- “You can tell the story without the collars.”
- ―Josie Trinidad (Co-head of story)
The Tame collar was an early concept for Zootopia. It was a collar designed specifically for predators that would shock the wearer when he/she got too excited or upset.
Mandatory for all predators, tame collars were made to keep predators from acting out of aggression and potentially hurting prey animals by shocking them when they became enraged or overly emotional.
Though animators and storyboard artists at Disney Animation Studios thought the collar would be a key plot point in the world of Zootopia, those select few at Pixar that they showed it to didn't enjoy the movie at all. They pointed out that, instead, the staff at Disney Animation could get rid of the collars and put stereotyping/subtler discrimination against predators in their place.
When a predator turns five years old, they would be thrown a party known as a 'taming party', a ceremony in which they are given their tame collar. The child would see the ceremony as a "growing up" phase in their life, but the parents would know the darkness of what the collar actually represents.
Taming parties, as depicted in the cut material, have many green decorations, including green balloons and even a green cake. This is most likely meant to represent the green light the tame collar flashes when a predator is content.
John Lasseter said that the taming party scene was possibly one of the darkest scenes that made it into the movie, and one that would touch people the most.
Originally, Nick Wilde was to run an illegal, indoor sanctuary called Wild Times which would allow predators to remove their collars. However, since the collar element was cut, this Wild Times element was also cut, and Nick became the deuteragonist instead of the protagonist.
Having hurt his neck, a cautious doctor has to temporarily remove Nick Wilde's tame collar in order to examine him. Being without his collar for the first time he can remember, he is overcome with feelings of joy and freedom.
His collar is put back on seconds later, however.
Morris' Taming Party
Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde watch Morris's taming party as his father Koslov presents him with his tame collar. As his collar is put on, Morris is applauded by his peers, with a saddened Koslov looking on. As Morris becomes increasingly excited, he gets his first shock from the collar and looks back worriedly towards his father. Koslov then sadly steps forward to give his son a hug, and it is then that Morris realizes that his collar is not a privilege, but the opposite: a cruel restriction.