover of darkness and to get some much-needed sleep.
      • It isn't Cliffside that just 'looks dark' but the Rain Forest District. the heavy canopy of rain forests cause reduced lighting in the lower level of real world rain forests. The scene where Clawhauser is playing with the Gazelle app on his phone while Judy is trying to call for help is lit like there is sunlight coming through the large front windows of the ZPD HQ and Judy and Nick don't see the sunrise they just ride out of the canopy into the sunlight. This would suggest that the confrontation with Manchas takes place in the early morning of the last day.
    • The timeline is thrown off solely by Judy's "36 hours comment." Judy brings Weaselton to the station during daylight working hours, and Bogo immediately calls her into his office, where the 48 hours begin one short conversation later. It's still daylight working hours when Judy finds Nick; the two of them immediately go to the naturalist club, and after their brief encounter there, Judy says she has "36 hours" left (while it's still bright daylight and both private and government offices are still open with no sign of getting ready for closing). If this is the same day she and Bogo made the deal, there's simply no way 12 hours passed; if it's the next day, there's no way only 12 hours passed, no matter how close to sunrise or sunset, to evening or morning, or to opening or closing hours you try to make either scene unless Zootopian sunlight works like Alaska's (which it never does otherwise). That discrepancy aside, everything checks out. If Bogo and Judy made their deal in the late afternoon, then Nick's statement of "10 hours left" (and Bogo pointing out it's the second day) right before sunrise makes perfect sense, as long as their encounter with Manchas took place the evening of the day after Judy made the deal, not the evening of the same day. This interpretation, however, does require that Judy didn't start her investigation until the day after her 48 hours began — that is, that she didn't go to recruit Nick until the next day. Why would she wait that long to start? That's wasting one-quarter of the time given to save her career. You'd think she would have gotten started as quickly as possible. Well, maybe she used up the rest of the first day looking up his tax records or just couldn't find him. This also means Judy technically didn't solve the case until after her 48 hours were up, but I certainly wouldn't expect Bogo to hold her to her promise to resign under the circumstances!
    • Another speculation on this timeline is this: Everything, as mentioned before would work out if Judy didn't mention that 36 hours thing after the naturalist club. Also, the fact that Chief Bogo wanted her badge after '2 days' at the rainforest and Nick mentioning right after that, they had 10 more hours. Because it was obviously morning when they went out of the rainforest district, and probably late morning when they met Bellwether (remember, Mayor Lionheart told her to 'clear his afternoon'). So the Cliffside MUST have happened on the second evening (they took a nap maybe or had other adventures or watched Hunger Games with Finnick) and they solved the case by night of Day 2 with more than 10 - 12 hours to go in her deadline. Let's assume the deadline started at noon thereabouts on Day 1. However, why did Judy mentioned 36 hours, Bogo mentioned 2 days and Nick mentioned 10 hours? Assuming this isn't a writer mistake, the only reason would be Judy lied, Bogo is bad at maths and Nick also lied. Why? For Judy, it would simply be to make it more look as if it's more urgent by snipping off 12 hours from her deadline as opposed to just a few. This might make Nick feel a little more urgency in getting what she wants, or else he would be in a slammer. If this bunny isn't above blackmailing, I am sure she's able to throw in a few bluffs here and there. For Chief Bogo - he probably forgot he gave her '48 hours' - and in his capped buffalo brain, he just summarised it to "2 days". He gave the deadline on (say) Noon on Day 1, and he met her in the wee hours of Day 2. So even if it was just around 18 - 20 hours into the deal, it was already in "day 2" for him. And he just wanted to get rid of the token bunny. At that point, Judy, who is good at multiplying, probably was aware of this discrepancy but was so disheartened with the talk, she was ready to give in. For Nick? He probably just came up with that number from nowhere. He didn't know when the deal started because he never knew about the deal until Bogo's rant. He just wanted to keep talking to keep Bogo out of the conversation and to buy time to get away with Judy while still keeping her badge. He knows that if she gave away her badge, there was no way they would finish the investigation. He's a hustler, sweetheart!
  • When they first meet Mr Big, his daughter describes Judy as 'the bunny that saved my life yesterday', implying that her arrest of Weaselton and confrontation with Bogo took place the previous day. When she finds Nick and forces his help, it seems like he's heading off to start the day's work, meaning it's morning. It's fair to assume that by 'thirty-six hours' Judy was just approximating, as in 'I have about a day and a half left, the rest of today and most of tomorrow'. I'm fairly sure this is what the writers intended: her deal with Bogo was made in the mid afternoon and she presumably spent an hour or two looking up Nick's tax forms, then either couldn't find him or figured he'd gone home for the day. In the first full day after the deal was made they visited the naturalist club and then the DMV, then spent the following night visiting Mr Big and then Manchas. Bogo tried to force her the quit on the basis that morning was breaking on the day the deal expired, but Nick pointed out that they still had ten hours left. If this scene takes place at around five or six in the morning, that would give them until three or four that afternoon, forty-eight hours after the deal was made.
    • About the possibility that Judy lied by shaving off 12 hours, and then taking FruFru's 'yesterday' remark as mentioned above, it seemed that one full day may have passed before Judy finds Nick, in which case she instead has less than 24 hours to find Otterton, thus saying that she has 36 hours to Nick instead means she actually have less time than what she says, which is a different flavor of lying to keep Nick on the leash longer than she would have otherwise.
  • Bogo didn't expect Judy to actually solve the case as did the "old" Nick. Also, prejudices against "cute" animals as officers.
  • In addition, look at Judy when Nick says "ten hours" — she runs the numbers herself and they don't add up. She knows she isn't supposed to have ten hours left, but she's not going to give up the extra time Nick just gave her

    Judy's Uniform 
  • This is a minor one, but why is it that Judy seems to wear a different police uniform from most of the other officers? This is most obvious when in the squad car with Nick at the end. We see that Nick has the officer hat, tie, etc., while Judy's uniform looks considerably different. Can anyone explain this one?
    • Judy appears to have swapped the tie for a bulletproof vest, and added a pair of gloves too. This isn't unique to her, a rhino officer is also showing wearing pretty much the same. It appears only the shirt and trousers are standardized, and you can add other regulation items as you see fit.
    • It's like how in Hot Fuzz Nicholas Angel wears a bulletproof vest on the beat while no one else does. It's just their style.note 
    • I note they're both super enthusiastic overachievers. I can imagine the other cops sitting there asking if she expects to get into any firefights giving out those parking tickets, and just glad they don't have to peel their uniform off after a beat in Sahara Square.
    • In some particularly dangerous precincts, cops are required to wear a bulletproof vest at all times. Since the vests are heavy, uncomfortable and hot, however, few bother. That Judy dutifully wears hers like this may be used to showcase how crazy she is about being a perfect, proper cop.
    • Also, it could be a physical aspect. Judy is seen using her agility and speed to get around and accomplish things, which a looser, baggier uniform would get problematic. Thus her use of a form-fitting, jumpsuit-like uniform. The rhino might use similar due to the complications of a horn, instead using a zippered jumpsuit to make getting geared up easier.

     The wolves guarding the feral animal facility? 
  • So who are these guys? They probably aren't cops, right? And they were likely hired by Mayor Lionheart. They're at the same time a bit too and not military enough to be private security. Do they confirm the existence of mercenaries in Zootopia? Because a pack of wolf mercenaries sounds pretty badass.
    • They might be secret service types, but for the purpose of plausible deniability mercenaries would be better. Doug and his cronies also seem to be mercenaries, so there is precedent.
    • Not to be argumentative, but I'm not seeing much daylight between 'mercenary' and 'private security' in this context other than connotation. They're both persons hired to provide security services (in this context anyway) for someone else.
    • You are right that the name is misleading, most mercenaries throughout history generally being private individuals employed to provide security. Still I think he meant the wide gulf between “Rent a cop with a nightstick” and “commando with laser targeted stun gun”. Not only are these guys packing heat in a city where weaponry is almost non-existent, they’re also taking down feral animals, kidnapping them, and transporting them to a holding facility without being seen. They also wield their weapons and enter rooms with clear military precision. Simply put that kind of training isn’t the kind you put to use catching shoplifters, these are the kind of guys who you hire to clear protesters from your illegally sited diamond mine.
      • They're wolves. Coordinated tactics are kind of their whole thing. They probably didn't even know it was illegal; the head scientist at least thought the police were in on it.
      • There ARE private security companies that have guards that act in a more police/military/'secret service' manner. They're the sort of individuals you would see being contracted to protect wealthy celebrities or CEO's, and more than a few tend to have a military or law enforcement background.

     Nick and Judy Should Be In Jail 
  • When Judy uses the recording on the carrot pen to blackmail Nick, there is audio evidence of Nick committing a crime punishable by jail.
    • Since Nick never gets jailed, Judy should not be able to stay as a cop since she tried to cover up a crime.
    • Maybe Nick did pay up for it during the Time Skip between arresting the Big Bad and becoming a new cop? Also, when Judy gave Nick her pen recorder back during the press conference, Nick might just deleted it during between then and Judy apologizing to him later, so there's no evidence. In addition, if that logic applies, then Judy should've brought the police force down on Mr. Big's mafia gang as well, because Mr. Big, despite his generosity to her, is still a crime boss and is implied to kill people in cold blood occasionally (not to mention trying to kill her and Nick during their first encounter). Is Judy in the wrong for not reporting in Nick and Mr. Big's crimes to the force? Yes, she is, absolutely. Though it might be justified that she may have come to an agreement with Mr. Big so that his syndicate can be her 'underground' ally in solving difficult cases in the city, and that she won't take them into custody as long as his syndicate doesn't directly interfere with the police force and supports them when needed. As for Nick's case, he genuinely tries to be a good person to make up for his past misdeeds by joining up the police force, plus his crimes aren't really directly hurting anyone (he just avoided paying taxes for two decades) so Judy decided that she can let it slide. Think Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet. He let John Silver go despite knowing he's a criminal and the captain of the ship wants him to be taken into custody because he realizes that Silver is a better man than most credited him for.
    • Actually, a pretty simple solution is that like most of those light sound recorders, it only holds one thing at a time. It records once you hit the button for it, and once stopped, it saves everything in that span until another recording is made to replace that. It's very clearly a novelty pen, and I am admittedly taking the official merch version of it in mind as well, so I'd have easily assumed it works in a many to any other such novelty recorder. It may have an insane storage capacity, at least, but it's very safe to assume it works on the principle of "When you hit record again, the previous message goes away so this one can replace it".
    • Judy commits dozens of crimes during the film, and simply continuing to associate with people like Mr Big likely constitutes committing more every day. She doesn't seem to care, and to be honest neither do I. She's a likable and effective anti-hero, no better than Nick really. The movie is pretty much about flawed people in a flawed society, trying to make a better world in complex situations that don't always line up flawlessly with the law and accepted morality. I love Zootopia precisely because it sits nicely in my ideal spot on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism.
    • It's not really an issue, Nick was effectively acting as a Confidential Informant for Judy and dismissing relatively minor charges in exchange for assistance is common practice with C.I.s.
    • As Nick made clear the day he met Judy, the only "crime" he's ever committed is tax evasion — hardly heinous enough that Judy would feel motivated to turn him in, and, with the only piece of evidence to that effect gone, she has no fear of the Feds finding out. While technically violating the law in its most literal form, it's not like it's going to hurt anyone, and I can't imagine anyone in Judy's position valuing enforcing the Federal tax code over her friendship with someone who helped her so much.
    • It's also plausible he was granted a pass on it because he was so key into bringing down a terrorist.
    • A recording of a guy saying he doesn't pay taxes isn't actually enough to arrest him for tax evasion, it's barely enough to open an investigation. To actually nab him they'd have to do an audit and find a paper trail proving he made that much money in the first place. If Judy decides to believe Nick was just posturing with his "$200 a day" comment, there's no need to report it and no investigation, and after solving a mass abduction case who's going to question her deductive reasoning there? As for Judy's other "crimes" they were all mostly just inaction, but she wasn't obligated to take on any of them in the first place. Cops on major cases don't need to dole out petty justice to every petty criminal they see because it would get in the way of solving their actual assignment.
  • Charges would be dropped anyway.
    • Does no one who asks these questions know how the legal system works in real life? It's not strictly a case of Black-and-White Morality. Police officers and others will often make deals with criminals for information in exchange for charges being diminished or even dismissed.

     Jerry Jumbeaux Jr. runs an ineffective business. 
  • Why does Jerry Jumbeaux Jr., the elephant who runs the ice cream parlour, refuse to serve Nick? Granted, it seems to be a prey only place - but that's the part that doesn't make sense. Jerry is hurting his own profit refusing to serve predators. If his customers usually had an issue with predators and he wanted to be perceived as being 'family friendly' or something, that would make sense, but the only person who seems to have an issue with Nick in that scene is the elephant at the till. Everyone else is either not paying attention or just annoyed that he's holding up the line, not that he's a fox. Being really cynical here, most businesses don't care about justice until it affects their bottom line, but the elephant is hurting his own profit by refusing to serve Nick. It isn't as though it's a weapons store and he won't serve predators because he thinks it'll come back to bite him later - it's just an ice cream parlour. It kind of seems that Jerry is a hardline species-ist for the sake of plot and not for any reason that can be explained or understood (granted, discrimination is largely irrational, but this seems too convenient).
    • Why assume it's about him being a predator? Nick has been "running scams for years". Jumbeaux might have heard of his reputation or even been the victim of another similar scam before, and is therefore reluctant to have him in his shop even if he doesn't exactly know which (if any) hustle Nick is currently running.
    • Maybe serving a predator would have caused Jerry's customers to find somewhere else to go? The ones in the shop didn't seem to be bothered by Nick, but Jerry could have still been worried that serving a predator would taint his business. Prey outnumber predators ten to one, Jerry would be far better off catering to prey rather than predators. He could have just been that prejudiced against predators, or against foxes, and he would rather take a small hit to his business. Alternatively, he knows Nick is going to pull a scam. He doesn't warn Judy because she calls him out on the health code violation.
      • The prejudice against predators did not become a thing until Judy unveiled Mayor Lionheart's cover-up. The elephants were specifically prejudiced against foxes, since they're stereotyped as criminal lowlifes. The whole thing is meant to remind people of the treatment of coloured people during the Jim Crow laws, and their unofficial continuation in some places.
    • People are not rational, and will take a hit to their own well-being to spite someone else all the time.
    • There's an alternate version of the elephant ice cream scene, where Jerry explains he doesn't want to sell Nick such a massive pop because he expects neither of them to be able to finish it, meaning it'll be both a waste of food product and a mess he'll have to clean up when it melts before they get a fraction through it.
    • Racism/speciesism isn't rational. There's no rational reason for any bar owner to not serve blacks either, or for Nazis to not buy from jewish shops. They just did so because they were racists. Jumbeaux doesn't care if it hurts his business, he just doesn't want foxes as customers, end of story.

     Useless doctors (Ending Spoiler)
  • The ending reveals that the "going feral" is caused by a concentrated dose of something in a common plant that has a similar effect. An effect which is well-known enough that hospitals stock the antidote. The antidote which is later proven 100% effective on victims of the current crisis. Judy personally hadn't heard of it, but it turns out to be common knowledge even in her own family thanks to an incident with another rabbit being effected. Anyone with access to a search engine should have been able to make the connection, much less the doctors who've been secretly researching it for weeks.
    • Counterpoint: Putting the information into the search engine requires one to guess at over a dozen random carnivores eating the same (uncommon in the city) plant. If there were more doctors working on it and/or doing so openly then the odds of tripping over this go up, but as it stands someone in a position to notice a spike in demand for an obscure and toxic flower if not getting an unusual amount of orders for same would be in a better position to spot things than a few stressed physicians at a secret site. Also recall that Hopps' leg had at least halfway healed before Otterton recovered, indicating that the cure had to be ordered if not manufactured at best.
      • They wouldn't have to guess the plant, the symptoms should make it the first thing to come up. It's like how bath salts got famous after that video of a guy eating someone's face went around, and that guy wasn't even really on bath salts! Which, come to think of it, would be the problem — there's never just one source of a symptom.
    • I'm not so certain about "stock the antidote" part. I think it could very well be that the antidote was only invented after it became clear what is causing this. Seems reasonable that inventing an antidote would be much easier when having a real, concentrated, poison, than just samples of patients' blood.
      • Indeed, if one goes and rewatches the movie they never said that hospitals stacked the antidote and in fact it had to be manufactured after the cause of the disease was discovered.
  • Taking something out of the Fridge page here; We know that the effect of super-concentrated Nighthowler toxin can last at least two weeks, but there's no direct hint that they will last forever. The body is relatively equipped to flush out some toxic chemicals, as hinted by Uncle Terry's case where after accidentally ingesting some Nighthowler, he eventually recovered. Going back to the Fridge info, after the savage animals are transferred to legal hospital, given who the mayor is at that point, there's a chance that instead of being cured, they are regularly dosed with Nighthowlers, perhaps this time not necessarily in super-concentrated form (there's no need to be sneaky at this point). So the speed of which the cure is found is probably also because when the cure is found and administered, the victims are all under less-severe dosage of Nighthowler poisoning and thus easier to cure compared to if they just get hit by the toxic pellet.

