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When I was a kid, I thought Zootopia was this perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, real life's a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means―hey, glass half full!―we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what type of animal you are, from the biggest elephant to our first fox, I implore you: try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with all of us
~ Judy Hopps' monologue, before the closing credits

Officer Judith "Judy" Laverne Hopps (simply known as Judy Hopps, Officer Hopps or just Judy) is the main protagonist of Disney's 55th full length animated feature film Zootopia.

She is voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin as an young adult and by Della Saba as a juvenile bunny.

Background

Judy comes from Bunnyburrow and lives there with her parents, Bonnie and Stu, along with her 275 brothers and sisters.

She leaves home to become a professional police officer - the first bunny on the stern Chief Bogo's squad. Judy, to her shock, is put on parking duty. That is when she runs into a sly fox, Nick Wilde. Her mission is to solve the case of desperate otter Mrs. Otterton's missing husband, and the two of them work together, aided by hippie yak Yax.

Judy and Nick must also watch out for the calculating "savaged" jaguar Manchas and the notorious crime lord Mr. Big.

Personality

A rabbit with high optimism, Judy Hopps is an energy-driven achiever first and foremost. She has a strong belief that "anyone can be anything" due to the idealistic farm community she was raised in. However, due to bullying during her childhood, Judy intensely dislikes prejudice and the subject of racism and speciesism, but in a way that she is determined to prove others wrong about it. Judy wants to do what is right as well, and combining this with her beliefs is what made her eager to prove that she is a real cop ever since she was little. As an officer, she tries to retain this while still trying to help those in need.

Judy's optimism and determination to be a police officer tends to lead her to be, at times, overzealous and impulsive. As a meter maid, she gave 201 tickets before noon just to show up Bogo's doubts about her, including to her own vehicle, when she heard the parking meters run out. Also, she arrested Duke for stealing, even though meter maids can't arrest someone, which was disclosed from a furious Bogo. She had also nearly caused herself and Nick to be "iced" by Mr. Big when she threatened the crime lord out of impatience, as well as accidentally destroying evidence for the mammal conspiracy.

Judy is clever and resourceful, which proves to be her greatest asset; she was even a valedictorian at the police academy. She once tricked Nick into confessing his tax evasion and recorded it on her carrot pen to blackmail him into helping solve a case, then used it again after Bellwether confessed about turning every predator savage.

Judy's sense of equality gives her a firm respect towards other animals. However, it also leads her to being easily manipulated. She fell victim to this belief when Nick manipulated her into buying a large ice pop explaining that his son (his partner Finnick in disguise) was an elephant lover.

Despite Judy's sense of morality about prejudice, she has secretly a mild fear of predators due to being bullied by a fox and a ferret in her youth; so much that it manifests as unintentional prejudice itself. She even kept a fox repellent and nearly used it on Nick twice. During a press conference, she accidentally stated how the predators had gone wild because of their "biology" in their DNA. She also doesn't like being called cute; upon her first arrival at the police station, Clawhauser described her as such, but she considered it to be offensive if any animal, excluding rabbits, referred to a rabbit as cute.

Physical Appearance

Judy is a slender rabbit with gray fur, pink nose, gray and pink ears, beautiful purple eyes, a small tail and non-split lips unlike real life rabbits.

Film Role

In the countryside community of Bunnyburrow, young Judy has dreamed of becoming a police officer in the city of Zootopia, where anyone can be anything. Her parents, Bonnie and Stu, try to dissuade Judy from following a risky goal and encourage her to become a carrot farmer with the family instead, though Judy explains her willingness to make the world a better place by becoming an officer, in spite of the fact that there has never been a bunny cop. At the farm fair, Judy confronts a young fox and local bully named Gideon Grey picking on prey children; Judy demands he give the kids their stolen tickets back. Gideon mocks the young rabbit, but gets kicked by Judy, prompting him to threaten and eventually claw Judy's cheek, snarling that she will never be a cop, or anything more than a "dumb bunny", because she is prey. Gideon leaves without knowing that she swiped the tickets from him, and after recovering, she stands tall and becomes inspired to prove Gideon wrong.

