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Snapshot 1 (2016-04-27 7-31 PM)

Bellwether is the hidden main antagonist in the 2016 Disney film, Zootopia.

She was voiced by Jenny Slate.

Background[]

Much of Bellwether's past is shrouded in mystery. However, like Judy Hopps, she apparently endured a life of neglect, implied to have been repeatedly at the hands of predator mammals. Over time, she would develop an intense fear and dislike for them and their treatment towards prey animals. At some point, she joined City Hall and became the assistant mayor to Mayor Leodore Lionheart. Despite all the work Bellwether did for Lionheart, the lion mayor treated her more like a stooge than an assistant mayor, as he gave her very little credit for the effort she put into running the city, having her office located in an old janitor's closet and showing little respect for or patience with her. This intensified Bellwether's hatred for predators and she began plotting to overthrow Lionheart. At some point, she discovered the Night Howler, a rare toxic flower capable of turning civilized mammals into savage beasts. She then hired a ram scientist named Doug to weaponize the flowers into a chemical drug to use on predators mammals in order to turn them savage and make prey animals fear them, giving the illusion they were biologically reverting back to their primal, bloodthirsty selves. Once predators were deemed too dangerous for society, Lionheart, as the plan would go, would be removed from office out of fear, and Bellwether would rise to power in his place.

In addition to Doug, Bellwether also allied herself with other sheep who shared her sentiments, including several corrupt police officers.

Role in the film[]

Bellwether first appears alongside Mayor Lionheart awarding Judy Hopps for being valedictorian of her class and tells the young rabbit that it is a big deal for the "little guys" (the smaller mammals). Before her words can go any further, Lionheart rather rudely pushes Bellwether aside and takes photos with Judy.

Later, when Judy tries to take on the case of finding Mr. Otterton, Chief Bogo is about to fire her for "insubordination" as she took on the job before consulting Chief Bogo and Bellwether hears and texted it to Mayor Lionheart, forcing Chief Bogo to give her a chance (48 hours to find Mr. Otterton).

Then, when Judy and Nick realize they could look at the traffic cams to find where a jaguar named Manchas (who had gone savage and attacked them but they managed to escape) went, Judy goes to Bellwether to help since Judy doesn't have access to the cameras. Bellwether helps them look at camera records and explains she feels good helping them since she is more of a "glorified secretary" than an actual assistant mayor.

After Lionheart is arrested for illegally imprisoning the savage predators, Bellwether becomes the new mayor and tries to convince Judy to be the role model for the frightened prey populace by being the public face of the ZPD, but Judy refuses and, to Bellwether's shock, resigns from the ZPD.

Later, however, Judy discovers that the predators were not turned savage through "natural instinct", but through a psychotropic serum concocted by a ram scientist named Doug from unique flowers called "Night Howlers". Judy and Nick race to the ZPD with the evidence, but Bellwether intercepts them and tries to take it from them, making Judy realize that Bellwether is behind everything.

As Bellwether and her ram henchmen close in on Judy and Nick, Bellwether tries to convince Judy that prey are superior to predators and she should join her cause, but Judy refuses. After the pair are knocked into a pit exhibit by one of the rams, Bellwether takes back the evidence (a gun used to shoot predators with paintball-like pellets containing the Night Howler serum) and reveals her plans of darting every predator in the city to maintain power and eliminate the predator minority before shooting Nick in the hopes of killing off Judy and making her a martyr while putting the blame on Nick, the only other witness.

However, it is revealed that Judy and Nick switched the serum pellets in the gun with blueberries, meaning Nick never turned savage. Despite this, Bellwether furiously threatens to frame Judy and Nick for her crimes, but Judy reveals that she recorded Bellwether's crazed speech with her carrot pen. Before Bellwether has a chance to run, Chief Bogo and the ZPD prey and predator reunited because of the confession, arrive and surround her, having heard everything, and she is arrested for conspiracy and fraud along with her henchrams. Lionheart denies knowledge of her plot, but he admits he locked the savaged predators to protect the city, claiming it was for "the right reasons".

Bellwether is last seen in her prison cell watching Gazelle's concert with contempt while her inmates clap their hands. Later, she notices one of her inmates touching her wool; she then angrily swats his hand away before continuing to brood.

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