     So it's, what, a bathtub maybe? 
  • Nick realizes who rents the white limo when he finds a tumbler engraved with a 'B' for 'Mr. Big'. The tumbler was a bit oversized for Nick: exactly how was Mr. Big supposed to use a glass that size?
    • The B carved on the cup was a logo, not a name tag. Mr. Big owns Tundratown Limo Service. Those are the cups that come in his limo fleet's mini-bars. Either the car he sent to pick up Otterton was only stocked with larger-mammal-sized cups, or only larger-mammal-sized cups got knocked down in the struggle.

     The villain's plan 
  • Bellwether's plan was a little confusing. Let's say Nick and Judy hadn't stopped it. What did the villain intend for the predators? Did the character want them removed from the city, or forced to have to serve prey animals, or to plunge Zootopia into an outright race war? The twist comes so late in the film that it was hard to tell.
    • Could be both. After Judy said her speech, tensions are already high between preys and predators. One wrong move and it could start a race war, which is exactly what Bellwether wanted. She said in her Motive Rant that she wants to unite all preys against a common enemy (predators) so clearly she wants to turn Zootopia into a prey-centric city. I myself have a theory that she is going to turn Zootopia into what Zootopia could have been in the original script, where predators are forced to wear collars and keep them in check. Something like that.
    • It's actually simpler and more direct: The plan was to incite fear of predators and use that fear as a lever to gain power. Had things continued to progress, there would likely have been temporizing about how, obviously, loyal predators should not be targeted, but some sacrifices must be made in the name of safety. The plan would essentially require predators to continue to exist, at least for a while, so that any sign that the fear was waning could be met with a sudden resurgence of the "disease".

     Wolf police officers 
  • Why do the wolf officers wear ZPD shirts instead of police uniform tops like everyone else, Judy being the exception. Nick is almost as big as a wolf, yet he doesn't wear a ZPD shirt like they do. It could be because he's Judy's partner and needs to look professional, but still, why do wolf officers and only they wear ZPD shirts and not a police uniform top?
    • Different cultures in our world have rules about dress. Maybe there's some rule in wolf-culture that police uniform tops violate but ZPD shirts don't, so they're allowed to use that as their uniform on a normal work day when they're not making official press appearances or conducting a raid or the like.
    • Based on what's mentioned in the art book, it seems that the ZPD uniform code is fairly lax, taking into account the needs and strengths of different species. While it ended up downplayed in the film itself, any differences in uniform can probably be explained on these grounds.
      • McHorn and Rhinowitz are distinguishable from each other in their choice of attire. McHorn, who sat up front in the bullpen and gave Judy the "fist bump," wears the standard uniform. Rhinowitz, meanwhile, can be seen sitting in the back in what looks like a heavy S.W.A.T. vest. So there clearly is no dress code.

     Judy's uniform 2 
  • So while all the predator officers who were assigned to fight dangerous criminals were uniformed with normal shirts and pants, Judy who is a prey and underestimated by her workmates is given a uniform with bulletproof and protection like a S.W.A.T. when she was just assigned to parking meters?
    • I'm sure they have bulletproof and protective gear — they just don't wear them every day when there's no anticipated need to. Regular beat cops don't go on patrol dressed in S.W.A.T. gear. Judy's just so gung-ho and ready for battle, she dresses like she's gonna be in a life-or-death struggle every day.
    • Other members of the ZPD are seen wearing bulletproof vests in some cases.
    • It could also be due to the differences in uniform. Maybe the other officers are wearing the same gear under the loose-fitting gear. The vests don't look heavy, and could probably be hidden under regular clothes. Alternatively, Judy has the vest and such due to size. Projectile weaponry doesn't seem all that common in Zootopia, so perhaps it's more to protect against bites. Larger animals are less likely to be bitten or have something try to eat them. Thusly, Judy has the vest so that, should a bear or other carnivore try to get their mouth on her, she's got some protection.

     Night howlers should be illegal 
  • I mean, even in their natural state they make animals aggressive without needing any additional chemical process, even Stu said that Judy's uncle became berserk when he ate the flower, which means they're not different from any illegal drug plant from the real world, and the Hopps calmly plant them at their crop at the edge of the road without any problem, so why aren't night howlers illegal in whatever-country-is where Zootopia universe happen?
    • There are many garden and house plants that are very dangerous and not restricted at all. Oleander is commonly planted for its flowers, but is so toxic that some people have died after eating only one leaf. There is a species of rhododendron in parts of Europe and Asia that is toxic enough that honey made from its nectar is poisonous. The common daffodil can kill if you eat the bulb, and one relative of the daffodil is so toxic that just getting the juices of a cut bulb on a scrape on your hand can make you very sick. Morning glory seeds can cause hallucinations and severe diarrhea. Foxglove plants can make your heartbeat dangerously slow. Even plain old tomato and potato plants have rather toxic leaves.
    • While Night Howlers are in fact dangerously psychoactive, they are not apparently eaten on purpose, have legitimate agricultural use as an insect repellent, and were never weaponized before. As such, treating them as just another highly toxic plant makes sense. Of course after the events of the movie selling those things within Zootopia's city limits will be strongly discouraged.
    • While the "Class-3 botanical" were known to at least be poisonous enough to kill bugs, they were not widely known as a poison capable of affecting mammals (at least not drastically so).
      • Doug is seen dumping Night Howler into a pressure cooker almost as big as he is, which produces a Savage Serum pellet the size of a blueberry. The Serum is an extremely concentrated version of Night Howler poison, most likely chosen by the conspirators because the poison in its natural state is so mild that it was not even considered as a possible cause.
    • You can buy potent and highly dangerous natural drugs in any flower shop (and in extension, in every 24/7 in powdered form). Ask anyone with a brugmansia in his garden if he knows that it is a potent hallucinogen which can make you go berserk. For the most part, it's enough to tell people that a plant is poisonous to prevent them from consuming it (and anyways, who would want to ingest night howlers on purpose, given the consequences?). They are already restricted to prevent obvious misuse, but you just can't outlaw anything that will pose a threat if handled the wrong way.

     Sloth driving abilities 
  • As was clearly shown in the DMV, sloths move very slowly and have slow reaction times. Near the end of the film, Nick and Judy pull Flash over for drag racing. If sloths move and react slowly, then how exactly do they drive, let alone at high speeds which require both dexterity and quick reactions?
    • Two-toed sloths are indeed just as slow as the DMV sloths at all times. Three-toed sloths like Flash, however, have two speeds; their normal slowness and a speed sometimes referred to by injured zoologists as, "where did the six-inch gash on my arm come from". Three-toed sloths can move very quickly when angry or excited, so Flash should do just fine — but only at high speeds.

     Mr. Otterton's clothes 
  • When talking with Nangi, Yax recalls every single detail about Mr. Otterton, including every single piece of clothing he was wearing. But why was Otterton wearing those clothes at all when he was at the "naturalist" club? Isn't the whole point of the club that everyone's naked in there?
    • Members probably don't arrive at or leave the club naked. Seeing as Yax works the front desk he could easily see what they're wearing.
    • Yax mentions that he and Nangi actually walked Mr. Otterton out and saw him get into a big white car. Thus he would have been clothed at that point and Yax would have observed the details of what he was wearing.

     We solved the crime of the century! Now how do I get back on the force? 
  • So Judy and Nick manage to get 3 key pieces of evidence connecting Mayor Bellwether to the "savage" attacks. Presumably, they then handed that over to Bogo and prosecutors to be used in curing the predators and handled as evidence for the trial. That's all fine and good, but with Judy handing in her badge before this, how did she end up getting back on the force so fast that she could see Clawhauser moving back to the front desk? Did Bogo just suspend her from duty so that she could come back any time once she cleared her head? Did she have to go back through the academy again? Obviously the 2 were now considered true heroes once the media gets wind of this, but how did Judy manage to get back in so quickly? Nick went through the necessary steps as a new recruit, but how did Judy go so fast and end up the graduation speaker at his ceremony as well?
    • Why would she need to go through the academy again? She already has it on her record, that she graduated. There probably has to be some kind of procedure in order to take her back into the forces. Maybe she'll have to retake her exams, but there's no need to start her education from scratch.
    • It's a common trope: Da Chief receives a resignation letter from The Hero on Heroic BSoD, but doesn't sign/process/whatever it, because they believe the hero will come around.
    • Also, Bogo is a reasonable guy, who already knows Judy is a good cop, and would be happy to help her hop through whatever the legal hoops there are.
    • Given the city was in crisis and having their most trusted cop resign would generate horrible publicity, it's possible that Mayor Bellwether and Chief Bogo decided to not immediately accept Judy's resignation and had her put on unpaid leave or sabbatical. That not only would have allowed Judy to be reinstated quickly but it also would explain Bellwether's "goof" when she called the ZPD and said "Officer Hopps is down" because Judy would've still been an officer at that time.

     The freight train 
  • Why was there what looks like a diesel-powered freight train on subway tracks? Freight and RT lines are always separate from what I've seen, so where did this freight train come from? Was it going to go into the subway tunnels? I didn't see any switch for trains going the other direction to leave the subway track.
    • Since the tracks go above ground, they're not "subway" tracks but "regional rail" tracks. Pure conjecture: Zootopia's rail system was designed so that, while local trains and long-distance trains usually use their own separate tracks, the tracks are linked, for use in emergencies or the like.
      • I can attest that where I live, the regional GO trains, long-distance VIA trains, and freight trains all run on the same set of about four tracks (depending on the station). The GO trains regularly use at least two tracks, and possibly three or all four, which means they're either likely or definitely sharing tracks with the other two types, even if not at the same time. And sometimes their paths and schedules do overlap, so that one type of train will have to be delayed in order to keep the track open for another type of train to pass.
  • What I wonder is, where was that freight train heading to? It was riding a single way (which is already pretty odd), which lead into the tunnel... to that very car Doug set up his lab in. They didn't pass any crossings or switches inside the tunnel either.
    • That's probably where they were going then — neither the train crew nor the higher ups who plan the schedules expected an abandoned rail car to be in their way. Meaning, if Judy and Nick hadn't shown up, the lab and anyone inside at the time were doomed anyway. Better not to ponder what the result would have been for the passengers, though...
    • Maybe the abandoned subway line merges with regional rail at some point - the city decided to just reuse some old trackway. The abandoned part of the subway line was possibly blocked off with a rail switch and during the scene, we never saw the other line that the freight train would have taken instead.
    • There were multiple tracks in that tunnel. Presumably it's one of those multi-track stations and they would have just gone down one of the alternative routes.

    When and how did Mr. Otterton learn of the Night Howlers? 
He seemed to have a pretty normal day, the last time he was seen. He bought a popsicle, visited the club... then suddenly hurriedly contacted a mafia boss and was taken to see him. What happened in between? He didn't seem so incredibly serene and enlightened as to behave completely normally until he was picked up. When did he have the time to learn anything? At the club?
  • Maybe he had a "Eureka!" Moment as he was in the club practicing yoga. Meditation boosts thinking, after all.
  • Being a florist, it's possible he may have been approached at some point by someone from Doug/Bellwether's group to obtain Night Howler bulbs for them or he may have had some stolen from him like the other florist in the movie.

    First bunny officer 
Am I the only one bothered by the fact that throughout the entire history of this universe (which certainly lasted just as long as ours) there was literally NO first bunnies or other tiny animals enrolled on the force? It makes absolutely no sense if Zootopia follows the general history of human advancement in technological and social areas, and doesn't make double sense in the universe itself where they literally have tiny cities that were supposed to be controlled by bears and rhinos, who are the size of those cities themselves. If the scriptwriters sacrificed logic by making a point about following your dreams, this was one of the most peculiar decisions in the cartoon. Is there a better sounding explanation to Judy's special status?
  • I think you misheard something. Judy is the city of Zootopia's first bunny police officer, not the first bunny police officer ever. There could be, and probably are, bunny police officers in Bunnyburrow, but Judy probably sees such a job as boring, hence her wish to go to the city. As for why she's Zootopia's first bunny officer, simple logic should explain that. There doesn't seem to be very many bunnies in Zootopia in the first place. Zootopia doesn't seem to be that old as a city either. Most of the buildings look pretty pretty new. The ZPD is also using the London Metropolitan Police's original hiring standard in using larger animals. The Metropolitan Police used to intentionally hire larger men for intimidation factor and so that they could overpower any opponent. Only with the introduction of tranquilizer darts does Judy have a similar chance of overpowering a large criminal.
    • As noted above, Zootopia has entire districts for small animals. So the London example doesn't really fit here - ZPD would indeed need small cops by design, and there's no reason why Judy wouldn't fit there.
      • Rodents are the only ones shown to have their own exclusive section, though we also only see ZPD Precinct 1. Maybe other precincts are more tailored to particular sizes. If that's the case that would explain Chief Bogo's frustration with Judy's placement; she's been put in entirely the wrong place for political reasons.

     Escape through the toilet 
  • Judy and Nick are able to escape the old hospital's patient cells because the toilets are designed for large mammals with wide pipes. Why didn't Otterton do the same? He's a small mammal of similar size to Judy and even in his feral state his first instinct should be to escape captivity by any means possible.
    • In a 2016 podcast featuring the writers and directors of Zootopia this exact question came up and it's now been confirmed that Nick and Judy were locked in a cell that was sized for an elephant thus they had an oversized toilet to use for their escape. Otterton was placed in an appropriately sized cell and it was not possible for him to escape using his toilet.
    • You can read earlier answers to this question below...
    • Especially curious since Mr. Otterton belongs to a species that is known to be very good at swimming. However, it's possible that at the asylum, different cells have different-sized toilets. Note that Otterton was taken to the asylum and locked up by the wolves intentionally, so he might have gotten a cell with a toilet appropriate to his size. Judy and Nick, on the other hand, got accidentally locked into the cell when the alarm went off; maybe the cell was meant for a larger mammal such as a bear or a tiger.
    • It doesn't seem likely that a feral otter would have understood that a toilet was connected to the outside world through pipes and therefore a possible means of escape.
    • A more disturbing thought is that all sewage seems to lead directly into the river. Not only is it environmentally bad, Nick and Judy would probably be smelling terrible when they emerged from the river!
      • Considering that their life was in danger, smelling bad was the least of their concerns. Plus the asylum looked abandoned so sewage output was probably minimal, they landed in the river at the bottom of a waterfall so the water would have been "fresher" helping to rinse them off and they likely took a shower before the press conference.
      • The asylum is an old abandoned building, which was only recently converted into a secret research facility, so it's possible that when it was built, it actually was common to dump all sewage into the nearest river, even if that's no longer the case.
    • Given that Zootopia goes to great lengths ensuring that everybody gets to live comfortably regardless of the size, it's entirely possible that the asylum had specialized cells for different mammals, placing Otterton into one with a small toilet. Judy and Nick were lucky enough to hide in an elephant-sized cell.

     Where do insectivores stand on the "predators vs. prey" relation? 
We see Judy's landlady, who is an armadillo. This makes me wonder which side insectivores fall into. I mean, they may not eat mammals, but they still eat other animals, and when it comes to predators, even animals as harmless as otters are feared.
  • Probably prey; I doubt that the animals in Zootopia see insects as any different from plant material as food. Otters, despite being harmless piscivores that never eat other mammals, are probably seen as "predators" only due to their similarity to weasels and ferrets.
    • Technically some river otter species (including the one depicted in the film) are known to kill and eat small mammals if they get the opportunity. Aquatic creatures like fish are just the staple for them.
  • It's possible that the "predator" designation starts and ends with the carnivora order. I don't think that we see any evidence to the contrary in the film.
    • Which means that pandas, despite being primarily herbivorous, are still classified as predator rather than prey. Either way, Judy mentioning the "predator family", Taxonomic Term Confusion aside, implies that this is indeed the case.
      • It's not surprising that a world with multiple sapient species and a completely different natural history than ours would have a different taxonomic system than the one our world uses (ex. "predator" is a Family, which probably doesn't correspond exactly to the term in our classification system anyway).
      • On the other hand, every character is identifiable as (the evolved descendant of) a species that exists in our world, and Mr. Otterton's case file does identify him as Lontra canadensis, which is the proper scientific name of a North American River Otter (nevermind the Fridge Logic on how canadensis derives from the name of Canada, a country that may not exist in Zootopia's universe at all). This implies their taxonomy is similar to ours.
  • Although armadillos are insect-eaters, they aren't active hunters of insects. They dig them up, they don't chase them down or ambush them. So they may be regarded as non-predatory, sharing the instincts and foraging habits of tuber-eating vegetarians, despite the fact that they're ingesting animal protein. Anything that only has molars for teeth and needs a coat of armor for defense is definitely going to fall on the "prey" side of the fence.
  • It seems to be a social/political construct more than a scientific one. That it's overly broad and not all that consistently defined is part of what makes it so good as an analogy for... pretty much everything really.

