- “Hey, Judy, I-I'd just like to say I'm sorry for the way I-I-I behaved in my youth. I-I had lot of self-doubt, and it manifested itself in the form of unchecked rage and aggression. I was a major jerk.”
- ―Gideon apologizing to Judy for his behavior when they were children
Gideon Grey is a male red fox and a minor character in Zootopia.
- “Gideon Grey embodies the worst parts of bad children. He's a bully, probably mean to bugs and carries around a solid stick for breaking stuff.”
- ―Cory Loftis
Gideon Grey appears to be a very rude and mean character at the beginning of the film. On top of this, it is possible that he was less educated than other children his age, seeing as how he pronounced 'DNA' as 'dunnuh'. He appears to be fairly insecure, but a commanding physical presence and an entourage, mainly consisting of Travis, gives him a certain personal security common in bullying types. At least to Bonnie and Stu Hopps, he reinforces the stereotype that foxes are vile and untrustworthy.
However, it appears that he has really straightened out, being cited as one of the best pastry chefs in the region, and becoming genuinely apologetic, courteous and respectful. He also seems to have developed a stutter.
Role in the Film
Young Gideon is first seen heckling Judy during her play when she announces her dream of becoming a police officer. Hearing this, Judy does acknowledge the audience about the impossibility of her dream to some mammal's perspectives, specifically mentioning Gideon. This manages to quiet him down for the remainder of her play.
After the performance, during a county fair event in Bunnyburrow, Gideon and his black-footed ferret friend, Travis, bully Sharla, her brother, Gareth and a bunny child to take their fair tickets when Judy shows up and calmly demands Gideon returns the tickets to her friends. Gideon simply mocks the young rabbit and pushes her to the ground, to which Judy retaliates by kicking him in the face.
Angered, Gideon scratches Judy's cheek with his claws, drawing blood, and derides her, snarling that she'll never be anything more than "just a stupid, carrot farming dumb bunny". He then leaves with Travis, feeling satisfied, completely unaware that Judy managed to slip the tickets out of Gideon's pocket and return them to her friends.
Fifteen years later, an adult Gideon arrives at the Hopps family farm in his delivery van, which shows he has become a successful pastry chef, and (after being convinced by their daughter) a business partner to Bonnie and Stu Hopps.
Seeing Judy, Gideon awkwardly, but sincerely apologizes for his bullying behavior from when they were kids, admitting he was a 'major jerk'. Judy kindly accepts his apology by admitting she knows something about being a jerk herself.
They then hear Bonnie and Stu tell some of Judy's younger siblings to stay away from some violet flowers growing around their crops, which Gideon then casually mentions are nicknamed 'Night howlers'. Judy asks about the night howlers and learns they are capable of turning any mammal, including rabbits, aggressive and has a realization. She frantically rattles off on what she'd missed and takes her father's truck to drive to Zootopia, leaving her perplexed parents and Gideon wondering what got her so excited.
Role in Literature
Gideon is featured on an ad for his bakery that he has placed in the Handbook. He is seen holding two pies.
As a kid, Gideon was a bully to whom Judy tried to stand up for her friends, which led to a conflict between them in which Judy was physically and verbally assaulted by Gideon. This unpleasant confrontation left Judy with a slight fear of foxes.
Fifteen years later, they met up again, where Gideon (having matured into a much kinder person) sincerely apologized to Judy for his bullying behavior when they were kids, an apology she kindly accepts. Gideon unknowingly gives Judy the key evidence she'd been missing by mentioning 'Night howlers' as the nickname of a mind-altering flower.
While we see very little interaction between Gideon and Judy's parents when he was younger, Gideon is confirmed to have matured at an older age, them sharing what is assumed to be a fairly good relationship. Having become a pastry chef, he works in quite close company with them and delivers pies to them regularly. After Judy starts ranting about the night howlers, they share a brief moment of disbelief and mutual lack of understanding.
- Gideon is a nod to the minor antagonists Honest John and Gideon from Pinocchio.
- Disney animators looked to Disney's film Robin Hood when designing Gideon.
- As a kid, Gideon's tail tip is white, but when he is an adult it is a deep red-brown, like Nick Wilde's.
- With the exception of Nick Wilde and a cameo of Mrs. Wilde, Gideon is the only other red fox seen in the film.
- Gideon's hair resembles Byron Howard's hair.