―Nick Wilde to Judy
Nick Wilde is the deuteragonist of the 2016 Disney animated feature film Zootopia.
As a child residing in Zootopia with his mother, Nick had a dream of joining the local Junior Ranger Scouts, for the goal of receiving genuine acceptance. Though he appeared to have been welcomed by the fellow young members, this was not truly the case. Upon "initiation", Nick was ridiculed, savagely beaten, made fun of and muzzled by the other scouts, as a result of being a fox (and the only predator present), which are considered amongst the most untrustworthy and vile species of mammals in Zootopia. After running outside to escape his tormentors, Nick broke down in tears, developing a triggering fear of muzzles and dislike towards prey mammals. From that moment forward, Nick vowed to never expose his true vulnerability to others, resulting in the fox presenting himself as stoic and unreachable. He additionally decided that, if the world viewed foxes as nothing more than sly scoundrels, he should not only accept it, but embrace it, subsequently doing so by becoming a successful con-man.
Nick appears to be well-off by the start of the film, having made $200 a day since the age of 12 (though the accuracy of these claims is questionable), and often works and splits the day's earnings with his quick-tempered partner and fellow fox, Finnick.
Nick is generally charismatic, sociable, wise-cracking, and highly intelligent. A shifty, sly, mischievous and cunning fox, traits supposedly common to all foxes, Nick is easygoing and slick, easily conning and tricking others through his charm and friendly demeanor. He always has a sly smile on his face and seems unfazed throughout most of the events.
Due to his troubled history, Nick grew to be cynical, devious, and prejudiced himself. Unlike Judy, he viewed the world of Zootopia as an abysmal place, where dreams are nothing more than far-off fantasies, and those who strive to become something more than they're stereotyped to be are simply wasting their time and energy. Nevertheless, he kept a somewhat positive aura by embracing and exploring his strong points, which were his wit, intelligence, and ability to con practically all of whom he came across. Furthermore, his past resulted in the fox no longer caring for the opinions of other mammals, no matter how cruel, giving him a sense of strength and independence. These traits would ultimately play a crucial role in solving Zootopia's deadliest conspiracy, and would lead Nick to understanding that, despite the world's viewpoints, it is possible to become something more than you're stereotyped to be.
Though he appeared to be uncaring to those around him, Nick was also sympathetic towards those who experience prejudice, as he did in the past. Witnessing, firsthand, the trials and tribulations that Judy Hopps was wrongfully forced to endure while fighting to prove her worth on the police force, Nick became a firm supporter to the bunny, subsequently proving himself to be quite fearless and protective, when it comes to those he care about.
However, Nick's admiration and love for Judy would also act as his weakness, bringing about his vulnerability, once more, and rendering him capable of becoming strongly affected by the viewpoints of someone else. He is quite resentful towards those he held a personal trust towards, particularly the ones he personally believed to have accepted him. Said anger was present when Judy publicly stated the feral disease to be due to the predators' biology, which caused Nick to feel betrayed towards their apparent friendship when she had essentially reinforced prejudice of predators, foxes included. Even so, his laid-back nature makes him a quick forgiver, as his care for others ultimately overrides his occasional bitterness.
As collected as he appears to be, Nick doesn't handle intense situations particularly well, compared to Judy, a trained officer, who generally maintains her composure and takes charge of situations when things go haywire. Contrast to this, Nick often goes into immediate panic when in danger, becoming anxious, cowering in fear, and pessimistically jumping to the conclusion that he'll soon meet his demise, seen several times throughout the Otterton case. Nevertheless, he was unwilling to abandon Judy in these situations, against her wishes, and even before their relationship matured; this would hint at Nick's selflessness before his true nature was revealed to Judy.