     Why Do Stu and Bon tell Judy that they would not consider Gideon Grey as their partner had Judy not opened their minds?  
The last time we physically met Stu and Bon, Stu was going to give Judy a fox taser. Then the next time was on the phone where they celebrated Judy's Meter Maid assignment. And the next call was in Cliffside which was never taken. It could be that between Judy's misunderstanding with Nick and her quitting the force, she might have spoken to her parents many times about how Nick has helped her in her case and how foxes are not all sly or conniving. We know that was one week (based on the newscaster's timeline), and we know that right after the peace rally, Judy quit and headed back (211 miles, no problem for a Maglev) to Bunnybarrows and the very next day she was selling carrots. The newspaper that she was wrapping her carrots in revealed that the peace rally was 'yesterday'. So, in 'one week' between her tiff with Nick and her quitting, Stu managed to remove all his previous bigotry and prejudice and suddenly forge a business partnership with Gideon Grey?
  • The newspaper shows that there was a peace rally the day before Judy and Gideon meet, but nothing confirms that it's the same peace rally as the one Judy attended before quitting the force. Since the city is in an unrest, it's possible that there were multiple pro- and anti-predator protests. Word of God claims there have been three months passing between Judy quitting the police and meeting Gideon. But that raises the question, why did it take three months for Stu and Bonnie to ask how their daughter is, and how come Judy never once met her parents' business partner Gideon during these three months?
    • Didn't they confirm that most of the time skip was between the press conference and Judy quitting the force? That would make a lot more sense for the above listed reasons, especially given the unclear amount of time passing during the montage.
      • You are right, my bad. The majority of time passed between the press conference and Judy quitting, and she spent only a few days the farm afterwards - which fixes all the above mentioned continuity errors.
  • A deleted scene (see the blu-ray) has Judy's parents unexpectedly show up in Zootopia to surprise her and react with shock and fear when they meet Nick, prompting Judy to tell them off and make it clear how much she values his friendship and that she won't tolerate that attitude towards him. Maybe the "opened our minds" thing was the payoff of that scene, but even when the earlier scene was cut, the later one had to stay because of how it leads to the critical "Eureka!" Moment. In the story as is, Judy naturally would have told her parents all about cracking her first case and how much Nick helped her (probably between Cliffside and the press conference, since we don't know how many hours/days passed between them) — that could have made them rethink their own attitudes towards foxes.
    • That deleted scene directly connects with what Judy parents said about Gideon. However they didn't expect her to succeeded as a cop and she became famous in two days, so she may have inspired them to rethink about "anyone can be anything".

     Why does Judy go it alone? 
  • Why doesn't Judy just go to Bogo and the ZPD with what she knows when she realizes the truth about the Nighthowlers? Yes she's quit the force but she's still earned Bogo's respect and is regarded as a hero by the citizens of Zootopia, surely he'd listen to her. Then she could use the ZPD's resources and manpower to trace Weaselton and the Nighthowlers rather than risk going it alone with Nick.
    • A matter of honor — This Is Something She's Got To Do Herself. She messed things up; now she wants to be the one who fixes things, on her own — in her mind, it's her responsibility. Since she's not on the force anymore, if she reported what she knew, she wouldn't be allowed to be part of the investigation. The only practical question is why she got Nick involved — she says "I can't do it without you," but there's nothing in context to justify that statement. Unlike earlier, he has no information or resources that can help her this time. She had no practical reason to go to him; she clearly just wanted to make up with him that badly.
    • He was the one who told her who Weaselton was and where to find him, that was the point of his line 'I know everybody'. Given that he'd proved his ability as a detective earlier, Judy presumably figured she has a better chance with him as a partner. After all, she couldn't have exposed the animals-going-savage conspiracy in the first place without his help, he spotted the maintenance tunnel the wolves took Manchas through and persuaded Bogo to give her more time.
    • Also, it is always better to have someone covering your back.
      • Teaming up with Nick makes sense for getting it done if they have to do it alone — but it's written for the wrong movie! (Or at minimum the wrong beat in this movie.) This is a tactic that would make total sense while Judy and Nick are on the outs with the police, while the cops just won't listen to them (and/or they think something funny's going on so don't know who to trust). But when Judy could easily present the cops with the info? It is criminally irresponsible for her to have the sole information on what's going on and to fail to inform the cops about it — or, at minimum, leave instructions to notify the cops shortly if she doesn't call the notification off.
      • What should've happened: She's got the info, she phones Clawhauser or Chief Bogo, presents them with the information, then runs back to Zootopia to contribute however she can. Maybe she gets to the lab first, fine. Instead of grabbing the train, she steals the poison pellet then hides until the guy is gone, then calls in (or, preferably, texts in) the details, with photos of the lab, thus ensuring there's a good trail of evidence no matter what happens next — and allowing the cops to get there in a reasonable timeframe.
      • What almost happened because of Judy's stupidity and/or ego: People die because the information doesn't reach the city in time (because she didn't phone). Judy and Nick die and the evidence moves and boom! no case, no info on what's going on, no nothing — the plot continues to affect the city and eventually brings the whole conceit of predator-prey relationships crashing down around their ears, and not one of the infected animals ever gets healed. (Maybe they froth themselves to death, maybe they're mercy killed by the city, maybe they live out their lives in a sanitarium.) Possibly as part of that, Judy outright kills a bunch of people (and/or sets a bunch of buildings on fire) with a runaway train and/or train crash. Judy put all this in motion through a sequence of utterly insane decisions.
      • The thing is, a little bit of setup could've easily made all these things spur-of-the-moment no-other-choice things, and they would've been fine! The "So You Want to / Limit the Hero's Choices" page was made with this in mind! Try these on:
      • Why can't Judy just phone the information in? Maybe she tries, and the phone lines are too busy with the panic over supposed (or real) predator attacks. Maybe even show that the replacement for Clawhauser isn't anywhere near as good at the job as Clawhauser was.
      • Why can't Judy just give the information straight to the police and let them handle it? Maybe she's actually afraid to show up openly near the police headquarters, given how she exited and/or the way people took her words wrong no matter what she tried to say. Maybe she thinks showing up there might add to the panic. So say she sets the info up to be given to the police in some fashion — mail? Batsignal? tries to find some of them at their homes? leaves info with their landlord? — and then, frustrated that it's not working fast enough, runs off to do her own detective work. (Another possibility: If she's not sure who to trust, maybe she sees the supposed masterminds — actually innocent cops — near the people she wants to reach, and doesn't dare speak up openly in their presence.)
      • Heck, she could even leave a note specifically for Bellweather — which might improve the confrontation, being both a reason Bellweather finds out about them, a reason Judy is relieved to see her, and, once the Reveal happens, a further Oh, Crap! because the info that was supposed to reach the cops/city now never will.
      • Why can't Judy just tell the cops about the lab? Maybe the same thing, the phones are busy over the panic, the cops are running around doing what they can to reduce the panic. Ups the drama and the deadline: They don't have time to wait for proper processing of the evidence. Maybe she manages to get photos (another thing to burn up in the train crash), but cell phone power is out so she can't send them from this area. The easy exits are blocked by baddies. Maybe she manages to grab the poison pellet but gets found out and the pellet gets replaced or something (either through the capture of either Judy or Nick, or via an extra pellet they had). So the baddie's en route to poison another victim (make it a major one, one we know about and care about, one where we can see the consequences!), and there's still baddies blocking the exit, and the one thing Judy can see to do is realize they're actually in a train and pray to God the train actually runs (or maybe it's established earlier that the lab keeps moving along abandoned tracks so they keep from being located).
      • A few bits of establishing detail and rationale and these decisions would've been not only acceptable but the only possible solution. Would've made all the difference in that third act.
  • It's possible that Judy suspected that given how she was dealing with a conspiracy at least two layers deep, it was possible that ZPD might have been compromised (which it was, given the sheep officers Bellwether had with her). Even if she trusted Chief Bogo, other officers in the chain could have been in on it who could have used any info she sent in to tip off the perpetrators so they could avoid getting caught.

     "Framed Lionheart" for what? (Unmarked Spoilers) 
  • Bellwether states in the climax, "I framed Lionheart, I can frame you, too." What did she "frame" him for? Her actions helped lead to his arrest and expose what he was doing, but at no point did she cause him to take the blame for something she did. He's charged with falsely imprisoning mammals, which he actually did — there's no indication he was ever charged with anything he didn't do.
    • She meant that she'd set up the predators going savage as a conspiracy he was covering up so that she could have it exposed by Judy to more effectively influence public fear of them. And by doing this she could force him out of office and become mayor herself.
    • But he really was covering it up — she didn't "frame" him. If she had framed him as the one responsible, as the one causing the epidemic, the "predators are naturally reverting back to their savage ways" theory would never have come up.
    • It's Evil Gloating, villains usually get caught up in them and might mix up some details, especially to make themselves look better (or worse). Bellweather didn't frame Lionheart, but her scheming indirectly cost him his office and freedom, and put her in his place. She's just giving herself extra credit for beating him.

     Gideon's hair 
  • Where did it come from? If it was just him as an adult, I'd say hairpiece, but he has it as a kid. Did he just find a wig as a kid and decide he liked it or does it grow naturally?
    • It's just his hair.
    • This raises another question: where did that hair genetically come from? No species of fox I can think of grows hair, much less Gideon's species. Come to think of it, short of lions, almost no animal grows hair on their head. We see a shrew with one, but she's an adult. Is human-style head hair a natural phenomenon that just pops up independent of species? Did Gideon get it from his family crossbreeding with some species that naturally grew head hair a long time ago? If so, that raises some interesting questions for Fru Fru, a shrew who also has head hair. It could be coincidence, or it could be some weird common ancestor, or it could some weird cross-species mutation.
    • I figured it was just a genetics thing in Gideon's case that causes the hair on his head to grow longer than is natural (kind of like how some men actually cannot grow facial hair), and a wig or some really absurd extensions in the case of Fru-Fru and Gazelle (due to one being fashion-conscious, and one being a famous pop star). It's not really that common, after all. I think it's just those three, and the girls are the ones whose hair doesn't match their fur, so it's unlikely theirs is natural, but Gideon's is.
      • That's possible. However, one other possibility springs to mind. Maybe he's bald under there and wears the wig to cover it up.
    • I don't think it's literally hair, just styled fur.

     How exactly do Lionheart and his wolves manage to contain the savage predators quickly enough? 
  • When Manchas goes savage, Hopps calls it in immediately and asks for help. Yet Lionhert's wolves arrive faster than the police and take the jaguar away. Their involvement is the first real indication that there's some kind of nefarious plot going on with the animals going savage, but later we find out that it was Bellwether's, Lionheart wasn't involved in it and therefore couldn't have known it was being caused by an assassin using toxic bullets. So how did his wolves find out about a predator going savage so quickly if they didn't know where the assassin was going to hit? And how did they manage to arrive from their secret base way out of the city faster than the police? Even if there were cameras covering every single nook and cranny of the city, which there aren't, it would take a huge amount of manpower to constantly monitor all of them in order to achieve that kind of reaction time.
    • Lionheart most likely had his wolf team mobilized and monitoring police/911 channels 24/7 for any reported incident that could indicate an animal going savage. In Mancha's case, Judy even specifically reported a "10-91, Jaguar gone savage" and gave her location, when she called in to Clawhauser. That would have immediately alerted Lionheart's response team and given them the opportunity to beat the police there.
    • Also as the police forces arrive at the given coordinates, neither Judy nor Manchas are there, but they definitely can hear Judy screaming like hell from somewhere near. They can't tell if Judy is still in contact with the subject, but clearly there is an officer in distress, so they head there. The wolves on the other hand go directly for their target (they are supposed to have superior smell to identify an agitated panther on the loose) and thankfully, Judy even distracts the pursuing police forces from their location long enough. Plus they know in advance that they'll have to beat the police forces and evade them, while the others don't have a clue that there is a wolf S.W.A.T.-team operating in the nearby shadows.
    • As support for this, the map of Zootopia makes it clear that the Rainforest District is right next to the Meadowlands—which according to The Art of Zootopia is where Cliffside is located. I.e., Lionheart's wolves were much closer to where Manchas was running wild than the ZPD were.
  • Moreover, Lionheart' goal in containing the savage predators is to keep it a secret from the public. But how did he know it was going to be a problem when the whole thing started? When the first predator went savage it was just an isolated incident of someone going nuts. Lionheart couldn't have been prepared for that, so that one at least must have become public knowledge. And he (or anyone else) couldn't have known that it wouldn't be isolated, so the second one probably became known too. Only at that point could he see the pattern and go "uh-oh, this is going to be a problem if I don't contain it". How often do the conspirators strike? Would Lionheart even have time to establish the aforementioned giant operation to watch every single predator around the clock for signs of going savage?
    • While the NH plot was new, the tensions between prey and predators were not. So it would make sense for the predatory maior to keep an eye for any violent outbursts among predators (they're a minority, so it shouldn't be that hard) that might blemish Zootopia's shining image of the, well, utopia of harmony and peaceful coexistance between the two. The first cases were probably caught and contained by the ordinary medical services and covered up through usual means. Once it became clear that these are not isolated accidents, and that keeping a lid on it would soon became impossible, Lionheart pulled in the big guns (I guess, once you get high enough in politics, having a PMC force on stand-by is just a reasonable precaution).
    • Some people have theorized that the scar on Lionheart's nose was from some previous scuffle with a feral predator, and it was intentional 'assassination by proxy'. If this is the case, that plan's lack of success tipped Lionheart off early and allowed him to mobilize assets to cover it up quickly.
  • How were they able to capture and spirit away not one but fourteen savage predators without the general public or even the police even getting a whiff of something going on? How did they know where they were quickly enough to grab them before the cops showed up every time?
    • Knowing where they were comes from the explained point above, Lionheart keeping track of both the jam cams and the police bands so as to know whenever a mammal goes savage. As to how the wolves got there that quickly: they're just that good. (Probably because, as theorized farther above, they're either Secret Service or even closer to mercenaries, and this coupled with wolves' natural ability to move quickly and in sync as a pack gave them the needed speed and skill.)
    • Obviously they also know how to navigate around quite quickly, using shortcuts via maintenance tunnels.

    Judy's investigation tactics 
  • How can Judy, the police academy's valedictorian, be so negligent, or so disregarding of proper police and legal procedure?
Just a list of some violations:
  • Leaving her assigned post
    • Technically, she wasn't assigned a stationary post - she was a parking enforcement officer, so she clearly had a freedom of movement. And correct me if I'm wrong, but it's excusable for an officer to respond to a crime in progress? Entering the Rodentia was wrong, yes, but she was too caught up in the chase and too eager to proove herself to think about that.
    • Just moments before she was trying to reaffirm herself that she was a real police officer. She saw this as an opportunity to prove to the chief she can handle criminals and took it.
  • Police Brutality (Weaselton could easily have taken a serious injury from being whacked with a giant donut, when Hopps could have used her training to subdue him with less risk.)
    • She didn't wack him with it - she put it around him, like a giant handcuff. Also, he's just nearly killed someone, Judy was understandably irked.
  • Illegal search (Breaking into Mr. Big's car, sneaking into Cliffside Asylum sans search warrant.)
    • Well, she did use due cause to investigate the lot to begin with, and figured that gave her some leeway to look at Otterton's mystery Limousine.
    • In the United States, officers don't need a warrant to search a vehicle, only probable cause, which she had since she could link it to a missing-mammal case (in the time it takes to get a warrant, the vehicle could easily be moved out of the officer's jurisdiction, or simply not be found again until after the warrant has expired). The same reasoning applies to the train car, since it could obviously move anywhere in the city there were rails, or out of the city entirely. As far as the asylum goes, Judy had probable cause to think at least one of the missing mammals was in there, near-certainty that he'd been taken there against his will, and reason to believe that either he was in immediate danger or that he was an immediate public danger, therefore the warrantless search of the asylum would probably have been deemed legit as a possible emergency.
  • Illegal surveillance (Her videos taken inside Cliffside Asylum were recorded without a warrant, not to mention her questionable recordings of Nick and Bellwether.)
    • As you said - she was on a tight schedule, an impossibly tight one, and her colleagues and superior were unsupportive at best and obstructive at worst. Doesn't make it all legal, but it's not right to put the blame solely on her and exhonerate the people who forced her hand.
    • Not a lawyer myself, but filming someone in the process of breaking the law with intention to expose such activity doesn't strike me as terribly wrong. It wasn't like Judy installed a hidden camera in hopes to get Lionheart on video doing something illegal; she only started filming after it was clear that he is involved.
    • The recording actually falls under the "it takes 1 to have permission to record" clause mentioned elsewhere in the page... I think. And as for the video, well, given that the US has turned police brutality on citizen camera into a regular thing, it's not like Judy's stealth recording of a secret meeting isn't in that vein at all.
  • Torture/Grave Threats (Threatening someone with torture is pretty illegal, namely, getting Weaselton to talk by trying to ice him.)
    • It could be argued that that was all Mr. Big's doing - Duke did have involvement in his florist (who Big described as being part of the family) and one of his limo drivers going off-the-walls crazy. Judy "helpfully informed him" of this involvement, but he acted on it all on his own. Besides, Duke can't go forward with what happened without revealing he knew about the conspiracy all along, which wouldn't end well for him.
  • Trespassing (Breaking into the train car.)
    • Was it private property?
    • As above, it was a moving (or at least movable) vehicle, therefore she wouldn't have needed a warrant to search it, only probable cause.
  • Reckless Imprudence/Damage to property (Her train-driving stunt blew up as many things as a Michael Bay film.)
  • Here's an answer: even though she knows the rules, her reckless and headstrong personality leads her to bend or even utterly disregard them in the heat of the moment when something's at stake. In theory she should be punished, but in practice the ZPD will probably ignore or even actively help cover up her offenses due to the results she got.
    • Even with the results she got, she should have at least been given an Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving before being pardoned and reinstated. As it stands, no one is shown even acknowledging her offenses.

