The Disney movies of yore (and some from the present) were full of dark or twisted concepts. Bambi’s mother gets murdered. Old Yeller gets rabies. Don’t even get us started with the opening sequence of Up. In comparison to some of these heart-wrenchers, Zootopia seemed pretty warm and fuzzy.
However, a deleted scene shows that Disney almost let loose its tragic side on the film. Before we get to that, here’s a little backstory.
In the city of Zootopia, all the animals live in harmony. Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) follows her dream to become the first rabbit to join the police force. A case comes her way that causes her to team up with a sneaky fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman).
The film tackles stereotypes between predators and non-predators, and most critics gave it an overwhelmingly positive response to the way it tackled prejudice.
Zootopia explained that all the animals, both carnivores and herbivores, had been able to cohabitate thanks to years upon years of evolution. Nonetheless, a deleted scene shows that it may have been more painful for the predators to give up their instincts–and suggests that the instincts never really left.
In the scene, Judy and Nick sneak their way through a “taming party,” a sort of coming of age ceremony for predators. During the ceremony, the young ones get a shock collar that prevents them from giving in to their desires to hunt.
Take a look at the clip:
The saddest part of the whole thing is that the little bear Morris’ father seems to have an internal struggle with making his child go through the same pain he has, but he also recognizes that he may not have a choice.
Disney eventually decided to pull the scene since it seemed to make the bias between predators and prey too obvious.
All in all, Disney most likely made the right choice by sticking to a more subtle and less traumatizing message.