In a world populated by anthropomorphic mammals, a rabbit from rural Bunnyburrow named Judy Hopps fulfills her childhood dream of becoming the first rabbit officer in the police department of nearby city Zootopia.
Despite graduating top of her class, Judy is excluded from handling the top-priority missing predator cases and assigned to parking duty by Chief Bogo, who doubts her potential. During one of her shifts, she meets Nick Wilde and Finnick, partners in crime.
Judy abandons her shift to arrest Duke Weaselton, a thief who stole what appear only to be onion bulbs. Upon Weaselton’s apprehension, Judy is reprimanded by Bogo. When Mrs. Otterton arrives in Bogo’s office pleading for someone to find her missing husband, Judy volunteers. Assistant Mayor Bellwether informs Mayor Lionheart of the news as Bogo reluctantly agrees to give her 48 hours on the condition that she resign if she fails. She finds Nick and blackmails him into assisting her with the investigation by covertly recording his confession to tax evasion.
Judy and Nick determine that Mr. Otterton was last seen entering a limousine, which is tracked to the Tundratown crime boss, Mr. Big. He informs the pair that Otterton, his florist, had “gone savage”—reverted to a feral state—and attacked his chauffeur, Manchas. Judy and Nick locate Manchas, who mentions Otterton had been yelling about “night howlers”. Soon after, Manchas himself goes savage and chases the pair out of his home. Judy calls the ZPD for help, but when Bogo and his reinforcements arrive, Manchas is nowhere to be found. Bogo demands Judy’s resignation, but Nick defends Judy, reminding Bogo that they still have ten more hours to solve the case. As the pair leaves, Judy learns from Nick that as a child, he was bullied for being a fox and subsequently became a con artist, believing that he would be stereotyped regardless.
Zootopia Movie Review
Judy and Nick consult Bellwether for access to the city’s traffic camera system and identify Manchas’ captors as wolves, which is what Judy believes Otterton had meant by “night howlers”. Judy and Nick locate Otterton and the missing predators at Cliffside Asylum. After the two witness Lionheart consulting about the predators’ condition, the pair escape with the evidence, and the police swarm the area, arresting Lionheart. Bellwether is sworn in as the new Mayor.
Having developed a friendship with him, Judy asks Nick to join the Zootopia Police Department and become her partner, which Nick happily considers. However, during a press conference, Judy suggests a biological connection between savaged animals and predators, hurting Nick, who angrily walks out. Fear against predators spreads across Zootopia, protests spawn, and a guilt-ridden Judy resigns.
Judy returns to Bunnyburrow, where she learns from her former childhood bully Gideon Grey that “night howlers” are flowers that have a severe psychotropic effect on mammals. Judy returns to Zootopia, reconciles with Nick, and locates Weaselton, who confesses that the “onions” he had been collecting were night howler bulbs for a ram named Doug. The pair find Doug and his team of sheep at a secret laboratory creating a night howler serum which he has been injecting into predators via a dart gun.
Judy and Nick race to the ZPD with the evidence, but Bellwether intercepts them, attempting to take the evidence. As Judy and Nick realize that Bellwether is the mastermind behind a species-supremacist conspiracy to keep in power, they are trapped by Bellwether’s accomplices. Bellwether shoots a dart at Nick, who seemingly becomes savage and attacks Judy, but it turns out the pair were acting, having swapped out the serum for blueberries, and recorded Bellwether’s confession. With enough evidence, the ZPD arrest Bellwether and her accomplices for their crimes. Upon being interviewed, Lionheart denies any knowledge of Bellwether’s plot, but asserts he imprisoned the savaged predators to protect the city.
Later, Judy is reinstated into the ZPD, the savaged mammals, including Otterton and Manchas, are cured by an antidote, and Nick joins the ZPD as the first fox police officer and Judy’s partner.