    Weaselton at large 
  • Why was Weaselton still running free when Nick and Judy found him? He was guilty of robbery and endangerment of property and life - and he's out in three months? Also, he was an accomplice to a government conspiracy - that usually tends to shorten one's lifespan drastically, or, in this case, greatly expedite one's reversion to their primal state.
    • When he was arrested, none of the larger conspiracy was known, and his connection to it was not clear until Judy had her Eureka moment months later. He could only have been convicted for stealing a bag of flower bulbs, property damage, and perhaps resisting arrest; it's possible that he had a light sentence. It's clear that Chief Bogo did not consider him worth the effort it took to arrest him. Weaselton might have served his time during the time skip while Judy was on the farm.
      • Stealing the flower bulbs, property damage, resisting arrest, and several hundred counts of first degree reckless endangerment. You forgot that last part there. The way he tore through Little Rodentia like Godzilla through Tokyo, it's a miracle that no one died. It's really strange that he didn't get a harsher punishment...
    • Or he may have posted bail. Theft, especially for stealing just what seems to just be a type of pesticide, doesn't usually result in a very high bail, and maybe Weaselton makes enough from his film piracy (and perhaps other rackets) to pay it.
    • No, what I meant was that it's weird the conspirators didn't think to silence him, especially since they wouldn't even need to kill him for that. He would've simply been another predator gone savage - no one would've beat an eye. It's not like he was especially valuable to them either - just a disposable thug, whom a megapolis like Zootopia certainly has no shortage of. As for Bogo, what do you mean "not worth the effort"? He's a criminal. Putting them away is what the police does. And he also nearly killed Fru-Fru. Of course, processing him properly would mean giving credit to Judy, but was Bogo that petty as to go easy on a thief, just to spite a disliked recruit?
      • The conspirators didn't silence him because his sudden insanity would have brought attention to his recent schedule and activities. The police didn't detain him because his criminal actions in Little Rodentia were the result of being pursued, and a defense attorney would have asked extremely awkward questions: "Were you assigned to pursue him? Were you told to enter Little Rodentia? Was he endangering the residents before you followed him in? Did he attack you first?" A court case would have led to him going free anyway and a public scandal regarding the ZPD.
    • Bogo apparently didn't know about Weaselton nearly killing Fru-Fru, when he's chewing Judy out for abandoning her post he says that all she did was 'stop a criminal from stealing two-dozen mouldy onions', showing that he felt Weasleton had only committed a minor offence that didn't warrant a serious punishment, maybe just a fine or a month or two in prison. And the conspirators still needed someone to steal the nighthowlers for them, they had a limited supply and they needed to keep making predators go savage to maintain the public feeling of fear. Silencing Weaselton and then finding another petty thief to take his place would be risky as the next one they recruited might not be as willing to keep quiet. Weaselton had proved that he can 'stay bought' when he didn't pass information about them to the police the first time he was arrested.

    Fennec fox-sized cars 
Finnick's van clearly has a bunch of books stacked on the driver's seat so he could reach the steering wheel. Considering that Zootopia has different sized vehicles for different animals from tiny mice to enormous giraffes, this raises the question why there aren't any cars for Finnick's size. (Or, if there are, why Finnick doesn't have one.)
  • The larger-sized van was probably useful for transporting larger goods; a jumbo popsicle might have barely fit in a fennec-sized vehicle. The van also appeared to serve as Finnick's home, in which case the larger-than-necesary vehicle would be much more comfortable than one that better fit his species.
  • Also, Finnick's very poor. This van could be something he (and Nick) found in the junk yard and restored. Or the van was originally Nick's and it passed down to Finnick.
  • Another possibility is that Finnick deliberately purchased a van larger than recommended for him because he has issues with his small size and wants to feel bigger than he actually is.
  • Finnick most likely lives in the van, which, for a mammal his size, likely feels as spacious as the average studio apartment. In other words, he opted for a large van because he's using it less like a car and more like an RV. In that context, it's actually the perfect size for a fennec.

     The currency in Zootopia and the surrounding regions 
The Jumbo Pop that Nick buys costs $15, and while watching the traffic cameras Nick says to Judy 'bet you a nickel one of 'em howls' when they see the wolves, so it can be assumed that the same currency as the US dollar is used. However, Nick's Pawpsicle stand and the Hopps Family Farm stand have different symbols for currency (a $ sign and a 'Z' with two lines through the middle, respectively), so does each region of the country use separate currencies?
  • They're probably just different ways of writing dollar signs in-universe.

    How the hell did Gideon get away with assault?! 
OK, so Gideon steals tickets from those kids at the fair, knocks Judy to the ground and then CLAWS HER FACE?! I don't know about you, but there doesn't seem to be any indication that Gideon ever faced consequences for that. There's no way she could have hid that from her parents and those kids were witnesses? A small town like Bunnyburrow would at least have a local sheriff. Anyone?
  • Straight after Gideon's assault, we skip ahead fifteen years and don't meet Gideon again until he's grown up and reformed. He's only slightly older than Judy at this point - in his teens from the looks of it - so he'd be too young to receive a lengthy prison sentence, he'd probably get a few years in a young offenders at most. Its entirely possible he served out his punishment off screen.
    • I think he had therapy instead. He uses some $4 words when apologizing to Judy, and he is not a very articulate fella. He specifically states that he had "a lot of self doubt, which manifested itself in a form of unchecked rage and aggression." I would say that he learned these words, and this phrase, from a professional. So, Stu and Bonnie probably contacted his parents, who were completely reasonable and agreed that their son's behavior was unacceptable and took the necessary steps. Police just wasn't involved in any way.
  • Actually, yes there is such an indication - if you notice, Gideon radically changes his personality by the second time they meet, and he's profoundly sorry about his behavior. It was hardly just Judy's inspiring example that reformed him. Some corrective actions may have been involved, maybe even the certain collars.
    • The personality change was largely related to seeing a psychiatrist. Word of God confirmed what many already suspected: that his spiel about "self-doubt" and "unchecked rage and aggression", which contrasts with his usual vocabulary, was pretty much quoted verbatim from his therapist. However, I think it's actually quite likely that this psychotherapy was, at least at first, probably court-ordered as a condition of not being sent to juvie. Possibly this happened as a direct result of his assault of Judy, but even if not, his behavior in general was such that he'd inevitably end up in front of a judge sooner or later.
  • Okay, gotcha. I didn't think about that at first because we see that Judy's parents end up going into business with him. I don't know about you guys, but if someone assaulted my 9 year old daughter, I wouldn't be so keen on being his partner.
    • They wanted to let bygones be bygones, let the past be what it was. Starting with Gideon, when he reached out to them. Gideon seems to be about the same ages as Judy, but I think he's from a different town but they attended the same school, because he and Judy had clearly not seen each other in years. Yes, he attacked Judy, but when he was a child. He's grown up and matured, and I think Judy's parents thought maybe he was a good place to start making amends with, since he wanted to make amends for hurting their daughter.

    What's up with all those wolves getting arrested? 
  • Thrice we see a handcuffed wolf in the ZPD office. First when Judy arrives, then when Judy brings in Duke Weaselton, and finally when Clawhauser is showing off his app. I thought these were all the same guy, but if you look carefully, you can see that the first two wolves have different tail patterns. So, is the ZPD biased towards wolves or something?
    • I figured they were related. Not like biologically, but that they came from the same "pack", because while Zootopia believes in stereotypes, they don't seem to feel too strongly about wolves, as wolves work for the ZPD. So I figured the arrests were related. The police don't always arrest all conspirators at once.
      • That actually makes a lot of sense. Considering that wolves are pack animals (the wolves guarding Cliffside Asylum clearly work as a pack), it's possible that one pack turned to crime, and the ZPD are arresting them one by one. It's even possible that the picture Kevin and Raymond are looking at, where they are strangling a wolf, was taken after the wolf gang interfered with the Tundratown Mafia's interests...
    • Maybe the wolf population of Zootopia is simply higher than most species'. We never see a district of the city that's temperate to coniferous forest, or otherwise ideal for wolves, so who knows how abundant they might be there?

    Seatbelt? What seatbelt? 
  • Now, I know this is just a five-second gag, but still. When the duo is patrolling the streets looking for the street racer and Judy slams on the brakes, Nick lurches forward and gets his Pawpsicle™ in his eye. While wearing a seatbelt. Isn't that the exact kind of thing seatbelts are supposed to prevent?
    • Seatbelts prevent a passenger from flying through the window, but they do not completely immobilize the person. In a normal driving situation, they are quite loose and only "harden" when sudden impact forces tear on the passenger. A simple brakestop may not amount to the force needed to actually restrain the passenger effectively (and Nick was in no danger to actually get thrown out of the vehicle), so it seems Judy carefully applied just the right amount of force to make him facedash his pawpsicle.

     The Protest 
  • What exactly is the protest Gazelle is putting on for? Is it just a general peace rally? A protest against intolerance?
    • Probably a protest against the discrimination that the predators face now that they are labelled as a potential threat to prey.
    • Listen to the newscast: Gazelle was holding a "peace rally." Prey started "protests" in response to it.

  • How long was Judy on the farm after she quit the force? For that matter how long did the protests and growing fear of the night howlers/ going 'savage' last? Seems like it might have to be a while to have everyone in a well diversified city to get so paranoid against the predators that have been as much a part of life as anything else so quickly
    • Word of God says that three months passed from the time of the press conference until Nick and Judy reconcile under the bridge and most of that time happened between the press conference and Judy quitting the force. Thus Judy got a lot of time to see Zootopia tearing itself apart and only a little time wallowing in self-pity back in Bunnyburrow.

     Nick's finger-counting 
  • After the jungle chase scene, when Nick is telling Bogo why Judy will not be handing in her badge, he does some mental arithmetic and says that they still have 10 hours left... while simultaneously holding up his fingers. All 8 of them. A goof from the writers/animators, or is there something I'm missing?
    • No, you're not missing anything. It has been noted that he uses both of his four fingered paws to indicate they have 10 hours left. It is still unclear as to whether this was an intentional joke, an unintentional joke, an oversight or something else. One explanation is that the viewing audience would subconsciously interpret a character holding up all fingers of both hands as 10 and the animators simply used that visual shorthand to indicate that even though it's not literally what's shown. A speculative alternative is that Nick did it deliberately to hustle Bogo. He worked out the math, came up with 8 hours left but even when holding up 8 digits he said 10 to extend the deadline. Bottom line is there's no definitive answer yet.
    • It's possible that holding up both hands/paws is just an agreed-upon gesture to indicate ten regardless of how many fingers you actually have, similar to how China has special gestures to indicate 6,7,8,9 and 10.

     In-Universe Religion 
  • Although nothing is explicitly stated, some residents of Zootopia seem a little superstitious. During the scene with Mr. Big, one of the polar bears makes the sign of the cross, while looking wistfully upward. And in a deleted scene, Judy's grandfather states that "Foxes are red because they were made by the devil." So there seems to be some sort of Christianity analogue in this world.
    • Usage of expressions like "Hallelujah", "Kumbaya", "Sweet cheese and crackers" and "talkin' in tongues" also implies that there's a Christianity analogue in this animal universe.
  • Maybe their Jesus equivalent is literally a "Lamb of God", i.e. a sheep.
    • Indeed, early concept art by Art Director Matthias Lechner shows some religious illustrations collected by a believer in a David Icke-like "sheep-conspiracy". It includes a medieval representation of a sheep with the iconographic attributes of the resurrected Christ such as the standard, the red cloak and the cruciform halo.

    If Judy is not in the system, how is she writing parking tickets? 
  • I realize that Judy not being in the ZPD system was a necessary plot device to add more difficulty to her 48 hour investigation and give her a reason to partner with Nick for longer than his initial clue about Otterton. It's just that by her first day at ZPD, she's wearing a custom fitted ZPD uniform (as she's their first bunny cop) and has a bunny-sized Meter Maid "vehicle" ready for her, which shows that some prep work had been done prior to her arrival so it seems odd that they would have overlooked setting her up in the computer. Which raises the big question, if she is not in the system yet, how is she able to be writing all those electronic parking tickets and who is listed as the "ticketing officer"?
    • They meant she hasn't yet been given full access/security clearance/set up with all her passwords to all the computer systems and databases the police use. (I can sympathize — in our office, it takes 1-2 weeks (far longer than it should) for new employees to have access to every part of the system/servers they should/need to have access to.)
    • My workplace has a "Training Mode" for new recruits, which allows you to make up dummy orders that won't actually be sent to the kitchen(for the purpose of memorizing where things are), but won't allow you to actually do anything with the register such as cashing out customers. Perhaps her access is limited similarly; she's set up for Parking Duty but barred from anything else.

     Night Howlers and their exact effects 
  • So. Do the Night Howlers turn the animals savage, does it make them enraged, or both? And specifically, does it revert them to their basis species' instincts, or does it make them aggressive in general? Would a human who ate Night Howlers begin to bite everybody, or would he just be unaffected (due to the human species being naturally sentient)?
    • Probably both, considering what happened to Judy's uncle. Rabbits can be quite aggressive in real life (as anyone who's watched Watership Down can attest to). In fact, virtually every animal in real life can be aggressive and dangerous when they want to (just visit the Real Life section of Killer Rabbit), so the night howlers would probably have a similar affect on all of them. As for their affect on humans, it would probably do something similar, causing the human to bite and scratch everyone it saw.
    • There's also the possibility of the main chemical in the plant acting as a neurotoxin, blocking higher brain functions while at the same time causing a great deal of pain, putting the victim in a permanent primal "fight or flight" mode. After all, an otter wouldn't have any reason to ravage an enclosure and attack a fully-grown jaguar except perceived self-defense.

    Who names their kid "Gazelle"? 
Word of God confirmed Gazelle to be her actual name and not a stage name. That makes me wonder why her parents named her that. Did they hate her? Were they lazy? Wouldn't that be like me being named "Caucasian" or something similar?
  • Real human names: Buddy, Guy, Jill (old term for "girl"), Sheila (still used term for "girl," IIRC), Belle (term for a beautiful woman in at least 2 languages), Bunny, Drake (some type of male waterfowl), Joey (also term for a baby kangaroo)... "Gazelle" doesn't seem any weirder a name for a sapient animal, regardless of species.
  • Also, Andrew comes from "Andros", Greek for "Man"; and similarly, Adam is Hebrew for "Man". Björn is a Swedish name that means "Bear", Farkas is a Hungarian name that means "Wolf". These things exist.
  • I'm not sure either of these explanations is necessarily the same thing as what the OP is calling into question, since 1.) there's a difference between a name that happens to be the same or is defined as a type of animal and the name of the animal itself, and 2.) naming your gazelle child "Gazelle" is more like naming a human child "Human" than after another living creature, intentionally or otherwise.
    • I think the "Adam" and "Andrew" examples covered it quite well. If there can be names for a man that simply mean "man", then what's wrong with a gazelle named Gazelle?
    • Because "Gazelle" isn't another word for her species - it's the exact name of her species. Your examples of naming a human Adam would be comparable to Zootopia featuring a bear named Ursa or a lion named Leo...A gazelle who's honestly named Gazelle would be the same as naming a human child "Human" or "Man". (Not to mention, there's the intent behind it. I doubt many people name their child "Adam" specifically because it referenced the name of his species - with a name like Gazelle, it's a lot harder to shrug off.)
    • Gazelle speaks with a Spanish accent and sings some Spanish lyrics in her concert. If different languages exist in this world (why wouldn't they?), and her parents spoke Spanish, them naming their daughter "Gazelle" would be the equivalent of American parents naming their son, say, "Farkas" ("wolf" — the name of a species in a foreign language, but not their own).
    • Who names their child Moon Unit, Dweezil and Diva Muffin? Naming your child Gazelle, even being a Gazelle is far from the most outlandish name you could give someone.
    • Something else to consider: Gazelle is indeed a feminine name, but a VERY rare one. Also, to complement the meaning of "Jill" up above, "Jack" is an old term for "man" or "person," hence terms like "jack-in-the-box" or "Cracker Jack."
    • I always thought Gazelle's name was an animal pun on "Adele."
    • It's probably a stage name? I can see a singer named "Human" maybe? It'd be weird, but it wouldn't be like naming your kid Human.
    • "Manny" and "Guy" are both actual names, FWIW.

