Released in March, Disney’s “Zootopia” proved to be one of the most touching and most timely animated films in years, pulling at the heartstrings and tackling the intense topic of systemic racism, all while still managing to stay hilarious and adorable.
While the final cut of the movie had its fair share of heartbreaking moments (How could Nick’s childhood scout mates be so cruel?!), this newly-released deleted scene proves that “Zootopia” could have been super depressing.
Seriously, before you watch this, it’s full-blown bawl-your-eyes-out time. You’ve been warned.
The short clip, featuring storyboard animation and substitute voices for the main characters, is apparently from an earlier draft of the final film, in which all of the predators in “Zootopia” were obligated to wear taming collars when they came of age, to make the other animals feel safer.
Judy and Nick escape from captivity in a cellar and sneak out through what turns out to be a polar bear’s “taming party,” a coming of age celebration where the young bear’s father is forced to place a collar around his son’s neck.
The young bear is very excited – apparently, in this version of the film’s mythology, getting the taming collar has been spun as a good thing, and a sign that you’ve reached adulthood. But it’s clear from the father’s somber tone that he understands how demeaning the collar actually is.
As Nick and Judy look on from their hiding spot, the father puts the collar around his excited son’s neck, but as the little bear returns to frolic with his friends, the taming device recognizes his elevated excitement levels and painfully shocks the child, stunning the room to silence.
When that young polar bear looks back at his father with fear and tears in his eyes, your heart will shatter into a million pieces. If you’re watching this in front of friends, they will laugh at you for crying at a children’s film (unless they watch it too, then just everyone will be sobbing).
While this DVD special feature might ruin you, not all of “Zootopia”‘s bonus material is depressing! Check out the video below for a look at all of “Zootopia”‘s many references to other Disney Animation Studios films, like “Frozen”, “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Big Hero 6”.
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