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- “You can tell the story without the collars.”
- ―Josie Trinidad (Co-head of story)
The Tame collar was an early concept for Zootopia. It was a collar designed specifically for predators that would shock them to keep them docile.
Mandatory for all predators, tame collars were made to keep predators from acting out of aggression and potentially hurting prey animals by shocking them when they became enraged or overly emotional. It has a light that changes color depending on the wearer's emotional state: green meaning calm and/or relaxed, yellow (the warning color) when they are agitated, and red (the color that initiates the shock) when they are too emotional.
Though animators and storyboard artists at Disney Animation Studios thought the collar would be a key plot point in the world of Zootopia, those select few at Pixar that they showed it to didn't enjoy the movie at all. They pointed out that, instead, the staff at Disney Animation could get rid of the collars and put stereotyping/subtler discrimination against predators in their place.
Originally the main protagonist, Nick Wilde was to run an illegal, indoor sanctuary called Wild Times which would allow predators to remove their collars. However, since the collar element was cut, the Wild Times element was also cut, and Nick became the deuteragonist instead of the protagonist.
Having hurt his neck, a cautious doctor has to temporarily remove Nick Wilde's tame collar in order to examine him. Being without his collar for the first time that he can remember, he is overcome with feelings of joy and freedom. His collar is put back on seconds later, however. Nick asks the doctor for more time without it, to which the doctor replies, "If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that." And Nick responds, "Then you'd be the richest mammal in Zootopia." This plants the seed of Nick's idea for Wild Times.
Morris' Taming Party
Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde watch Morris' taming party as his father Koslov presents him with his tame collar. As his collar is put on, Morris is applauded by his peers, with a saddened Koslov looking on. As Morris becomes increasingly excited, Koslov tries to call out to his son to calm down, but Morris doesn't hear him. Finally, he gets his first shock from the collar and looks back worriedly towards his father. Koslov then sadly steps forward to give his son a hug, and it is then that Morris realizes that his collar is not a privilege, but the opposite: a cruel restriction.