    What happened to the extinct animals? 
In our universe, almost all of the extinct Pleistocene megafauna (mammoths, mastodons, woolly rhinos, sabertooths, ground sloths, glyptodonts, cave lions, cave and short-faced bears, dire wolves, the Irish elk and a bunch other) died out thanks to us. In this universe, humans never evolved. So what happened to the species mentioned above? (Note that we know mammoths existed once in this universe, judging by the statue in the museum.)
  • The museum also shows dioramas of animals attacking other animals with spears and such. If animals didn't acquire sapience at the same time, or some weren't able to adapt to the civilized world as quickly, the animals with human intelligence would be just as capable of driving other animals to extinction as... humans are with human intelligence.
  • They might have been driven out by a war early in the history of animal civilization.
  • For the record, the reason for the mass extinction event that killed off species such as the woolly mammoth, etc, in real life, is not entirely clear. The human over-hunting hypothesis seems to be the most popular, but it is not the only hypothesis, and none of them are proven beyond a doubt.
  • An alternative possibility is that in this world, unlike in our world, the prehistoric mammals evolved into their modern relatives. Mammoths became elephants, saber-toothed cats became big cats, ground sloths became tree sloths, etc. This is of course Artistic License – Biology, but no more unlikely than all modern mammals evolving human-like sapience.
  • What happened to the Neanderthals, Denisovans, or Red Deer Cave people? Just because a population are intelligent tool-users doesn't mean they can't go extinct.
  • For that matter, who says that mammoths, woolly rhinos, and so forth are extinct in Zootopia's 'verse? Could be they're still around, but just not common enough in the city for us to have seen them. Odds are good you won't run into an Ainu, a !Kung or a Sami if you're walking down the street in midtown Manhattan, but that doesn't mean that such groups aren't still around.

    Mammals and breeding: what the heck? 
So, seriously, has anyone been able to make any sense out of how exactly the mammals in Zootopia procreate? As discussed under "Animal Years" above, the mammals seem to live about the same lifespan as humans do. However, bunnies in Bunnyburrow are blatantly implied to have similar "litter sizes" to their real-world counterparts — note Judy's massive family of "275 siblings" at the age of 9. However, at the same time, we see a bunny mother during Judy's trainride after her disastrous press release midway through the movie who has only a single child with her. Nick, a fox, is clearly an only child despite coming from a litter-bearing species. Heck, Fru Fru Big, when she appears pregnant, says "I'm going to name her Judy!" in clear reference to her unborn daughter, thus clearly implying she's only having a single child — which would be highly unusual even for Arctic Shrews (the Bigs' implied species), which are cannibalistic and so hyper-territorial that putting two in terrariums next to each other will result in one spontaneously dying. So, what's the deal? Are litters normal in Zootopia? Or is just that litter-bearing species are more likely to hit the "multiples" result on the sexual roulette?
  • Beyond the numbers, what about the time scale of breeding? As brought up between "Animal Years" and "Bunnyburrow Population", even if rabbits aren't having large broods all the time, just being able to breed at the same pace as real-world rabbits would allow them to grow huge families over the course of their lives. Again, Fru Fru is hugely pregnant when we see her for the final time, despite what Word of God confirms is a Time Skip of three months. Admittedly, there's a tropeful reason why she could be so huge already... and, in fact, 3 months is exorbitantly longer than she'd be pregnant for if she followed real-world biology (Arctic Shrews take only 13 to 21 days to gestate). So, just how long do Zootopian pregnancies last for? Somewhere closer to their base-creatures, or somewhere closer to human, or somewhere in between?
    • It's never mentioned how long Fru Fru has been pregnant for. Just because she got married three months ago doesn't necessarily mean she became pregnant then.
    • But back to answering your question, it isn't made clear how long pregnancies last in Zootopia. They very well could last any amount of time you guessed. If you assume they gestate as long as their respective species, then maybe Fru Fru wasn't pregnant for very long (perhaps only a week or two) and Fru Fru may have the baby very soon. If you assume that it's the same as humans (9 months) regardless of species, or somewhere in between, she could have become pregnant any time since her wedding (maybe even not very long after) and maybe the baby is either just about to be born or will gestate a while longer. (The latter would certainly be true if the pregnancy lasts as long as a human's.) But just to give my opinion, I'd lean more toward pregnancies in Zootopia lasting about the same as their base species, and Fru Fru has been pregnant for no longer than a couple of weeks when Judy returned to Zootopia.
  • Assuming litters are normal in Zootopia, perhaps many animals may be put up for adoption, just as humans often do with children they can't raise. This makes sense especially with the animals that generally produce large numbers of offspring.
  • There are probably as many answers to this question as there are mammal species doing the breeding.

     Press Conference 
  • So, was Judy just stating the facts at the press conference, or was she being an anti-pred bigot?
    • While there were many responses to this question which can be read below, they were made before this a 2016 podcast featuring the directors and writers of Zootopia was released. They discuss, at length, how the press conference was one of the most challenging scenes that they worked on both from a writing and directing perspective and it went through many, many revisions. The creators wanted this to be where Judy's unconscious biases were revealed and they had to do a lot of balancing to make sure it wasn't coming across as Judy simply not knowing what she was saying against having her coming across as consciously bigoted. She was harboring certain beliefs about predator's savage ways (which is why they had her express that in her school play) and had feelings of distrust about foxes (from her childhood encounter with Gideon Grey, a character they initially created for the sole purpose of beating her up). When she heard the Honey Badger doctor's theory about predators and biology, Judy accepted it willingly because it resonated with her unconscious biases and during the stress of the press conference she naively revealed more than she should have without considering the consequences.
    • Um, mostly, she was stating the facts? Really not sure what's so confusing about this; she's clearly caught off-guard by the questions, she has no practical experience with making a public statement of this before, and so she just tries to stick to the facts of the matter. That this sounds a little racist is unavoidable; it's the Big Bad's entire plan that this outbreak of savagery will demonize Zootopia's predatory population. Even beyond the direct panic caused by the outbreaks, just stating the facts that "predators seem to be reverting to their primal instincts" makes predators look suspicious. Judy couldn't really have said anything else and still been admitting the facts — it's just unfortunate that, by doing this, she accidentally hit Nick's Berserk Button.
    • Really she's parroting the racist beliefs of others, without properly considering whether they are true or not (because they conveniently play into her own stereotypes). This is why police are trained in press conferences, and why part of that training is 'never speculate, or repeat the speculation of others'. To be honest she was fine when just stating the facts, but repeating the scientist's words about 'reverting to primal instincts' was speculation, and she should have known better.
      • It's an interesting case. "Parroting the racist beliefs of others" doesn't quite describe it. Badgers are carnivorans and would presumably be classified as "predators" in this world, so unless you want to call that doctor a massive Boomerang Bigot, it seems most likely that the badger was not racist, but legitimately feared that the "savage" phenomenon being caused by something latent in the predators' DNA being activated somehow. Being a doctor, and also being a predator which would allay suspicions of racism, it makes sense that Judy would trust her judgment. On the other hand, the badger was presenting this as merely a possibility that needed to be investigated, not as a certainty. So something went very wrong in Judy's thought process when she heard it and thought to herself, "Oh, that explains everything! It all makes perfect sense now!" and immediately assumed this speculation to be certainly true. She made some critical mistakes, but I still think Nick overreacted. Though given his own childhood trauma, the legitimate point he had about the fox repellent, and the lack of awareness that he was triggering Judy's own childhood trauma when he assumed a threatening posture and started shouting, his reaction was at least understandable.
    • Another point to consider is that Word of God has stated that Doug was the sheep reporter who asked the leading question "So, predators are the only ones going savage?" and after Judy's stammers about it may have something to do with biology, he immediately goads her onward by asking "What do you mean by that?" It seems Bellwether intended to make sure the point was made that only predators were going savage and it's likely she was the one who pressed to make sure Judy participated in the press conference. The odds were stacked against Judy from the beginning. It's no wonder Bellwether said "Oh, you did fine."
    • No, she wasn't "stating the facts." She said, "For whatever reason, they seem to be reverting back to their primitive savage ways" with no objective, definitive proof that was the case. As has been pointed out elsewhere online, the affected predators weren't acting like their non-sapient counterparts. They were acting like animals with rabies or something, not animals who hunt to survive (hunters who acted that out of control would never catch anything). Mr. Otterton in particular behaved nothing like a wild, non-sapient otter! Anyone who looked at the situation objectively would have considered, "They're not reverting back to how they acted before we acquired sapience — this behavior does not resemble their primitive ways" and realized there were other possible explanations for what was happening. In fact, that someone was deliberately targeting predators should have been high on the list of possibilities! Instead, the doctor, Judy, and apparently many others first assumed that all predators are bloodthirsty savages and made a conclusion based on that assumption. Did Judy believe she was just stating the facts? Yes, but she wasn't — she jumped to a conclusion and treated her not-well-founded assumption as fact. Intentionally maliciously? No — her crime was carelessness, not malice, but it still did a lot of damage. As Dr. House once said, "Mistakes are as serious as the results they cause." It's perfectly understandable why she would feel guilty and why Nick would be mad at what she said about his kind.
      • Judy definitely made a serious mistake in reporting an unproven hypothesis as if it were pretty much a fact. That being said, the origin of that hypothesis was an ostensibly competent doctor who, being a badger, would not be expected to harbor prejudice against predators because she is one. When you say that it should have been obvious that the symptoms the savage predators were exhibiting were nothing like how wild animals actually behave, this is from the perspective of a real-life human who can observe the behavior of wild animals by watching a nature documentary or visiting a zoo. In this world, wild animals do not exist and have not existed since the dawn of civilization, so their knowledge of how wild animals behaved would be very limited and derived almost entirely from archaeological sources.note  So it would not be nearly so obvious to them that this ultra-vicious behavior pattern of pure aggression (which turns out to be the result of a plant-based drug) is different from how non-sapient predators behaved in prehistoric times.
    • I have two things to add here. First, as mentioned in passing above but not really elaborated upon, Judy is a rookie cop, has NO experience or training for Press Conferences, was flustered and completely out of her element. She had no idea how to answer the questions so she went with the answers she herself was given, and being on the spot, didn't have the chance to think through the implications of what she was saying. Second, there was probably a bit of prejudice in her statement BUT consider this: She was assaulted by a fox when she was a kid, her parents have told her for her entire life foxes are bad, and Nick HAD been living up the stereotypes. Only when Nick chewed her out did she suddenly realize, despite believing herself capable of judging people on their merits, she had prejudice ingrained into her without her knowing it. Calling her "an anti-pred bigot" is overly harsh, considering her earnest belief in judging individuals by their actions and not their species, as any prejudice on her part was purely subconscious and unintentional.
      • That's why in real life press conferences are held by special press liaisons who know exactly what to say and what not (or in the case that a junior officer has to take part in it, she will be meticously coached on that matter and monitored throughout by that press liasion officer). It's not only what Judy says, but how her words will be further relayed by the press. We know reporters are just people too and sometimes only hear what they want to hear, and the tabloids will blow the whole thing out of proportion anyways to generate sensationalist headlines. Even though she crafts her words rather carefully - "it seems like" - , what comes out of it will inevitably at some point read as: "police officially confirms".

     Yax at the concert 
During the Dance Party Ending, we see Yax dancing along with the other characters at Gazelle's concert. He appears to be completely naked apart from some jewellery, just like in his other scenes. It's one thing to be completely naked at his own club - but how could he attend a completely public concert without being properly dressed?
  • We only see the top part of his body. It's possible he was wearing pants but not a shirt, which would probably be tolerated.

     Reconciliation under the bridge 
I'm having trouble making sense of the sheer abruptness of Nick's change in demeanor during this scene. My original interpretation accounted for it by assuming that he was ready to forgive her from the beginning, and was only acting like he was still upset to get a response out of her, so that his abrupt change of demeanor was simply him dropping the act. Also, in this interpretation, the carrot pen prank was pre-planned from the very beginning.

However, this interpretation is predicated on the assumption that it had been, at most, only a couple of weeks since the press conference. Word of God is that the time period that was quickly glossed over was actually three months long. If they haven't seen each other in three damn months, then this interpretation no longer really works, because it would require Nick to have felt pretty sure that Judy was going to come find him sooner or later, and to have actually been expecting her arrival, which seems much less likely with a longer time period.

So then we're left to assume that his total bitterness at the beginning of the scene was not fake, and that he changed his mind about her right there on the spot due to hearing her tearful apology. In this case, I just can't make sense of how his demeanor took a complete 180 in just a few seconds, while remaining calm the entire time. If he really was angry at the beginning, but her apology melted his heart and convinced him to forgive her, it doesn't make sense for him to be so calm. The intense conflicting emotions should have caused him to freak out almost as badly as she was, and he certainly shouldn't have had the presence of mind to come up with the carrot pen prank in mid-conversation.

  • He had his back to her for quite some time, and Nick is very good at hiding his emotions. And to be honest, I don't think he's really that mad at her. He lost his temper, but Nick is a 'live in the moment' guy who is not prone to grudges.
  • I believe it went down something like this. After 3 months apart, Nick had calmed down from his disappointment with Judy at the press conference and was willing to reconcile with her. However, when Judy finds him the first words out of her mouth was not an apology but instead she launches right into her Nighthowler theory. I think that irritated him. I can just hear his internal dialogue going... "Really Carrots? I haven't seen you in three months and this is what you open with? Nighthowlers!?! Really!?!" leading to his sarcastic external remark... "Wow, Isn't that interesting?" and he walks away to cool down. Judy sees that she handled it wrong and immediately launches into her heartfelt apology. Since he was already willing to reconcile and was just irritated in the moment I can easily see him won over by the raw emotion in Judy's apology, and able to quickly let go his irritation and decide to lighten the mood with the carrot pen prank. As to why he had the pen with him after 3 months, likely he was alerted by Finnick that he had spoken to Judy who was now on her way over which would have given him time to have it on hand.
    • The headscratcher wasn't why he had the pen with him, but why he had the presence of mind to start using it mid-apology. Fortunately there's an easy answer to both of these. To the first: He either found the pen useful/amusing, or was keeping it as a memento of the first real friendship he'd had in a long time (or possibly ever). To the second: He's a con artist. Presence of mind is second nature to him.
  • The fact that he had the pen ready to record and the way he kept his face hidden from her the whole time makes me certain that "he already forgave her and now he's just messing with her" was the intent, but per Death of the Author, if it can come across as one of two ways, either way is realistic. One scenario: He forgave her 3 months ago but wasn't necessarily "waiting" for her; he could have figured it didn't matter, it was too late, their friendship was still over — just because he forgave her didn't mean he would expect it could still work out. He hoped they could reconcile, he wanted to reconcile, but he wasn't expecting it to happen. That is, if you think three months is a long time to wait for someone, which it probably would be if you were waiting for a friend you'd only known for 2-3 days, but not if... *ahem*
    • Other scenario: He was mad at her for 3 months, but he didn't necessarily hold a grudge against her. He didn't spend hours each day thinking about much he hated her and how much she hurt him, but he never planned to see or speak to her again. He was sure that what she did was unforgivable... then she shows up sobbing her heart out, begging for his forgiveness, and he can't resist the impulse to give it. Rational or not, logical or not, sounds like how many apologies play out in real life. But again, being angry at someone for three months and then almost instantly jumping at the chance to forgive them is pretty extreme for a friend you only knew for 2-3 days, but not if... IMVHO, this is one of those scenes in this movie that only make sense if viewed through a certain lense.
  • I definitely thought he stopped being angry at Judy long before. He wanted to be friends again — the carrot pen is a very important symbol; why would he keep something like that if it only reminded him of a painful relationship? — but he felt that it had to be Judy who reached out and apologized. Only Judy had the power to clear the air by admitting and facing down her lingering prejudice. Nick was pretty much just waiting for her to show up, and three months (if it was truly that) isn't that strange to me. I interpreted Nick's thoughts during that scene as "Come on, please tell me you've figured it out and we can be friends without this predator-prey crap between us because I miss you, dammit."

     How the heck does Nick weigh 80 lbs? 
On his employment application form, Nick listed his height as 4 ft. and his weight at 80 lbs. While 4 ft. is not far off from the length of a real-life red fox, 80 lbs is more than twice the weight of the largest red fox on record. Is there any way this makes any sense, or is this just some kind of research failure? note 

As far as his employment form goes, he also listed his species simply as Fox, rather than Red Fox, which is probably less specific than they would want. Although that detail could be explained away as Nick just not having much experience with employment forms, the same doesn't apply to the weight issue, as I seriously doubt he would be off by such a ridiculously wide margin when estimating his own weight.