Fifteen years later, Judy joins the Zootopia Police Academy; at first struggling with the course demands, she gradually becomes stronger and graduates as valedictorian and the first rabbit officer for Zootopia's police, meeting Mayor Lionheart and his assistant, Dawn Bellwether during the ceremony. Because her occupation is in the city, Judy prepares to move to Zootopia. Bonnie, Stu and the rest of her family all say their goodbyes to Judy at the train station. Bonnie and Stu reluctantly accept the path she is taking, but warn her of the dangers of predators in the city, giving her a can of fox repellent just in case, though she only agrees to take it to keep her parents' worries at minimum.

In Zootopia, Judy finds a home in the Grand Pangolin Apartments, never minding its small size, undesirable wallpaper, and rowdy neighbors. Optimistic and excited to start her first day on the police force, Judy leaves home, ensuring to take her fox repellent as she departs. Upon entering the Zootopia Police Department, she finds a large number of animals on the force to be either predators or massive in size, including Officer Clawhauser. Judy's boss, Chief Bogo, disregards her impressive academy record and places her on parking duty, not willing to acknowledge her as a real officer because of her species. Judy takes notable offense, but nevertheless is determined to make the best of her new position. Thanks to her exceptional hearing, she is able to detect every meter on time, processing a planned 200 tickets by noon, plus one after running the meter to her own vehicle.

During her time at work, she spots a shady fox waltzing into Jerry Jumbeaux Jr.'s ice cream café and follows him, suspicious of his motives. But she discovers that the fox simply brought his elephant-enthusiast son there to get a jumbo popsicle for his birthday, and is ashamed of her bigotry. However, the server Jerry Jumbeaux Jr. refuses to sell him an elephant-sized treat on account of his being a fox and tells him and his "son" to beat it. Judy interrupts the argument by pointing out potential health violations, convincing Jerry to sell the popsicle to the foxes and even paying for it herself when the fox claims to have forgotten his wallet. The fox introduces himself as Nick Wilde and thanks Judy for helping him, with Judy admitting foxes should not be treated as sly or crooked. But while filing tickets in Sahara Square, she spots Nick melting the Jumbo pop down into "pawpsicles" with his son. Following them throughout the city, Judy discovers Nick's "son" to actually be a fully-grown accomplice named Finnick, who helps Nick sell the pawpsicles to lemmings before recycling the sticks as lumber to mice construction workers for an additional price. When Judy confronts Nick, he stumps her by revealing permits for his actions. He is quick to guess her fears and insecurities, warning her that Zootopia is not a paradise and predicting her inevitable failure and return home, because no one will ever take a small-town hick bunny cop seriously. As a self-assured Nick leaves the bunny in shock (and with her feet in wet cement), Judy returns to her apartment with her hopes of being accepted on the police force dented.

The next day, Judy continues to do her job, but is increasingly depressed as she only succeeds in aggravating animals with parking tickets. As she dejectedly asserts to herself that she is a real cop, she is alerted to a crime courtesy of Duke Weaselton, who had robbed a nearby food store. Ecstatic, she removes her meter maid garb and pursues Weaselton, taking the chase into Little Rodentia. She apprehends the crook with a donut sign, saving a young female shrew in the process, and delivers him to the ZPD office. Upon her arrival, a furious Bogo reprimands her abandoning her post and putting Little Rodentia at risk, insisting that a meter maid is all she is qualified to be. Just then, Mrs. Otterton, an otter arrives at Bogo's office, desperately seeking someone to search for her missing husband Emmitt; Judy volunteers for the challenge, much to Mrs. Otterton's joy. Bogo, outraged, fires Judy for "insubordination", but a brief talk with Bellwether forces him to assign Judy the case. He makes a deal that she solve the case in 48 hours, or else she will have to resign.

As Clawhauser provides Judy with the casefile on Emmitt, Judy discovers that Emmitt had bought a pawpsicle from Nick on the day of his disappearance and confronts Nick. Using a Carrot Pen with a recording function, she tricks Nick into admitting to tax evasion to blackmail him into aiding her investigation.

Nick brings Judy to the last place he saw Emmitt, the Mystic Springs Oasis, which to Judy's horror and discomfort is a naturalist club. The hippie receptionist, Yax, mentions that Emmett was last seen jumping into a limousine and provides the plate number. Because she lacks the authority to run a plate, Nick takes Judy to the Department of Mammal Vehicles, to seek the assistance of his friend Flash. To Judy's dismay, Flash and his co-workers are all sloths. After some frustration with the sloth's slow nature, worsened by Nick telling Flash a joke, they obtain the plate number, identifying which company the limo belonged to. Upon stepping out of the DMV, Judy is dismayed to find that night has already fallen.

