|“||Gosh, think of the headline: hero cop killed by savage fox. (Judy Hopps: So that's it? Prey fears predator, and you stay in power?!) Yeah, pretty much. (Judy Hopps: It won't WORK!) Fear always works! And I'll dart every predator in Zootopia to keep it that way! (chuckles) Bye-bye, bunny.||„|
|~ Bellwether explaining her true plan to dart all predators in Zootopia.|
Dawn Bellwether, also known as Assistant Mayor Bellwether or just Bellwether, is Judy's arch-nemesis and former friend and the main antagonist of Zootopia.
She was voiced by Jenny Slate who also played Zoe in Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.
|“||We're on the same team, Judy! Underestimated, under-appreciated. Aren't you sick of it? Predators—they may be strong and loud, but prey out number predators ten to one. Think of it; 90% of the population, united against a common enemy. We'll be unstoppable.||„|
|~ Bellwether revealing her true nature.|
She is a deceptive and cunningly diabolical mastermind. Bellwether is deeply prejudiced against predators because, as she puts it, they are only 10% of the population and she seems to view them as dangerous and unintelligent in comparison to the prey. She is ruthless and power-hungry, perfectly willing to kill anyone who gets in her way or simply refuses to agree with her beliefs. She is also willing to let prey animals get injured or even killed by the predators she turns savage in order to maintain power and turn the populace against the predator minority (showing that despite claiming she cares for prey, she ultimately thinks nothing of sacrificing a few for her cause). She has also shown a certain amount of sadism, as she laughed wickedly as Nick "attacked" Judy, clearly enjoying the apparent danger the rabbit was in.
Bellwether is highly intelligent and manipulative, orchestrating Judy's exposure of Lionheart's illegal imprisonment of the savage predators from behind the scenes in order to take over as the Mayor, in addition to staging everything to look as if predators have gone savage through "natural instinct". However, she does prove to be a show off once her true colors were revealed, arrogantly bragging about her plan before trying to finish off Judy and Nick, which proved to be her downfall.
Her racism doesn't seem to be limited to predators; though she claims that all prey animals are superior to predators, she seems to favour sheep as her entourage is entirely consisted of such from her hit-man Doug to several corrupt guards.
Her development of hatred towards predator animals in general, and sought to turn the prey animals against predators. Convincing several rams to join her cause, Bellwether discovered the Night Howler flower, a flower which was capable of turning civilized mammals into savage beasts, and hired a ram scientist named Doug to use the flowers to create a serum in order to turn predators aggressive. Bellwether used this as part of her plan to put herself into power, and force predators to submit to prey.
After the disappearance of fourteen predators, including Emmitt Otterson, Bellwether assigns rookie police officer Judy Hopps to solve the case. Judy and her partner, the fox Nick Wilde, later arrive at City Hall to ask Bellwether to access the city's traffic cameras. Using the traffic cameras, the two pinpoint the location of the missing animals at an asylum run by Lionheart. Judy alerts Chief Bogo, and Lionheart is arrested, allowing Bellwether to take his place as mayor.
Judy is hailed a hero for finding the missing predators. However, during a press conference, Judy, with Bellwether's urgings, calls out predators as naturally savages, destroying her relationship with Nick and causing citywide panic. The following week, Bellwether has Doug shoot predators throughout the city with the Night Howler serum, causing them to go savage, and causing discrimination to spread throughout the city. Bellwether then offers to make Judy the public face of the ZPD, but she denies and resigns from her job, feeling that she's failed the city.
After Judy finds out the cause of the predators going savage and reconciles with Nick, the two find the lair of Doug, and steal the evidence of the serum. Upon being alerted, Bellwether and her henchrams pursue Judy and Nick to the museum, where they discover that Bellwether is the true mastermind of the conspiracy. Bellwether orders her rams to capture the two, and one of the rams knocks Judy and Nick into a pit, trapping them. Bellwether shoots Nick with a serum gun and alerts the ZPD, telling them that a savage fox is in the museum. Nick seemingly goes savage and attacks Judy, but the two reveal that they were acting, and had replaced the serum pellets in the dart gun with blueberries. Bellwether threatens to frame the two for her crimes, but Judy reveals that she had recorded her confession with a carrot pen, exposing her. The ZPD quickly arrive, and Bellwether is arrested, along with her henchrams.
Bellwether is last seen during the end credits, angrily watching a live stream of Gazelle's performance, and is irritated when the other prison inmates start touching her wool.
- The term 'bellwether; refers to a sheep that leads the herd. This may refer to Bellwether being the leader of the sheep behind the conspiracy.
- Bellwether is the fifth Disney villain to be revealed in a plot twist in the last third of the movie. The others being Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3, Turbo from Wreck-it-Ralph, Hans from Frozen, and Professor Callaghan from Big Hero 6.
- Doug's phone number is written on a post-it note on her desk right by her phone.
- Bellwether is the most despised character due to her mistreatment towards predators.