  • Larger size is probably a result of anthropomorphic evolution. No real life red fox has opposable thumbs, a bipedal leg structure, or the necessary vocal cords for humanlike speech, after all.
    • He's not actually larger, though. The aforementioned largest fox on record was 4 ft 7 in long (so would be substantially taller than Nick if anthropomorphized), and it only weighed 38 lbs. He's not larger than a real-life fox, he's denser than a real-life fox.
      • Evolving to be more human-like would naturally lead foxes to become denser. There's a general sweet spot for mass and constant bipedalism, so something small like a fox becoming bipedal would likely gain greater muscle mass and bone density in order to more easily fight gravity for many hours at a time. 80 pounds and 4 feet is entirely reasonable for a human-like build, which is likely what smaller animals would roughly gravitate to when evolving from quadrupedal to bipedal.
    • If that 4 ft 7 in length included the tail, and Nick's 4ft height does not, he would be bigger than a real world red fox. Real world red fox tails are longer than their head and torso length combined. So being more than twice the weight of a large red fox would make sense, because he would be more than twice the size of one if you measured them the same way.
  • Having a human-like intelligence in a fox-sized brain would require a much denser brain, and infrastructure to support it. Maybe not 42 lbs more, but enough to change a few things. Nor to mention that feet and pounds are both units which, in the real world, were defined by more-or-less arbitrary reasons. We don't know for sure that there is a 1:1 ratio between the units used in Zootopia vs our world.
  • Wearing clothes probably adds a pound or two as well. Also, food isn't as scarce in zootopia as it is to real life foxes, who may regularly go without a meal for days. In Zootopia, it could conceivably be quite easy to put on a few extra pounds, just like in our world.
    • While food is indeed most likely a lot more plentiful for Zootopians than wild animals, Nick himself doesn't look overweight in the slightest. And I doubt his clothes weigh 40 pounds...
  • He's a con artist who spent his life on the streets. It's likely he hasn't weighed himself in a long time, just put down a random number and severely overestimated.

Supposedly Nick's scams were never illegal, merely dishonest. But he advertised his pawpsicles as "organic". If Zootopia's laws are anything like Real Life, then using that term in advertising/labeling without meeting the rigorous certification of the Department of Agriculture (which requires an on-site inspection) is highly illegal, and pretty much impossible to weasel out of with any sort of Loophole Abuse.
  • If restrictions on the use of "organic" match Real Life then it would be federal issue and I don't think the ZPD would have jurisdiction or interest in judging whether he's misusing the word and arresting him for it. His use of organic in Scare Quotes on his sign probably helps give him "wiggle room" with regards to the ZPD (ie he could claim that because his pawpsicles contain sugar and water it's scientifically accurate). As Nick hasn't been arrested before, most likely he's either flying under the radar skirting the issue of "legal use" or the rules for Organic in a world of so many different mammal species (and diets) are vastly different from our Real Life.

     Where did Judy get those handcuffs? 
The giant handcuffs she used to chain Manchas to the post were way too big to fit in her utility belt, and they also looked way too solid to be collapsible into a substantially more compact form. Where the heck did she get them all of a sudden? note 

How do Nick and Judy get to their destinations so fast? Early, we see they were using Judy's "joke-mobile" but they lost it after Mr. Big's mooks kidnapped them.
  • Maybe they took the bus? It seems highly likely that Zootopia would have public transportation just like any other city.
  • Also, they did not get to their destinations that fast. After they leave from the shrew wedding sometime during the night, they get to the Rainforest District a bit before sunrise, then to the City Hall sometime during the day, and to Cliffside Asylum next evening. They had plenty of time to get from one place to another.
  • As they parted from Mr. Big on better terms than they arrived, it's not unreasonable to assume that he had them returned to Tundratown Limo Services so they could collect her joke-mobile before heading off to Manchas. By the same token, although they left the Rainforest District by Skytram and were last seen approaching the city at sunrise, they didn't meet with Bellwether until 4:00pm (according to the time displayed on the phone on her desk i.e. 16:01pm) which would have allowed time for them to return to the Rainforest to get the joke-mobile before proceeding to City Hall and then on to Cliffside Asylum.
    • Or, they could have just left the golfcart-like thing behind. As the "jokemobile" nickname suggests, it's not exactly fast (its top speed was probably less than 30mph), and simply taking public transportation to their next destination would probably take less time — a resource they were rapidly running out of — than going back for it and then driving it there.
    • Mr. Big might have given them a lift to the Rainforest District in one of his limousines.
    • However, it's still likely they have to use the jokemobile to get to Cliffside, owing to its sheer remoteness. This helps explain the amount of time they take to get there (it's 4:00pm when they enlist Bellwether's help to access the jam cams, and Judy's phone shows 8:39pm when her parents call).

     What were the beavers building? 
Or, what was that strip of wet cement that Judy stepped in even doing there? It didn't look like it was regular maintenance on the sidewalk, as it went against the grain of the surrounding sidewalk tiles and was the wrong color, and the sidewalk was in pretty good shape anyway. So why was cement being poured there at all?
  • As it's a brief, one-shot scene, not sure this can be answered definitively. Given that the newly poured cement strip doesn't line up with the surrounding sidewalk tiles and is off-color, a possible answer is that a portion of the sidewalk needed to be torn up to fix something underneath it, like a water pipe, and the beavers are now re-pouring and patching up the broken section.

     Just Zoo It? 
One of the brands spoofed by an advance movie poster is Nike, whose slogan "Just Do It" is parodied as "Just Zoo It". Now, Nike in real life sell all manners of sports articles, but among other things it's well-known for its shoes, as the poster shows the tiger model having a shoe slung on the back. But nobody wears shoes in Zootopia (except Gazelle, who is seen wearing designer shoes in the Preyda ad in the same poster), so what's the deal with that one shoe?
  • There are no shoes visible in the advertisement, so whatever company put it up probably doesn't sell shoes but other athletic stuff.
  • Except, as the OP writes, there is one shoe on the tiger's back at the poster. However, although no animal wears shoes in everyday life in this universe, maybe athletes do when they practice sports? The only athletes we actually see in the movie are camels that gallop in Sahara Square as the train passes - although they don't wear shoes, maybe other animal athletes do? Or maybe when that poster was released, the creators of the movie have not made the decision yet that there will be no shoes at all.
    • The wrench to the "maybe the creators shelved the shoes only later" idea is that as far as I managed to find, the old, What Could Have Been materials (such as sketches) of the movie didn't include shoe-wearing mammals either.
    • Presumably Rule of Funny explains all this.
  • Could be it's actually an ice skate or rollerblade that the tiger is carrying. The bottom of the item of footwear in question is very hard to make out, because the lower portion of the billboard is in shadow.

     Otterton yelling about the Night Howlers 
The way Manchas reports Otterton's transformation does not add up. To quote him: "He was an animal... down on all fours... he was a savage! There was no warning, he just kept yelling about the night howlers. Over and over, the night howlers...". Meanwhile, in a flashback, we see the transformed Mr. Otterton clawing the car seat, attacking Manchas, then climbing out of the car and run away in the forest, all in a savage, non-sapient state. Between getting shot and attacking Manchas, when did he have time yell about the night howlers?
  • We were shown two flashbacks to Mr. Otterton in the limo. The first was Manchas' recollection where Mr. Otterton had already succumbed to the Night Howler serum and was clawing at the seat. The second was the briefer one we see while Doug is boasting about his previous successful sniping hits. In that we see Mr. Otterton hit in the neck with the Night Howler pellet and, as we saw with Manchas, the transformation to savage isn't instantaneous. So, if you watch the scene slowly, his face goes from shock over the pellet impact to the beginnings of realization that he is losing sapience. Most likely that's when he starts yelling about Night Howlers, over and over until savagery overtakes him and we pick up at Manchas' flashback.

     Street racer sloth 
Flash is revealed at the very end to be a street racer. Wouldn't his reaction time have to be lightning quick for that sort of thing? And not just "fast for a sloth," but legitimately fast? Actually for that matter, driving at all requires better reflexes than any of the sloths are shown to have.
  • Sloths can move at normal speeds when agitated or excited (which is rare, but it does happen). If they always move as slowly as common depictions, they'd all be extinct by now (instead of mostly being under Least Concern). Rather, sloths move slowly because they want to. (It's similar in concept to how giant panda eat only bamboo despite having a carnivore's digestive system because they're too lazy to eat anything that moves.) Presumably, Flash throws his slothiness away whenever he gets in his street-racing car.

     How did Nick know about Judy's deal with Chief Bogo? 
When Bogo demands Judy's badge thinking she failed to find Mr. Otterton within the given 48 hours, Nick, having now realized her situation, comes up and tells him she still has 10 hours left. How did he know how many hours she had left? This scene is the moment when Bogo and Nick first meet. The latter wasn't present when Judy agreed on her deal with Bogo.
  • Didn't Judy mention how much time she had left at some point while she was with Nick? I haven't seen the entire film, but I seem to recall her doing so.
    • Yes, but Judy says that she has 36 hours left when the two leave the naturist club. Even if Nick knows of the 36 hours time limit, there doesn't seem to be any on-screen scene in which he's told that Bogo gives Judy 48 hours; in other words, there doesn't seem to be indication that Nick knows exactly 12 hours has passed between Judy taking the Otterton case and the scene at naturist club.
    • In that case, Bogo himself said out loud that he gave Judy two days to find Otterton, just seconds before Nick stepped in. So Nick translates that into exactly 48 hours, takes when Judy told him she still had 36 into consideration, and does the math from there.
    • Seems plausible; In actual calculation, if 12 hours really have passed between Judy taking the Otterton case and leaving the naturist club, that should have meant that with Judy taking the case in the morning (and unlikely to be early morning either), they would have left the club only after sunset, which isn't the case. But if Nick 'misunderstands' 36 hours = 2 days = 48 hours due to what Judy and Bogo say, then the 2-hour gap (which Nick later translates into 10 hours remaining time) becomes a bit more tolerable. However, see also the 48 Hours folder earlier in this page for additional arguments that follow.

     City layout efficiency 
Right in the beginning of the movie, we see that the desert district is right beside the Tundra district. This seems like a ridiculously inefficient layout, the heating and cooling costs, as well as humidity control, would be massive especially as the air between districts mix. They should have put a temperate zone in between them.
  • I think you're confused as to how air conditioners work. They don't "generate cold", they can only move heat around. When they blow cold air out one end, they must produce heat exhaust from another.note  The system is really about as efficient as is possible when attempting to create climate-controlled areas in open air; the climate wall takes heat away from Tundratown and uses it to heat Sahara Square.
    • No, I know how air conditioners work. Same with refrigerators. It's still less efficient to have a high temperature gradient and let the hot air mix with the cold. Higher temperature differences cost more energy, far more than simply having two or three "steps" with lots of distance/insulation in between them. This is like running your freezer, with the door open, AND having the radiators in front of the doors instead of the back of the freezer. It's ridiculously inefficient. You are simply allowing the coldest air you spent energy and the hottest air you just spent energy making as well, to collide and neutralize each other. Both temperature extremes cost energy, and putting them right beside each other = maximizing the energy waste.
      • The idea is that they need cold for Tundratown, and the heat has to go somewhere. Might as well put it in Sahara Square. If you take a look at the wall itself, it's actually quite thick. It takes the bullet train a few moments to pass through it in the sequence where Judy first comes to Zootopia. Having both sides be open air IS very inefficient, but the alternative is to have both Tundratown and Sahara Square be cut off from the outside world through a massive enclosure, which would more than likely be unacceptable to most of its citizens, who want the open space and blue sky.

I'm wondering why a world populated by living, talking, civilized animals would have had need for muzzles to be invented, or at least how one would've ended up in the hands of a boy scout troop. Wouldn't that be equivalent to a ten-year-old human boy having access to a genuine pair of handcuffs or a straitjacket or something?
  • Well, that's two questions. As to why they exist, it's for the same reason handcuffs exist, given that some of the people in this world have very dangerous teeth and jaws; earlier in the movie we see a wolf who's been arrested wearing one. As to how the kids could have gotten hold of one... given how easily Nick was able to remove it, it may not have even been a real muzzle. It's possible one of the scouts' parents are into some sort of weird bondage play, and they stole it from their closet, or something like that.
    • Toy handcuffs aimed at kids exist, why not toy muzzles in the animal world?
  • Rewatched the scene on Blu-Ray and it really doesn't look like a cheap kids muzzle play toy that they use on Nick. It has a sturdy metal muzzle, rivets in the strap, and solid buckles so it looks like a real muzzle. One possibility for where it came from is that it could be a standard component of a Ranger Scout Troop's first aid kit and the kids "borrowed" it for the initiation. Likely the reason Nick was able to get it off so easily was because the kids were putting it on in the dark.
    • "Likely the reason Nick was able to get it off so easily was because the kids were putting it on in the dark." Wait, is it not supposed to be like that? Maybe I'm being dumb here, but I always assumed animals would be able to get muzzles off no problem if they had hands.

     Pellet penetration 
Wouldn't the Night Howler serum need to penetrate the skin of whoever it was shot at in order to make them go savage? I've been shot by a pellet gun a few times before, and it never managed to come close to breaking the skin. (And, for the record, I also don't have a relatively thick coat of fur covering my body, nor was I wearing protective gear.)
  • Well, I know that there are recorded incidents of people who were assassinated by a similar method of using an air gun to shoot a poisoned pellet at someone, the main difference being that the pellet was delivering deadly ricin rather than a mind-altering drug. Such a pellet probably would have to break the skin to some extent in order to work, but depending on the strength of the drug it may not necessarily need to penetrate significantly to have an effect. And remember, when we saw the shot splatter against Nick without apparently breaking the skin, that was a blueberry, and therefore probably a lot softer than the actual pellet. As for your own experience with pellet guns never breaking the skin, remember that it is possible to make an airgun that shoots a lot harder than those normally sold for recreational use.
  • There are several chemical compounds in real life that can pass through the skin without breaking it; the hyper-toxic Dimethylmercury is an example. It can be assumed that Doug learns from this and manages to find/invent something similar so that when the pellet is fired, the compounds simply pass through skin, and voila, berserk pred with no trace.

     Mr. Big, his Grandmama, and the skunk butt rug 
As mentioned in Fridge Horror, mafioso use rugs to dispose of enemies, thus Mr. Big burying his grandmama in a skunk butt rug indicates that the two don't get along, and Mr. Big also mentions he's angry that Nick disrespects both him and his grandmama, who was friendly enough to share some pastries with Nick. There's also the theory that Mr. Big hates Nick because he sees his grandmama as a Worthy Opponent not deserving the skunk butt rug.

Now this brings a few complicated questions:

  • If Mr. Big and his grandmama didn't get along, how was it that Nick can be friends to both?
  • If Mr. Big and his grandmama actually did get along, why did he bury her in a skunk butt rug, which as mentioned in the Fridge Horror page indicates that they're enemies?
    • He didn't know where the rug came from. Also, he was likely just using it to line her casket, rather than simply rolling her up in a rug and burying it like a mafioso might normally do to an enemy.
  • Mr. Big says that Nick disrespected both shrews. Now, take into consideration what Mr. Big says about Nick's interaction with the shrews: With Mr. Big, Nick "broke bread"; The phrase in question either mean having some kind of family dinner (implying a rather close relation), or as mentioned in dictionary, participating in Communion, a.k.a., going to the same church (possibly implying they didn't know each other that well); and speaking of church, Koslov made a cross sign in that scene. But with Grandmama, she baked cannoli (some pastries) for Nick. So the question is, was Nick friendly with the entire Big family, or was he only friendly towards Grandmama, and thus when Mr. Big says that Nick disrespected both, could he instead mean that Nick disrespected him by friending his enemy, and disrespected Grandmama by using that skunk butt rug?
    • Big mentioned that "Grandmama made you a cannoli". This implies that they did indeed all sit down and have dinner together, further indicating that Big and his grandmama lived together and were not enemies.
  • And going a bit further, how much did Nick know about Grandmama's death when he gave Mr. Big that skunk butt rug? Or, worse, was Nick a witness to Grandmama's death?
    • Likely she was still alive when he sold him the rug, and she died of old age shortly after. I think I saw a WMG or something suggesting that similar to how his Pawpsicle scam involved reselling the used popsicle sticks as mouse-sized construction lumber, he may have earlier run a scam where he ran a shady fly-by-night barber shop, and whenever mammals would get their butt waxed he would later try to pass off the results as mouse-sized wool rugs. Nick got cocky and scammed someone he really shouldn't have, when Big found out the true nature of what Nick had sold him he was pissed off and told Nick to get away from him and that if he ever saw him again he'd ice him. That pretty much explains how Nick and Big's relationship got to where it was prior to them meeting in the movie.
    • The sense of smell tends to fail in extreme old age. Possibly Mr. Big ordered a black and white rug, sight unseen, for his grandmother, who - unable to detect its stink - adored the rug and even stipulated that it be used as a liner for her coffin. It's not until the funeral that everyone realized that the casket-liner smelt of skunk. Nick didn't know on whose behalf the order had been placed, when he foisted a skunk-fur rug off on his customer.

