Hello, my fellow Zootopians! Prepare to get Z.A.P.ped! It's time for this week's edition of the Zootopia Appreciation Post, or Z.A.P. for short. Every Saturday, I'm gonna be posting a different Zootopia-related topic that we can all discuss.
For today's topic, I would like to talk about the Zootopia Junior Ranger Scouts.
Apologies for not doing this on Saturday.
As you know, the Junior Ranger Scouts is a group of young prey mammals in Zootopia that is similar to the Boy Scouts.
The group is first mentioned by Nick around the middle of the film as he tells Judy about his childhood. As a kit, Nick wanted nothing more than to be a scout, so his mother "scraped together" enough money to buy Nick a brand new uniform.
In a flashback to his childhood, one night, Nick heads to a Scout Meeting for his initiation with the other members of Pack 914 (all of which are prey animals), only to be roughly bullied and muzzled by them and their self-spoken, prejudiced leader on account of him being a fox. After Nick breaks free of their bullying and runs outside to escape, he removes the muzzle and breaks down in tears, his dream of fitting in crushed.
As a result of his unpleasant experiences with the Scouts, Nick develops a triggering fear of muzzles and dislike towards prey and bigoted mammals.
In the present, he states to Judy that he also vowed to never expose his true vulnerability to others and came to believe that no matter where he went or what he did, no one would ever see him as anything but sly, vile, and untrustworthy due to him being a fox. Thus, he resolved to live out the "sly fox" stereotype.
Interestingly, on one of my rewatches of the movie, I noticed that a small group of scouts can be seen briefly when Judy first comes out of the Zootopia Central Station. This was one of the many foreshadowing elements in the film.
Personally, I think I hated these guys more than Gideon Grey. I mean, both of them traumatized Nick and Judy, but at least Gideon was mature enough to apologize for it.
I also think that the parents of these kids may be as bigoted as they are.
So, what do you guys think? Sound off in the comments below!