The pair locate the motorpool where the limo was parked. But to Judy's annoyance it is locked, and she lacks a warrant to search the place. Believing his debt to her paid, Nick asks for the recording, but Judy casually tosses her pen over the fence, tricking Nick into climbing over and thus giving himself a trespassing violation for additional blackmail, also providing Judy "probable cause" to search the premises. When they locate the limo, they discover the back compartment riddled with claw marks.

Nick soon realizes that the limo belongs to Mr. Big, Tundratown's biggest crime boss who dislikes him. Before they can get out, a pair of brutish polar bears find them and take them directly to Mr. Big, whom Judy discovers is an arctic shrew. When Mr. Big addresses Judy, Nick tries to prevent her from revealing that she is a cop, but she directly accuses Big of being behind Emmett's disappearance. Scorned, Mr. Big orders the pair "iced", but before the polar bears can drop them into a pool of freezing water, his daughter Fru Fru―the same shrew Judy saved the previous day―arrives and recognizes Judy. Fru Fru tells her father what Judy did for her, resulting in Big sparing Judy and Nick's lives. In gratitude, Mr. Big kisses Judy on both cheeks and invites her and Nick to Fru Fru's wedding.

During the wedding reception, Mr. Big explains that Emmitt was his florist, who was coming to tell him something important but, en route, suddenly "went savage" (reverted to a feral state) and attacked his chauffeur Manchas, a black jaguar.

Judy and Nick go to see him at his home in the Rainforest District. Manchas describes the attack on him and mentions that Otterton had been yelling about "Night Howlers" in his last moments of sanity. However, before he can reveal anything else, Manchas suddenly goes savage himself and chases the pair. Judy calls for backup as they reach a gondola dropoff. Before Manchas can reach Nick, Judy cuffs Manchas to a post as the duo escape. Falling from the rainforest trees, the pair become entangled in a series of vines as Bogo and reinforcements arrive. Judy leads Bogo to Manchas, insisting that the case is bigger than she thought, only to find no trace of the jaguar. Bogo demands Judy's badge, and she nearly gives it up. Nick takes a stand, scolding the ZPD for deliberately setting Judy up to fail and insisting she still has 10 more hours to solve the case. As the pair leave the Rainforest District, Judy learns from Nick that as a child, he wanted to join the Junior Ranger Scouts, but the other scouts, prey animals, bullied and muzzled him, which led Nick to resolve to live out the "sly fox" stereotype so as to never be hurt that way again. Judy's attitude towards Nick softens significantly.

While riding the cable car, Nick soon realizes that the traffic cameras may have captured how Manchas disappeared, and the pair consult Assistant Mayor Bellwether, who had earlier promised to help Judy. Reviewing the footage, they learn that a team of wolves, which Judy assumes to be the "night howlers", captured Manchas and trace their truck to the Cliffside Asylum. As they infiltrate the facility after distracting the guards with a howl, they find all the missing predators, all having gone savage. The duo then discover Mayor Lionheart keeping the savage predators imprisoned and their existence concealed from Bogo to prevent public panic. Judy uses her phone camera to record Lionheart's admission and argument with Dr. Honey Badger, who works at the asylum, but their presence is given away by an inconvenient call from her parents. As Lionheart summons the wolf guards, Judy uses a toilet to flush herself and Nick to the outside. With her evidence intact, Judy calls the ZPD, who raid the asylum and arrest Lionheart and Dr. Badger. Judy reads Lionheart his rights and is unsympathetic when he claims to have simply been trying to keep the city safe.

Later, before attending an important press conference, Judy offers Nick a chance to join the ZPD, stating that she would like him as a partner. But when it comes her turn to speak, a pressured Judy describes the savaged mammals' condition as them reverting to their natural instincts. This, along with Judy's canister of fox repellent, confirms her bigotry against foxes to Nick, who angrily walks out on her offer.

As time goes on, more cases of predators going savage begin sprouting across Zootopia with no known cause or cure, resulting in fear and discrimination from the prey population. As Judy watches the chaos her actions set in motion, she eventually declines to become the public face of the ZPD despite Mayor Bellwether's request, saying that even though it is what she wanted, her attempts to make the world a better place had only broken and divided it. Broken-hearted, Judy quits the ZPD.