  • Ah, thank you, those are very good explanations. Based on this I could draw a guess on what might have happened regarding the skunk butt rug that soured Nick's relationship with the Big family:
    • Granmama died, so Mr. Big ordered a henchman to buy a carpet or such to line her casket.
    • Said henchman came into contact with Nick one way or another, who maybe mentioned to Nick their client needed a small carpet.
    • Nick probably thought said client was a lemming or other such rodent (it does appear that lemmings are his go-to target for the pawpsicle scheme), so he had no qualm about selling the skunk butt rug.
    • One way or another, Mr. Big realized too late that the rug he ordered was a skunk butt rug, and upon finding out that it came from Nick, he renounced their amity, perhaps without clearly explaining why. (This ties back to Nick's exposition to Judy: When he specifically says "I might have sold him...", he may have suspected that skunk butt rug actually was for Mr. Big and not some random lemming, something Mr. Big confirms later before the icing threat)
  • There is only one minor question left: If Mr. Big discovered that the rug was from a skunk's butt, why did he still have his granmama buried in that rug instead of buying another one pronto? Nick's plea where he says he still has more rugs would've shown that it should have been more logical for Mr. Big to buy another rug (not necessarily from Nick again given his bad mood at that time) instead of proceeding with that skunk butt rug.
    • Maybe he didn't find out until after the burial, and didn't want to dig her up?
    • Or even worse, at the burial? As the polar bears arrived with the casket, the mourning guests suddenly all felt the foul stench of the skunk butt rug, turning the dignified funeral into a farce. This definitely could have ticked off Mr. Big enough to want to ice Nick.

    Armadillo's Clothes 
Judy's landlady is an armadillo who wears clothes in such a way as though that shell of hers were a removable article. Given Zootopia's penchant for accuracy of animal portrayal, is this a cheat, or is that shell an ornamental shell (think fur clothing), or what?

    Blubber Chef 
One of the restaurants that is seen when the train passes through Tundratown is called "Blubber Chef". Blubber is the fat of aquatic mammals, such as whales or seals. Does that it mean that sea mammals are consumed in this world? Are they non-sapient, and only land mammals are "evolved"? Or worse, they are sapient and yet still consumed?
  • A less-scary answer would be that the name Blubber Chef refers to, well, the chef themself, instead of the menu (else the place would probably be called Blubber Resto or Blubber Joint etc). Only problem with this answer is that it implies that there are seals/walruses living in Zootopia, and throughout the movie proper we see absolutely no pinnipeds (unless I wasn't thorough), throwing that idea into doubt (then again, there used to be plans to have bats as well, so existence by implication is probably still in force here)
    • A full map of Zootopia is shown briefly in one of the documentaries on the Blu-Ray release. One of the sectors is mostly underwater with Shark Tunnels and land bridges connecting whatever islands there are in it, suggesting that aquatic mammals DO exist and live in Zootopia.
    • Actually, even polar bears, being large, semi-aquatic mammals, have blubber, so if you are right, and "Blubber Chef" indicates that the chef is blubbery rather than cooks blubber (note that a "pasta chef" cooks pasta and isn't made of pasta), then it could be a fat polar bear rather than a walrus or seal.
    • Or it's a place where the food is super fattening. Like the heart attack grill.

    Leather-looking upholstery in the Hopps' farm truck? 
The seat of the Hopps Family Farm truck that Judy borrowed in the third act was upholstered with what appeared to be leather. What the hell? The obvious handwave would be that it's fake leather, but that's still fairly problematic — this society would only invent fake leather if it previously had a long-standing tradition of using real leather.

Additionally, such use would need to not be remembered as something morbid or barbaric for this tradition to be retained in the tastes of a family of mild-mannered farmer bunnies... if it hearkened back to some point in history where certain prey species were used as livestock like in real life, despite being sapient, it's likely that bunnies would avoid things that would remind them of that time.

That only leaves one possibility I can think of, yet its extreme level of Values Dissonance compared to real-life human society, far exceeding anything explicitly shown in the movie, makes it nearly unthinkable... Is it, or was it at one point, considered normal for certain species to put provisions in their will to sell their own skin upon their death, the proceeds going to the heirs? So common that virtually all mammals would think nothing of sitting in furniture coated with a product harvested from the remains of sapient beings no different from their bovine friends, co-workers, strangers on the bus, etc?

Can anyone come up with a less-disturbing explanation for this (besides the obvious Doylist solution of Bellisario's Maxim)?

  • There is an indication that in pre-historic times, there was the use of leather. At the end of the film, the saber-toothed jackalope mannequin, that Nick and Judy use as a distraction, is wearing a tunic that really looks like leather. In addition, the spear that it's holding has the stone spearhead fastened to the shaft by a similar looking material which in ancient times (IRL) was a leather thong. The simplest, least-disturbing answer is that Zootopian society knows that in pre-historic times it used leather but abandoned the practice as sapience and civilization emerged even though the look of leather is remembered. Seats have to be covered with something and it's likely some kind of rustic vinyl-like substance. As to why it would still resemble leather? Well, the movie has shown that there are some social practices of Zootopia which don't seem to be troublesome to a multi-species society. Why would shrews want a rug made from the fur of another species? Is ice cream a "dairy" product and where does the milk come from? There's a reference to glue which originally was made from the hooves and connective tissue of animals. As for why a rabbit would have chosen a leather-like seat, remember it was a rabbit-based jackalope that was wearing a leather tunic so perhaps it's not that abhorrent to rabbit society. Basically, it seems to come down to Zootopia is a different universe and has different social rules. Some resonate with our own, others do not.
    • Hmm, yes, didn't think about the jackalope barbarians' leather clothes. Still, leather-upholstered seating implies a less-ancient use of real leather.
  • Leather doesn't have to come from a mammal, or even a tetrapod for that matter.
  • In our world, we call certain plastic materials "artificial leather," "pleather," etc. because we have real leather as a reference. The residents of this world don't necessarily need that reference or the word for it to design smooth materials like vinyl or PVC that serve the same purpose in their world as in ours. I assume they've designed materials in their world that *we* would call "fake leather" or the like, but imitating leather was never a part of their goal since they don't have real leather. For example, someone in this world invented a plastic material that makes a comfortable covering for car seats — a history of working with cowskin wouldn't be necessary to do that. To us, it's fake leather; to them, it's [insert name]. No idea what material the skirts in the exhibit figures are made of, but just because it resembles leather doesn't mean it necessarily is leather.

    Car sizes in Zootopia: The Meter Maid Buggy 
If Judy is the first small mammal in the force, how is it that they have a ready-made buggy for an animal her size?
  • Option 1: Judy's not the first small mammal working for ZPD; there have been other small mammals before her who works this kind of menial parking duty job while the bigger mammals do the usual gritty Precinct One works. This could be why they already have such a small buggy which should not be able to house even the wolves judging from their sizes compared to Judy.
  • Option 2: Considering that Chief Bogo initially didn't think a bunny could do the usual big cop jobs, maybe his first thought was that she would be better off doing parking duty. This could have lead him to going out and buying a cheap buggy, and re-purposing it for meter maid duty. It could even be a second-hand buggy too; no wonder it's slow.

    Car sizes in Zootopia: Small animals, large cars? 
Why/how do small mammals drive big cars? Specifically looking at the up to eleven case of Finnick and his van and Judy and Nick's cruiser at the end. In Judy's cruiser's case, we do see her hitting the gas pedal, but looking at the size of the cruiser it almost looks like the inside of the cruiser doesn't match the size implied by the outside. Even if Judy were standing instead of sitting, the two sizes don't seem to match up. So is that cruiser customized or something? And it's even worse in Finnick's case; Considering how tiny he is, and how he has to climb a stack of books just to reach the steering wheel, how does he even hit the pedals?
  • In Finnick's case: have you heard of pedal extenders? Real-life dwarfs use them all the time in order to drive cars designed for much larger people. In the case of the police cruiser, though, there's really no explanation other than that the driver's compartment has been heavily customized to fit smaller occupants. It's unclear, though, why the ZPD would opt for that instead of just deploying a smaller police car. After all, if they had to arrest a much larger animal they would probably have to call for backup anyway.
    • This screen shot of Finnick in the driver's seat shows that there are no pedal extenders installed. Given what is shown, the most likely explanation is Finnick reworked the van so the acceleration and brake controls are up on the steering wheel.
  • Another possibility is that they're using a police car that was not otherwise in use at the time. The police department may have figured it'd be cheaper to modify an existing car so that Judy and Nick could drive it rather than purchase a new Judy-and-Nick-sized car.
  • In real life, cops can use the Pitt Maneuever in order to end a police chase, and as Judy and Nick are both City Center cops, and thus most of the traffic is larger mammal vehicles, having a vehicle capable of doing so would be quite helpful. Not to mention the utlity for, say, pinning a megafauna criminal to a wall until the megafauna cops could make it there. Giving them a smaller vehicle would actually be putting Nick and Judy's lives at risk in that case, since, say, an Elephant or Rhino could lift or smash up a smaller vehicle easily. Add to this the ZPD is probably pretty stringent on their officers getting proper and adaptable equipment, since, as the Academy Drill Instructor said, if not: "You'll be DEAD." Thinking on this, your average ZPD officer is basically the police equivalent of Delta Force training wise.

    Ram figures in Bellwether's office 
Bellwether's office is full of little ram figures (they are clearly rams, not ewes, because they all have curly horns). Little rams wearing nothing except their fluffy wool. The human equivalent of this would be a woman decorating her office with little figures of naked men. Is the Assistant Mayor decorating her office with, practically, soft-core erotica? If she is, why isn't she more embarrassed about it when Judy and Nick visit her? Did the movie creators not think of this implication?
  • Not all depictions of nudity in art are intended as erotic, particularly when it's so cutesy and stylized. For example, those silly Troll dolls are often depicted without any clothing. Another infamous example is Love Is..., an outstandingly saccharine comic strip starring a couple of ambiguous age who look like children due to the cutesy art style, and who seem to rarely wear any clothes, in a variety of lovey-dovey but never sexually-charged situations. Some might find it surprising how much nudity there is to be found in cutesy kitsch, but it's really not that out-of-place in Bellwether's office, actually fitting quite well with the sweet, harmless persona she normally projects.

    Why do they employ an all-Sloth staff at DMV? 
Aside from the obvious jab at DMV in real life, what's the in-universe reason for the DMV employing an all-Sloth staff? We've seen how inefficient they are at doing their jobs with their slowness and this is actually detrimental for any mammal who needs to get their business at DMV done quickly like Judy. There are some other jobs that Sloths are probably more qualified to do than working in jobs that demand punctuality like DMVs.
  • On the Fridge Brilliance page someone suggested that the sloths are very well-suited for jobs that require sitting at the same spot all day long, something that more active mammals would not tolerate. Also, they are slow, but very meticulous.
  • Fair point, but there are also other species of mammals that are also as capable of doing the same things that Sloths can do but faster. They could at least have some diversity in the workplace like ZPD does, and there are many office jobs that require employees to sit in the same place all day long besides the DMV. Even if some mammals can't sit in the same spot for a very long time, they can work in shifts. Sloths can comprise the majority of the staff, of course, but with some other mammals working in DMV, they can help reduce the time it takes during one DMV visit.
  • It also could have been an act of positive discrimination by Mayor Lionheart or one of his predecessors, Gone Horribly Right. Sloths need jobs too, despite their speed handicap, so the Mayor of Zootopia forced workplaces to hire sloths, and the DMV went a bit too far with it.
  • We see how frustrated Judy gets from dealing with sloths for a single afternoon. Imagine trying to deal with them every day at work! Possibly the city does hire on non-sloths for DMV positions from time to time, but such hirelings invariably quit or seek transfer to other civic departments, rather than deal with co-workers who operate at the speed of cold molasses.
  • Perhaps it has something to do with the salary? The workers might be paid very little, and most animals seek better jobs. However, as sloths likely have trouble working at basically any office, they might agree to work in such conditions if only they're accepted there.
    • And sloths have such a slow metabolism that they probably eat very little, so they may be able to get by on a very low-paying job that faster animals with bigger appetites would starve on.

     "Ice 'em" 
Why was Mr. Big so quick to try to have Nick and Judy iced when Judy accuses him of causing Otterton's disappearance? Since Big later states that Otterton was "part of the family", wouldn't it make more sense for him to take part as a lead in order for Judy to track Otterton down for him? I get that he's a crime lord and Judy getting in his face about the situation wasn't exactly bright, but what exactly would he gain from eliminating Nick and Judy when he wasn't responsible?
  • Nick had already violated Mr. Big's order to "never show your face here again". While Nick might have been able to talk his way out of that, Judy, a police officer, then threatened Mr. Big to his face saying "I'm going to find out what you did to that Otter if it's the last thing I do". Not only would Mr. Big not want a police officer snooping around his affairs, but Judy just challenged his authority in front of his mooks, pretty much forcing an "ice'em" response.

     Otterton going savage 
While the movie is correct in saying that otters are predators, that's only because their diet consists of fish, shellfish, etc., and they don't typically attack any animal in sight unless threatened, so why would Dr. Badger or anyone else come to the conclusion that Otterton became savage due to him being a predator when an otter like him wouldn't normally attack a jaguar (Manchas) or any other animal out of the blue? For that matter, shouldn't that have been a red flag that something was affecting him psychologically, rather than him simply "reverting back to his primitive ways"?
  • Real life river otters will eat fish, shellfish, frogs, turtles, birds (usually waterfowl like ducks and ducklings) and small mammals. They do prey on mice, muskrats, young or injured beavers, and even sometimes rabbits. And no predator typically "attacks any animal in sight"
  • The problem with that is that they only have a vague idea about what the "primitive ways" of an otter would be. They have no means of observing wild otter behavior, since wild otters no longer exist; they can only extrapolate based on anatomical features and archaeological evidence. Therefore, it would not be nearly so obvious to them that savage-Otterton's behavior was never natural for otters at any point.
  • Looking at the list of the other missing mammals (from the picture in the ZPD bullpen), we have 6 big cats, 2 polar bears, 3 brown/black bears, 2 wolves and 1 otter (and later one black jaguar). The cats are obligate carnivores and undeniably predators, polar bears (IRL) are also pretty ruthless hunters, and the bears, wolves and otters are "predators" in the sense they, at one time, hunted for their food. Every animal in this group is clearly not a prey animal so grouping Otterton in with the most obvious similarity between all these animals (ie being predators) seems a reasonable assumption for the doctor to make given that she apparently had run out of any other reason for why the mammals were "going off the rails crazy". Also, we're not sure how much the Cliffside Asylum staff was aware of the circumstance behind Otterton's disappearance. So there might not be any knowledge of his attacking Manchas to factor into her hypothesis.

     In-universe movie in place of Zootopia 
The scene where Duke Weaselton sells bootleg DVDs implies that Disney movies exist in-universe. If so, what was the Disney movie in theatres during spring 2016?
  • The DVDs with identifiable titles on Weaselton's table are: Pig Hero 6; Wrangled; Wreck-it Rhino; Meowana; Giraffic; and Floatzen 2. These were all recent or pending Disney releases as of March 2016. (Giraffic/Gigantic having recently been cancelled). The challenge with this question is that we attempt to answer Headscratcher questions "in-universe" (ie from a Watsonian point-of-view). Therefore, in trying to answer the question as if one was actually in the Zootopia universe, basically there wouldn't have been a Disney release in spring 2016. Thus there'd be no need for some "alternative" title for Duke to have as a substitute and the list of movies on his table simply are the Disney movies that exist in Zootopia around the timeframe of 2010-2019.

