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Zootopia Childhood Speculations: Duke Weaselton by TheSkunkCat Zootopia Childhood Speculations: Duke Weaselton by TheSkunkCat
Now this picture is NOT a spoiler, as it's just my personal speculation on a character from the movie.

Buuuut I'll be discussing a few things from the movie, so for those who haven't seen it yet...


Now in the movie we see three characters as both kids and adults. The two main characters and Judy's reformed former bully Gideon Grey. I decided I might want to draw a few more as kids, and specifically how I might IMAGINE them to be like as kids.

So we start with Duke... In the movie he's sort of this amusing low-level criminal who's name is a pun on a character from Frozen. What I particularly love about Duke in the movie is that whenever he does something he thinks is slick he tends to strike a pose or have this big smug grin on his face. But we never learn much about the character per se.

What struck me is that Duke could actually all to easily be surprisingly similar to Nick. (The line that did that for me is when Nick greets him with a taunt and Duke taunts him right back. (SPOILER, actual quote; Nick: If it isn't the duke of bootleg! Duke: What's it to you Wilde? Shouldn't ya be meltin' down a popsicle or sumthin?") Just struck me as the two really not being all THAT different.

Not to mention it's hardly a stretch to assume weasels don't get a much fairer shake then foxes in the Z-verse.


So what did I do with Duke? Well, my intend was to portray an impoverished little weasel who was into sports. Which... isn't really a stretch if you watch the scene where Judy chases Duke.

I could easily imagine someone like Duke being quite good at say... playing American football in some sort of middle-sized creatures cup. He'd be nimbly weaving through larger creatures and scoring.


So my backstory on this idea is that Duke grew up impoverished, one of a litter of four (one brother, two sisters.) His father Earl Weaselton (You gotta admit that'd be THE best name for Duke's father, right?) was unfortunately in jail for most of his kits childhood. But little Duke back then was actually a pretty positive little guy. Almost like Judy in fact.

Sure... he had his shitty experiences. Some rabbit kid steals something, the weasel kid gets blamed. And sure... initially they used to pick the weasel last to be on their team. But did he let it bother him back then? No, not at all! Hey... his mother had 'the talk' with him anyway. About how a mommaweasel loves her kits, but the world just doesn't.

No, when they picked him last on the team, he just gave it his all and started singlehandedly winning games! Rest assured they stopped picking him last soon enough, because he was good!

So good in fact that as he grew older, it started looking like he could turn pro. Which would have been a huge boon to a family of impoverished small preds.

But it wasn't to be. Another young player from Duke's team committed a stupid, but fairly serious teen crime. He wasn't directly caught, but it became clear someone of Duke's team had been responsible. Unfortunately the actual culprit had very rich parents with a lot of clout... So a few adults got together and decided to scapegoat and sacrifice another player... the weasel!

Poor Duke could insist all he wanted that he didn't do it. Wouldn't that be just what a dishonest weasel would say? No... he went down for a crime he didn't commit. And spend a year in juvie. And after that he was toxic. His sports career and hopes went down the toilet. And it'd only get worse still.

It's already not that easy for poor weasels (or foxes, or raccoons) to get a decent job. And with a mark on your record? Even less so! It just didn't work out... And what's left then? Small-time crime!


In this particular scenario, I see Duke as kind of past it all. He's just sort of accepted that's the hand he got dealt and that's how life is. He now engages in schemes and petty crime in order to get by.

And that idea I had about him being one of a litter of four? Well I imagine his brother likes to annoy Duke and Duke finds him annoying, but eh... still his brother. One of his sisters got pregnant really early and the father bolted... single mom now who sometimes fobs the kids off to Uncle Duke (Who ironically is the most responsible of the lot.) His other sister has managed to escape that fate, in spite of having a new date every week. As THIS version of Duke might put it "Family, whatcha gonna do?"


Now why this idea? Well... it struck me as an interesting idea if Judy where to encounter Duke again and learn there's some hidden depths to the weasel. After all it's not just NICK who has had to deal with some crap. Judy might meet Duke taking care of his nephews and niece because his sister dumped them off on him for a while. And once she learns Duke's past she'd have to realize that sometimes all the optimism and work ethic in the world can't always fix what's broken.

And you gotta admit, for someone who's motivation is to make the world a better place, that is a very important lesson to learn!


Not that such a thing would have to be pure drama. Between me and a good friend I discussed this scenario with there'd be plenty of room for some humourous and cute stuff involving Duke and his family, particularly his little nephews and niece. Whom the small-timer weasel would have a genuine soft-spot for, much as they wear the poor guy out to no end.

And as my friend suggested... What if Duke's little niece has seen the bunnyrabbit cop on television and wants to be JUST like her?


Duke: That's great, but weasels don't become cops sweetheart...

Judy: Well then she'll just have to be first! *gives her one of those jr. badges.*

If you've seen the movie, you see what I did there!


Intended Next Childhood Piccy: Finnick.
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LauriJ Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2016
Wow, you really put a lot of thought into describing his presumed childhood. I wonder if this would give Disney any ideas... Oh yeah, I have been wondering about the exact political status of Zootopia, the Burrows etc. Do you think that Zootopia and it's environs would be a state similar to those in United States or is it an actual city-state in it's own right? It could go either way I suppose...
TheSkunkCat Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2016
My take on it is that Bunnyburrow and Zootopia are in the same country and that Zootopia is like one of those succesful designer capitals like Brasilia.

If Disney takes idea's from me, great! I'd love to see Duke turn out to have redeeming and even tragic qualities. Not just because I like him, but also because Duke LOOKS and SOUNDS the lowlife part, and thus if it turns out there's so much more to him and he's actually quite sympathetic, that's a nice message about lookism and not judging to quickly, right?

And since this IS from the guy who wrote Tangled, hey maybe Duke has a dream!
LauriJ Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2016
Right, I guess it would be the same kind of sitation as Brazil for example in that case. Someone should definitely try and map Zootopia at some point, to see how it would turn out. Also, quite impressed how Zootopia would have whatever technology they are using for those climate controlled zones. As the saying goes: necessity is the mother of invention. Hopefully someone would go really deep into the analysis...
LauriJ Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2016
Also, been thinking about what other countries would this setting have. Something like Japan would definitely come to mind. It's capital? Kemoto.
weasel-girl Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Along with Nick and Judy, Duke has to be one of my favorite characters from "Zootopia" and I am thrilled to see some fanart of him. ^^
I really like the backstory you gave him and what caused him to go into a life of petty criminal activities even though the story is very sad as well.
Nice work on the art and the story! ^^
TheSkunkCat Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2016
Thank you! I like the weasel myself obviously! Him and Finnick are two of my fav. minor chars.

(And also both chars I think with more potential at that!)
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