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 saddest moments in Zootopia.
A good movie can be memorable for making you laugh or smile, but some can also make you cry. The reason this happens is because you, the viewer, see the characters as real individuals, instead of a fancy drawing with a voice behind it. They become very human and relatable, so when they feel sad, we feel sad. And here are some of the biggest tear-jerker moments in Zootopia:
- Gideon Grey bullies Judy Hopps
During her childhood, Judy is happy and care-free. So, watching her get shoved, scratched, and threatened by Gideon can be a little unnerving for some. Especially, if you've ever been bullied as a kid.
- Chief Bogo assigns Judy to parking duty
On her first day, Judy is excited to finally work at her dream job. However, despite graduating at the top of her class at the academy, the chief makes her be a meter maid, because he doubts her potential. It's obvious that Judy is hurt by his decision, but tries her best to look on the bright side.
- Nick Wilde gives Judy the "Reason You Suck" speech
After finding out that he used her as part of his Pawpsicle scam, Judy confronts Nick, only for him to reveal the various loopholes he uses to avoid being arrested. And on top of that, he then gives her a long speech on his observation of her, how he assumed she was brought up, and where she will probably end up when reality hits her. Judy tries to defend herself, but is humiliated when she realizes that she just stepped in wet cement and Nick tells her, "You'll never be a real cop. You're a cute meter maid, though. Maybe supervisor one day. Hang in there."
- Judy receives a video call from her parents
Later that same day, Judy goes home and is in a sad mood. She turns on the radio, only for each song to make her feel worse. Next, she hears up a carrot dish in the microwave, only for it to be an unappetizing shriveled up carrot, which she tosses in the trash. Then, her parents want to video chat with her. She tries putting on a straight face, but Stu and Bonnie notice her meter maid outfit and rejoice in the fact that she has an easy, unimportant job. Judy hangs up and is scolded by one of her neighbors for still playing depressing music. The other neighbor tells the first one to shut up and the two go back and forth. Judy tells herself, "Tomorrow is another day", to which one of the neighbors responds with, "Yeah, but it might be worse!"
- Chief Bogo demands Judy's resignation
After leading the chief and the other officers to the Sky Trams, where Manchas was supposed to be restrained, he is gone and it makes it look like Judy was lying. When she brings Nick forward as a witness, Chief Bogo says, "You think I'm going to believe a fox?" That was just straight up wrong! He then demands Judy to hand over her badge, claiming that she had failed her case. Fortunately, Nick stands up for her and leaves the chief feeling like a jerk for what he had done. Even pointing out that he gave her a task that he knew she wouldn't solve in such a short amount of time, just so he could be rid of her.
- Nick's childhood backstory
If you thought Judy getting bullied was hard to watch, you haven't seen anything yet. Nick explains that he used to be kind and optimistic like her as a kid. He wanted to join the Zootopia Ranger Scouts and when he did, he felt like he was finally being accepted as an equal. However, it was just a cruel set up by the other scouts to strap a muzzle on him, saying, "If you think we would trust a fox without a muzzle, then you're even dumber than you look." Nick runs outside, pulls off the muzzle, and cries, his dream of fitting in, shattered. He claims that from that day, he would live out all of the fox stereotypes, since the world would never see him as anything, but shifty and untrustworthy.
- Nick is offended by Judy's words at the press conference
After finding all of the missing mammals and apparently solving the case, Judy offers Nick a job application for the ZPD and her carrot pen, signifying their newfound friendship and the end of their deal. The good feelings come crashing down when she inadvertently accuses all predators of "reverting back to their primitive, savage ways." This starts a race war in Zootopia, but even worse, causes Nick to point out that he knew about her bigotry since he first met her and was willing to put all that aside to be friends with her. He pretends to threaten her, to which she is just about to hurt him with the fox repellent spray. He is heartbroken and hands her back the application and declines her offer. And it's made even worse when she sees that he actually completed the application and was ready to join. He tears off his sticker badge and throws it to the floor as he walks out. Judy tries to go after him, but she is ambushed by the news reporters, who twist around some of her words.
- Judy quits the ZPD
Judy is offered to be the face of the ZPD by Chief Bogo and newly appointed Mayor Bellwether. She doesn't feel she deserves it, saying that she broke the world, instead of protecting it. Feeling guilty, she relinquishes her badge, to the shock of her superiors. It was so sad seeing her give up on something that she worked so hard to get to.
- Judy finds out that Night Howlers are plants and not wolves
After going to work on her parents' farm, Judy sees Gideon for the first time in years and he apologizes for bullying her when they were kids. A few kids go through the crop area, before Stu tells them not to go through the row of blue flowers, which Gideon reveals are called, "Night Howlers". Judy realizes that this is the missing piece in her case and races back to Zootopia in her family's pick up truck. Why is this a sad moment, you ask? Because if Gideon hadn't showed up or if those kids wouldn't have ran through the crops, then Judy might never have found out that the predators were going savage because of the toxic flowers, not because of instincts.
- Judy apologizes to Nick
After finding Nick under a bridge, she tells him what she found out. Nick fakes being interested, still feeling disdain for her actions. Judy then reprimands herself and breaks down crying that she would be okay if Nick helped her and then never talked to her again. She then admits that Nick was right to call her a dumb bunny. Nick then replays Judy's words through her carrot pen, showing that he forgives her.
It's strange how a movie about anthropomorphic animals can really bring the feels at times. Another reason why this film was amazing enough to get an Oscar. I really felt connected with these characters. It was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. They just felt...real to me. Hopefully, a potential sequel can continue to be just as good, if not, better at getting the audience emotionally involved.
So, what do you guys think? Sound off in the comments below!