     Why was Judy looked down upon in the force? 
I don't understand why the ZPD dismissed Judy for the mere fact that she's a rabbit. Yes, she's not strong or scary-looking like a rhino, elephant, or wolf, but there would be a lot of advantages she would have over other cops, like speed and reflexes, and she would be much more effective in catching small mammals like Weaselton than an elephant or rhino cop ever would. I get that it might be because a cute, tiny bunny would be hard to take seriously in a job such as this, but the force must be stupid to think that an enormous animal would be more efficient at capturing Weaselton than an animal who's roughly the same size as him.
  • The story never makes it apparent that Judy is being dismissed for the mere fact that she is a rabbit. Judy's main detractor is Chief Bogo and his objections seem to be based upon Judy's Cowboy Cop actions instead of her species. He is already resistant toward Judy because he feels she's been thrust upon him by Mayor Lionheart as a political appointee. In addition, Judy's actions do make life difficult for Bogo on her first few days and she comes across as being a Cowboy Cop. She abandoned protocol during the "Little Rodentia" chase and caused all kinds of havoc in the district. She argues back when Bogo is reprimanding her for it. Then she volunteers to take on a missing mammals case in front of the victim's wife without seeking Bogo's authorization first. He is quite justified in firing her for insubordination until Bellwether intervenes. However, we do see that once Judy proves herself by finding the missing mammals, Bogo comes to see her potential and even comments on it during her meeting with Mayor Bellwether. "The world has always been broken, that's why we need good cops... Like you."
    • No, it's pretty clear that the biggest reason for her treatment at the ZPD is her species/size. Not a single mammal at Precinct One was smaller than a sheep or wolf, and it took a full on inclusion initiative before Judy was given the chance of becoming a police officer in Zootopia. If Bogo's annoyance had simply been due to her insubordination, he wouldn't have turned his attitude around so quickly once he proved her mettle because she still did it in full Cowboy Cop fashion, nor would he have immediately sidelined her on meter maid duty (which as shown by Nick isn't a rule or anything) instead of putting her on a case when he was explicitly low on police manpower. In addition, Chief Bogo was not the only one giving her a hard time; McHorn was disdainful of her at the Bullpen, and insulted her with the "meter maid" moniker at Little Rodentia. The view by many of the other officers was that she was a tiny rabbit playing at being a cop who didn't know what she was getting into.
      • Despite the statement that the "view by many of the other officers was that she was a tiny rabbit playing at being a cop who didn't know what she was getting into", Judy only has meaningful interaction with three individuals: Clawhauser, McHorn, and Bogo and it's hard to build a fully justified conclusion from those interactions. Clawhauser expresses surprise that they actually did hire a bunny for the ZPD and his statement that she's going to be "eaten alive" could indicate a species/size bias or it could indicate, that as a political appointee, he knew Chief Bogo is going to come down hard on her. Hard to tell since Clawhauser is fully supportive of her during the rest of the movie. McHorn rolls his eyes at Judy's "ready to make the world a better place" comment but is he disdainful because of her species/size or because of her annoying and naive rookie enthusiasm? His "meter maid" comment is demeaning but again is it motivated by species/size or the fact that she's just charged into a size-restricted zone that has its own police force? (there are police mice in mouse-sized cars appearing in the movie's promotional promotional material). Finally, there's Bogo who's attitude toward her is complicated at best. She's a complete rookie who was politically appointed and assigned to a precinct where her size is a liability. In addition, she starts work right in the middle of a city-wide crisis that is forcing Bogo to allocate most of his resources to the investigation. He assigns her to "parking duty" but is this because that's all he ever intended for her to do or because it's the best place to assign her until the crisis is over? Regardless of her species/size, she's not going to get assigned to a missing mammals case on her first day especially when Bogo doesn't have anyone to partner with her. And then we have Judy immediately challenging her assignment on her first day and going Cowboy Cop on her second, neither of which are the best way to earn your Chief's respect. Ultimately, it's hard to justify that her species/size is the biggest reason for her treatment. It's definitely a component but it's probably a blending of individual bias, institutional bias, her species/size and Judy's own disruptive behavior that all contribute to her initial treatment.

     No shoes? 
Why does hardly anybody in Zootopia wear shoes? It seems odd for anthropomorphic animals to be walking around in a large city wearing clothing but no shoes. I can imagine their feet getting infected, especially if Zootopia is anything like cities in our world, such as New York. We wear shoes because they keep our feet clean and protect our feet from getting infected. Not to mention, shoes are pretty much required in most public places in our society.
  • This is an odd head-scratcher question because it includes a pot-hole link to the Barefoot Cartoon Animal trope which actually deals with this issue in detail. This indicates the troper is aware of the other trope and since Zootopia simply adopts the Barefoot Cartoon Animal trope without further explanation, there's really no way to answer this question from a Watsonian perspective.
  • A large fraction of Zootopia's population are hoofed mammals. Animals with hooves generally need to go barefoot to wear down their nails, else their hooves will overgrow. With so many citizens unable to wear shoes without this happening, a stigma against being barefoot in public places never became a part of Zootopian culture. As for the other species, their feet are probably a lot tougher than humans'.
    • But is that true for their real-life counterparts? Think about a dog's paw compared to a human foot, for example. Of course dogs normally don't wear shoes in real life even in public (in places they are allowed), and they apparently don't need them as much as people do.
    • Wild animals obviously don't need shoes in real life because their feet are well-adapted for their environment. Most animals' feet are tougher than humans' and for the most part require little protection (Though even human feet are tougher than many people think; when people go barefoot long enough, the skin on their feet becomes thicker, and can withstand the environment for long periods if it is not too severe). Although Zootopia is a different environment, shoes may not be required for everyday conditions. Some mammals, however, may wear them if they are required to for whatever reason, like if they have jobs where they need extra protection, or they may wear them for style.
  • At least some hoofed mammals in Zootopia wear shoes, however. Gazelle wears them. And even horses wear shoes in real life because they need their feet protected just like humans do. I imagine they do in Zootopia as well.
  • Horses in real life require horseshoes because they're typically expected to carry burdens, most often humans, that their wild ancestors' legs and feet didn't have to cope with. The iron shoe stops their hooves from wearing down too fast. Zootopian hoofed mammals may don work boots if their job requires them to carry heavy objects all day, but for most of them the weight of clothing won't be sufficient to unduly strain their hooves. As for Gazelle, she's a superstar who can afford to get pedicures any time her hooves need a trim.
  • This Troper has a dog who had to wear a sock to keep him from licking a sore on his paw. His claws had a tendency to poke holes in it, and it frequently needed to be replaced. This is despite the fact that we took it off whenever we walked him, so that's just counting wearing it in the house.
  • Plenty of residents of the outlying districts probably need their feet uncovered, the better to use their nails to grip ice or tree branches, or splay out their padded toes to walk on sand. Sure, theoretically you could design shoes with cleats or widened soles to do the same job, but traversing such surfaces with one's feet covered might feel awkward and ungraceful, like wearing a pair of thick gloves while writing longhand.

     Judy Passing The Police Academy Tests (unmarked spoilers) 
I don't understand how Judy was able to pass the frigid ice wall and enormus criminal tests. Her way of getting over the wall would only work if large animals were climbing the ice at the same time. Wouldn't she have to learn to handle ice on her own too? And her way of defeating the enormous criminal was by bouncing off the flexbile band thing that I'm pretty sure would not be there in her real job. Even for Rule of Cool it seems like a stretch.
  • It's most likely that the ZPD tests were not graded exclusively on a strict pass/fail system but also were used to see how well a cadet deals with problems they initially can not solve. As we watch Judy at first, she throws herself into each problem expecting to succeed through sheer force of will only to soundly fail. Over time, however, she comes to figure out other ways to approach the challenge of the ice wall and enormous criminal tests that make use of her strengths and the surrounding environment to succeed (such as boxing ring ropes and the heads of fellow officers). I suspect she passes because Major Friedkin saw that Judy was adaptable and used out-of-the-box thinking even if the specific way she succeeded would not always be available to her in a real world scenario.

     Mr. Big doesn't lock his limos? 
Just something I thought was weird. I think most normal people tend to lock their cars overnight. Wouldn't it at least make sense for a crime boss to do it?
  • Your observation makes sense however two things. 1) Having worked a company that had a motor pool I can attest that most of the cars in the fenced and patrolled lot were left unlocked. 2) While Nick didn't immediately realize Tundratown Limos was a Mr. Big-owned business, odds are very good that most of the Tundratown residents DO. So who in their right mind is going to loot one of Mr. Big's limos?

     Night Howler effects 
How long do they last? Otterton was missing for 11 or 12 days and was still acting savage when they found him, and he doesn't get better until the conspiracy is exposed and they can administer the proper cure, which didn't happen until a few months after the press conference. I could imagine the toxin in the flowers (especially a concentrated version of it) remaining in effect for a few weeks, but months?
  • The point of Headscratchers is to examine questions and try to answer them from a Watsonian or in-universe perspective. Unfortunately, the movie does not present an in-depth examination of the pharmacological aspects of the Nighthowler toxin. We only see one character from the point of infection to final cure... Mr. Otterton. During that time we see he is examined and treated by Dr. Honey Badger at Cliffside Asylum and (presumably by) the doctors at the Zootopia hospital he's transferred to after his rescue. Neither has any success with his condition until a sample of the serum is obtained by Nick and Judy. So while in real-life it seem improbable for the toxin to last for more than a few weeks, ultimately, in-universe the answer is the Nighthowler toxin effects last until an antidote is administered.

     Not like them 
So, about Nick and Judy's argument after the press conference...I can understand that Judy had some personal bias against foxes and other predators, due to her childhood and stuff. And I can understand how she grew to feel comfortable around Nick after spending so much time with him and getting to know him. But when Nick points out that her "going savage" explanation could just as easily apply to him, I don't really get how Judy could just shrug it off and say "You're not like them." I mean...there's no difference between him and the people (animals) who went savage. If she thinks it's a biological component that only predators have, why would she think that Nick was exempt from that, especially once the logic of it was pointed out to her?
  • She's not talking logically, she's realizing how much she hurt her friend and quasi-partner and is saying whatever she can think of to try and salvage the situation. Note how easily Nick tears down her excuses.

     Retrieving the carrot pen 
At the limo lot, Judy throws her carrot pen with the recording over the fence to entice Nick to climb over and get it, thereby giving her probable cause to enter the lot to "investigate." But why did Nick bother getting the pen back at this point? I get that it seemed simple at the time, but Judy would need to go onto the lot and retrieve the pen to use the recording against him - but if she were willing to trespass in order to do that, why bother throwing the pen over in the first place?
  • Nick had been focused on getting the pen back ever since Judy hustled his cooperation. Only with the pen fully in his possession would he truly be "free" from his obligation and Judy assumed correctly that he would not be able to just let the pen sit there visibly on the other side of the fence and would have to climb the fence to finally obtain it. Judy needed "probable cause" to enter the property because without it, she would simply be trespassing and any evidence she found would not be admissible in court.
  • There was nothing to stop Judy from returning in the morning and politely asking whomever staffs the car lot to let her retrieve her pen. Having Nick jump the fence was Judy's way of saving valuable time, not the only way she could ever gain access to the property.
  • Worse, if Judy does NOT return in the morning, the pen can be accidentally discovered by a total stranger who would now have a blackmailing material against Nick, and might not use it as gently as Judy herself. Especially if Judy did not stop recording when talking about how Nick is guilty of felony tax evasion.

     Calling a bunny cute 
I don't get this. I'm aware of the phenomenon that some people are okay with calling each other things but becoming offended if someone else does it, but doesn't that generally only apply to insults or derogatory terms? Why do bunnies get to dictate what can and can't be called cute? Do other animals take offense to things like this?
  • Since other animals generally patronize bunnies, the word cute could be seen as an extension of that, given its childlike connotations. When Nick calls her that twice early on, he means it in such a way.
  • It's like openly admiring African people's hair. It's not... insulting as such, but it is embarrassing and rather patronising, especially coming from a stranger.
  • Exactly. Bunnies want to be treated as adults, and larger animals calling them cute implies that they are childlike and don't need to be taken seriously.
  • Think of it like calling an adult human with dwarfism "cute" because they're small. Even if such a remark isn't ill-meant, it's demeaning and unwelcome; at best, it'd be a Never Heard That One Before, and at worst it'd seem like you think they're a child or a doll.

     Calling the police 
  • Judy wanting to expose the Night Howler conspiracy by herself instead of going to the police is understandable, since she feels responsible for the predator hate that's been plaguing the city, but why didn't she try calling them once her plans started going south? We saw that she had her phone on her earlier - when she showed Nick the image of Duke Weaselton - so why didn't she use it to call for help when Bellewether had them cornered?
    • Once Judy's plans start going south, there really isn't a window of opportunity for her to do so. Judy wouldn't have called the ZPD until she was sure there was actual evidence to call them in which means the earliest point to make the call would have been after she and Nick enter the subway car and confirm that it is filled with Nighthowlers. However, it's highly likely there was no cell signal in the subway car itself and they were almost immediately forced to hide when Doug came in. As soon as Judy kicks Doug out she immediately focuses on getting the car moving. They barely have time to "celebrate" that they've gotten away and could call the ZPD before Jesse and Woolter are now trying to break in. Then Judy is knocked out of the train, then they have to avoid the oncoming train, then they crash, then they run toward the ZPD through the Natural History Museum, then they encounter Bellwether, discover she's the Big Bad and flee. Judy cuts her leg and assuming her phone survived the train crash, there's maybe a possible moment in time to call the ZPD while Nick is bandaging her leg but to make the call would have given away their hiding place and they would have been caught before help arrived. Instead they plan their Batman Gambit and make a break for it leading to the entire pit scene where no phone call would have been possible. So, realistically, there just wasn't a free moment to make the call.
    • Last time Judy tried calling in to dispatch, she didn't even get an answer for some time because Clawhauser was goofing around showing off his new app. Why would she expect a better response if she tried calling ZPD again...?
      • Because, by this point in the story, Judy knows that Clawhauser was removed from the front desk so there would be a less distracted ZPD officer taking her call.

     What is the skunk-butt rug made from? 
In a World of Funny Animals it's not going to be made from a skunk's hide because that would be equivalent to a human owning a human-skin rug, however if it's made from a skunk's fur it wouldn't have the anal scent glands attached, so it would smell fine and Mr Big shouldn't have any problem with it.
  • Exactly how the rug was made is never explained, but even if the underlying foundation is some kind of plastic/latex substitute with the fur woven into it, the thought of one animal wanting a rug make from the fur of another animal still seems weird. It would be like having a rug make from human hair, not as grotesque as the rug being made from human skin, but still pretty weird. As far as the smell issue, it doesn't seem that Mr. Big was offended by the smell of the carpet (which likely had been cleaned/sanitized to remove the odor) but rather the issue of disrespect he was shown by being sold a rug that was made from the a$$-hairs of another mammal.

    ""Hey meter maid! Make way for the real cops!" 
  • Okay, Rhino, let's see how well your big heavy feet do walking through a tiny city populated by small mammals. I'm sure you'd be very graceful at it.
  • Officer McHorn said "Hey Meter Maid, wait for the real cops" and notably DID NOT FOLLOW Judy into Little Rodentia but was waiting for the Little Rodentia police to respond. Promotional materials have shown mouse sized police do exist and given that CCTV cameras exist everywhere in Zootopia it would be rather easy to track Weaselton's progress through the district. He is too large to really hide anywhere so all they'd have to do is wait for him to try and leave and capture him then.

     Why demand the badge? 
After Judy fails to show Chief Bogo and the other cops the savage Manchas, Bogo demands her to hand over her badge and resign. What I don't understand is why Bogo would do this when, as Nick points out, Judy still has a fair amount of time to solve the case. While I can understand Bogo being upset for his time being wasted, why would he be so quick to end the deal after one dead end?
  • Your question implies that Bogo was actively supporting Judy in her investigation, which he was not. Bogo was already put off by Judy's political appointment to Precinct one by Mayor Lionheart. However, Judy made it worse for herself by going Cowboy Cop on her very second day causing a scurry in Little Rodentia and putting the citizens there at risk with her chase of Weaselton. The last straw was when she volunteered to take on the Mr. Otterton case in front of Mrs. Otterton without seeking authorization from her commanding officer first. Bogo was well within his rights as the police chief to fire Judy right then and there for insubordination and it was only Bellwether's interference that saved Judy's career. However, at that point, Bogo wanted Judy off the force and the whole Race Against the Clock bet was him stacking the deck against her to insure that she would have to quit. When she made the Manchas call which mobilized several police units but resulted in no "jaguar gone savage", Bogo took that opportunity to force the issue and demand that Judy resign.

    What happened to Travis? 
So he shows up at the start of the movie for two scenes...and then never again. Given his (seeming) closeness to Gideon, who wound up not only redeeming himself, but also providing CRUCIAL evidence, it's odd that the movie never shows what happens to Travis, and while my own AU has its own ideas, it's incredibly dissatisfying to see that happen. Hmm... Weaselton being Obviously Evil, the Ottertons (I think) having ties to organized crime, the possibly-racist honey badger, and now Travis's lack of redemption... I sense a VERY Broken Aesop here...
  • In general a story is not obligated to show what happens to every character featured in the narrative. In addition to Travis, by the end of the movie the whereabouts of the following characters who have had speaking parts are unknown: Major Friedkin, Honey Badger, Manchas, Doug, Jesse, Woolter, Finnick, Nangi, Bucky, Pronk, Cotton, Sharla, Gareth, Jaguar, and Bobby Catmull. The point of this section is to try and answer lingering questions from the story with "in-universe" solutions. This is kinda a non-question because there's nothing in the story that implies a "loose end" regarding Travis and seems to be trying to start a discussion which is generally not the purpose of this page.

    Sheep in Zootopia 
Word of God says that animals such as domestic cats and dogs were avoided being used because the filmmakers were trying to create a world where humans (and primates in general never existed, therefore domestic species wouldn't have been created. If that is so, how come domestic sheep exist in Zootopia? At the very least that's what it looks like. Sure, there are wild species of sheep in real life, but the sheep seen in the movie such as Bellwether and Doug resemble domestic sheep more than anything.
  • This is an observation that's been made before and has not yet culled any type of official Word of God answer. The observation applies to pigs as they also look like their domesticated version. Some have suggested that, in-universe, some form of self-selection was done by these species to achieve the current look of sheep, pigs, and horses but the motivations and mechanics for how this hypothesis would actually work are kinda vague. Although headscratchers tries to answer the question from a Watsonian perspective, I'm afraid, in this case, a Doylist answer is the most likely one. Remember that the target demographics for a Disney Animated film is children. So, the look of Wild Sheep and Wild Boars are so radically different in appearance to their domesticated versions, that had they been used, the average target viewing audience wouldn't recognize them as sheep or pigs. So the domesticated versions of these two species were used instead.