20 Unresolved Mysteries/Plot Holes in Zootopia (by The Gamer)

About two weeks ago, the good folks over on The Gamer posted an article listing twenty mysteries and plot holes in our Zootopia.

While, I think a lot of these are interesting questions to raise, I’m not convinced that most of them qualify as mysteries or plot holes. Perhaps good starting points for fanfics, but with the exception of Judy’s ties to Mr. Big, do any of them really affect the plot in significant ways? Or am I overthinking this?

I’ll let you be the judge.

Read the article here and come to your own conclusions!


  1. The author actually missed one: how was Otterton involved in the Night Howler plot? From what we can deduce he was going about his normal day, had some kind of epiphany in the naturalist club, called Big and got picked up and got shot along the way. It stands to reason he was being eliminated as a witness, but had he actually seen the savage predators?

    • He was a florist and had good conections with the mob, he maybe knew what were the effects of the nighthowlers, he maybe founs out of the ammount of night howlers being smuggled by some shaddy less than trustworthy indiciduals, puttwo and two together and chose to tell Mr. Big, when Dough/Woolter/Jesse/Bellwether caught word of a mayor player in the Zootopia underworld probably knowing about the stuff they were planning the chose to eliminate the one who could uncover the whole complot: Emmit Otterton.

    • I swear I read in an interview by Byron somewhere that Otterton was also inadvertently supplying the rams with Nighthowlers before realizing what their true purpose was. What’s up with the rams hiring tube dudes anyways lol.

  2. I like how the final unresolved mystery in that article was on Judy and Nick’s potential romance with each other. And the way us Zootopia fans talk about WildeHopps, versus the way everyone else just focus on its message and allegory but nothing else within it, is a testament as to how powerful Zootopia’s legacy is, even against insurmountable odds.

  3. I have to say, Nicks mom being in the dark, the only thing is that we don’t meet her. It was stated she was alive and lived in the city. We just don’t know if Nick contacts her still or not.

  4. Mammals do know about these flowers, Judy herself even gave the Latin name for it and that they’;re a “Class-C Botanical”. What mammals don’t know is that the savage effect can be concentrated and distilled into a toxin that can be delivered via an air pellet.
    Not sure it really matters, although Lionheart wasn’t part of the Nighthowler conspiracy he was guilty of unlawful imprisonment of the savage predators, using city funds to run the Cliffside Asylum, and lying to the police. In short, he is guilty of crimes and is serving his time in prison.
    Not sure it really matters, in many crime stories, there’s some kind of “crime lord” character the protagonists get involved with. In many of them we never learn how the crime lord rose to power and in many of them knowing their history is not necessary.
    Byron Howard confirmed that Nick’s mom is still alive and living in the same apartment Nick grew up in. It’s still unknown what her current relationship with Nick is (i.e. Does she know he was a street hustler for 20 years? Does she know he’s now reformed?)
    Nick’s Dad had a more prominent role in the early drafts of Zootopia involving the tame collars. When that story line went away, Nick’s Dad faded from main story as well. It’s unknown if he is alive and just not referenced in the flashback or dead or something else.
    Phil Johnston, the writer of Zootopia and the voice actor of Gideon said that envisioned that Gideon came from an abusive home life which is why he was a childhood bully and he wanted to give Gideon a redemption arc. You can hear the whole story in “The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith” podcast at: www(dot)theqandapodcast.com/2016/10/zootopia-q(dot)html
    The movie doesn’t make it clear but the creators confirmed that fish and bugs did NOT evolve and serve as a protein source (along with plants) for the predators. By the way, only a sub-set of predators called “obligate predators” absolutely have to eat meat to survive.
    Correct, many attempts have been made to line the movie’s events up to the 48 hour timeline but ultimately they just don’t. Chalk it up to “movie logic”.
    To add to the mystery, in the Natural History Museum shown at the end of the movie, there’s a diorama showing rabbits wearing clothing and brandishing spears holding a wild cat (still on 4 legs) at bay. This suggests that the evolution was not a “all animals at once” situation. Ultimately though, it’s a story conceit you have to just accept in order for the film to work.
    In “The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith” the creators say how Bellwether was intended to be a shadow archetype of Judy. Both were small mammals that were constantly underestimated. However while Judy rose to take the high road and prove she could do it, Bellwether says “screw it” and wants to take them down.
    The movie itself says that Emmitt, a florist, was Mr. Big’s florist. Just because Mr. Big is a mob boss, doesn’t mean that every business transaction is mob-related.
    As stated earlier, fish and bugs did not evolve and serve as a food source. The jury is still out on birds, reptiles and amphibians. The creators said the wanted to focus only on mammals for Zootopia to make the predator / prey distinction as clear as possible. They have not denied the existence of a bird-city or a reptile-city, but they haven’t confirmed it either.
    The relationship status of Nick and Judy is something the creators are well aware of and know that whatever choice they make for “Zootopia 2” runs the risk of disappointing a portion of the fan-base. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the fan-base is leaning toward a romantic relationship but nothing is official. Also Bucky and Pronk have been confirmed by the creators to be a same-sex, married couple and they are two different species (one’s a Kudu, the other is Oryx) although they do belong to the same zoological family.

    • Sorry. My reply had the question numbers associated with trivia I provided but they got stripped out when it posted. 🙁

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