Judy returns home to Bunnyburrow and rejoins the family business as a carrot farmer, just as Nick had predicted when they first met. One day, she meets a more mature Gideon, who has since partnered with her parents. Subsequently, Judy notices a flower her parents had been growing to protect their crops. As Stu explains that the flowers have severe psychotropic effects on mammals and warns some kids to stay away from them, Gideon reveals that the flowers are nicknamed "Night Howlers". Realizing she was wrong about the savage predators, Judy takes her father's truck and returns to Zootopia.

With help from Finnick, Judy tracks down Nick and admits that she was wrong about predators. As Judy becomes visibly upset, tearfully apologizing and condemning herself as "just a dumb bunny" for her words and actions, Nick opens up and forgives and comforts her, playfully playing back her apology on the carrot pen several times first. Their friendship is reconciled and their investigation renewed.

Recalling that Duke Weaselton had been stealing a bunch of Night Howler bulbs when she first arrested him, Judy and Nick confront him, demanding to know who he was stealing for. When he refuses to cooperate, they take him to Mr. Big, who threatens to ice him unless he told them what they wanted to know. During the interrogation, Mr. Big designates Judy the godmother of his future grandchild, whom Fru Fru was planning on naming Judy in her honor.

Using Weaselton's information, the pair track down a ram named Doug, who is cultivating and weaponizing Night Howlers at a lab hidden in an old subway car. They eavesdrop on Doug, who mentions during a phone call with his mysterious boss that he "hit a tiny little otter through the open window of a moving car". These words and the sight of photos of all the "savaged" predators on Doug's bulletin map, make Judy realize that the reason why Mr. Otterton, Mr. Manchas and all the other predators went savage is because Doug shot them all with the Night Howler toxin via a dart gun, completely unnoticed. As two more sheep arrive, Judy takes the opportunity to steal the subway car, hoping to get the evidence to the ZPD. As the sheep give chase, they spot an oncoming train about to collide with them, so Judy knocks a sheep onto a track switch, diverting the car onto a different track. Unfortunately, the car is going too fast, forcing the pair to abandon ship, resulting in it crashing and bursting into flames. However, Nick reveals that he stole the case containing the dart gun and the Night Howler toxin.

As they cut through the Natural History Museum to get to the ZPD, the pair run into Bellwether, who insists on taking the evidence. Realizing she is the mastermind of the conspiracy, Judy and Nick flee, but Judy accidentally cuts her leg on a mammoth tusk display, leaving her badly weakened. As Bellwether and her ram henchmen close in, the pair use a stuffed bunny as a decoy as they run for the exit, only to be knocked into a pit by a ram. Bellwether then shoots Nick with the dart gun, causing him to apparently go savage, and frames a call for help to the ZPD. While trying to evade Nick, Judy asks Bellwether why she is doing this. Bellwether elaborates on her plan to divide predator and prey so the latter, the majority, can take over Zootopia. When it seems like Nick is about to eat Judy, it turns out it was all an act; they had secretly swapped the dart gun's ammo with blueberries from Judy's farm. With Bellwether's monologue recorded on Judy's carrot pen, Chief Bogo and his squad predator and prey reunited arrive and arrest her and her accomplices for their crimes.

Months later, Judy is reinstated into the ZPD and speaks at Nick's police graduation ceremony and later takes him on as her partner.

During roll call, when Bogo seemingly relegates them to parking duty even after everything that had happened, he admits that he was kidding and assigns the pair to hunt down a street racer. As they roll out on their first assignment, Judy playfully admits to Nick that she loves him before they apprehend the racer and, to Judy's shock, discover he is none other than Flash.

During the credits Judy, Nick and the Zootopia populace dance at a concert performance of "Try Everything" by Gazelle.

Trivia

  • In the teaser trailer, Judy is shown to be armed with a high-powered dart pistol that fires darts of "elephant tranquilizer," and uses one of these darts to subdue Nick Wilde, who is hiding off-screen. However, in the actual movie, Judy carries no such weapon, and in fact, despite being a police officer, seems to spend the entire movie completely unarmed, unless one counts the small spray can of "fox repellent" given to her by her parents or the carrot pen to record conversations.
  • Judy Hopps is stated to be 24 years old as a young adult. This means that when she was first seen as a child, she was nine years old.