Her name is never mentioned in the film, nor in the credits, where she is credited simply as "Landlady", but in The Junior Novelization, her name is revealed. She is also identified as "Dharma Armadillo" in the film's official screenplay.
In earlier drafts of the film, Mrs. Armadillo was a different character, with a role as a teacher at Woodlands Elementary School. In a different opening, she rehearses her class for the Carrot Days Festival, and plays the piano for Judy Hopps' group - the "Melody Makers" - to sing a song. Judy objects to her verse - about wanting to grow carrots - so Mrs. Armadillo gives the class a break and talks to her.
As Judy talks about her big expectations in life, Mrs. Armadillo explains that when she was young, she wanted to be a firefighter but gave up because armadillos curl up at the sign of danger. From her experience, she advises Judy to have realistic dreams. A student then comes to tell the teacher that Bobby Catmull got stuck up a tree. Everybody panicks as the branch starts to break, and Mrs. Armadillo curls up in fright. Thinking fast, Judy gets Mrs. Armadillo's laser pointer and uses it to guide Bobby down to the safety. Arriving just in time to watch the act, a tiger officer encourages Judy to become a cop.
Role in the Film
Dharma is first seen near the beginning of the film showing Judy Hopps her new apartment room. After listing all the benefits of staying at the Pangolin Arms, Dharma takes her leave, but not before warning Judy not to lose her key.
Later, near the climax of the film, she is seen browsing Duke Weaselton's movie stand. Duke tries to interest Dharma in his goods, even offering her 20% off, but the armadillo walks away, uninterested.
- In Hindi, "Dharma" means "basic principles of the cosmos".