- "A tough cape buffalo with 2,000 lbs of attitude, Bogo is reluctant to add Judy Hopps, Zootopia’s first bunny cop, to his squad of hardened rhinos, elephants, and hippos."
According to producer Clark Spencer, the inspiration for the character that would eventually become Chief Bogo came from the filmmakers' research trip to Africa, where they learned that cape buffalos are known to be unforgiving creatures. The team agreed that an animal with such a tough reputation would serve well as Zootopia's Chief of Police. According to character designer, Cory Loftis, Bogo purposely embodies everything Judy Hopps is not, both in size and attitude and specifically in his physical design.
When being written, Bogo was initially portrayed as a one-note character—stoic and deathly serious. Idris Elba was cast for the part on account of his particular filmography primarily consisting of heavy, dramatic roles. Much to the surprise of co-director Byron Howard, Elba is actually capable of adding comedic flair to his performances and did so when approaching Bogo. As a result of this, the character was re-written to exhibit behavior similar to Elba himself, being both a powerful force of presence, as well as a source of comedic relief, making him a more three-dimensional figure than what was intended.
Like many mammals, Bogo was highly bigoted at the start of the film. He was openly against having a small mammal join his force, which was, initially, comprised of heavy-weight mammals such as elephants, rhinos, and hippos, and predators such as tigers, lions, bears, and wolves. Taking offense by Mayor Lionheart's decision to add a rabbit to the force without his opinion on the matter (as Judy was the valedictorian of her class at the Police Academy, making her legitimate in the mayor's eyes), Bogo took it upon himself to assign Judy with the seemingly detested task of parking duty. Aside from his work dedication, he disliked anything that interfered with more serious matters, including politics and the antics of his own officers, which ties into his former attitude towards Judy, as she was initiated through Lionheart's Mammal Inclusion Initiative.
Bogo can be quite spiteful to those in his disfavor, and can occasionally allow his personal emotions to override his sense of honor. After butting heads with her on several levels, he purposefully gave Judy a limited window of opportunity and an equal amount of resources to solve her first case (only giving said case for the sake of his job), additionally forcing her to resign if she fails. Despite all of this, Bogo is not as close-minded as he seems. His prejudice is mainly out of being "realistic", simply believing small mammals (such as rabbits) to be unfit for police duty, as they are not inherently strong mammals. Outside of the fact that he's a closet Gazelle fan (as revealed halfway through the film), Bogo is unafraid to be proven wrong and accept humiliation. When confronted on his shady actions and behavior towards Judy's case, Bogo, after thinking them over, was apparently ashamed by his own dishonorable decisions. Once Judy succeeds in solving her first case, he immediately softens up to her, becoming a supportive and soft-spoken ally, and he is visibly saddened when Judy, out of guilt for the unintended consequences of her words at her first press conference, resigns from the force. His prejudicial views also seem to have lifted due to Judy, as he was not only welcoming towards the latter following her success as an officer and a detective, but was also willing to add Nick to the force, though he previously showed a bigoted distrust towards foxes, thus, furthering the examples of his growing acceptance.
Reasonings behind Bogo's serious demeanor, specifically towards his position as chief of police, have been hinted at; when conversing with Judy at one point, Bogo alludes to his opinions on society, believing the world to be a broken place, and one in need of "good cops". This presumably drives Bogo to ensure that both himself and his officers, are consistently diligent and efficient in protecting the city. Those who succeed in doing so, such as Judy, garner his utmost respect.
Towards his comrades on the force, Bogo is rather charming and stark yet playfully mischievous. He was seen using his position, and feared reputation as a brute law enforcer, to tease them twice, as seen when "acknowledging the elephant in the room", and again during the epilogue, where he jokingly assigned Judy and Nick to parking duty, only to cornily say, "Just kidding!" before giving them a more serious assignment. He is also a fan of the aforementioned pop star, Gazelle, though he was initially insecure about expressing his love for her. By the end of the movie, Bogo was much less concerned about maintaining his rough and brutal reputation, as he allowed himself to publicly enjoy his free time and let loose (evidenced by his passionate dancing at Gazelle's concert).
Chief Bogo is a very tall and muscular cape buffalo. He has gray fur with beige horns curled upwards and brown eyes.
His police uniform is navy blue with short sleeves, a high collar, buttoned shirt with the ZPD insignia on his shoulders and pants with a black tie and a utility belt filled with various paraphernalia. Given he's the chief of police, Bogo has a line set of four stars on each side of his collar.
Bogo is shown to wear reading glasses when reading documents.
Chief Bogo heads up the ZPD's first precinct, which operates directly under the authority of Mayor Lionheart and his council. As such, Bogo is tasked with ensuring the public is safe from all harm and has a firm way of presenting himself as a result. Bogo is a well-respected citizen in Zootopia. When trouble arises, Bogo is the first of whom other animals will turn to. Bogo is first introduced during morning routines in the bullpen of the ZPD headquarters. He purposely glosses over formally introducing Judy, not caring for new recruits, and primarily focuses on the fourteen missing mammal cases that have occurred throughout various districts in the city. While the other members are assigned to find said mammals, Bogo regulates Judy to parking duty. When politely approached about the matter, and after being reminded that she was the top of her class at the academy, Bogo states that he didn't forget, but didn't care, leaving Judy with her meter maid assignment.
The following day, Bogo gets word that Judy abandoned her parking duties to catch a weasel crook, supposedly endangering Little Rodentia in the process, among other charges. The chief calls Hopps to his office and scolds her on the matter, additionally expressing his annoyance in her starry-eyed ways of seeing the world. Before their meeting can continue, a distraught Mrs. Otterton appears, wanting to speak to Bogo. Knowing her reasons for being there, Bogo tries to explain that her husband, Mr. Otterton—who is also one of the fourteen missing mammals—will be found in a matter of time, asking Mrs. Otterton to have patience. Judy then volunteers to find Otterton, personally, prompting Bogo to fire her on the spot for "insubordination". Before he can do so officially, however, he learns that Assistant Mayor Bellwether has already informed Mayor Lionheart that Judy is now on Otterton's case. Knowing Lionheart would be furious if he discovers that Judy's been taken off the case, Bogo reluctantly allows her mission to proceed but informs her that she only has 48 hours to complete it, or she must resign. Though hesitant at first, Judy agrees.
Bogo is later called for emergency backup by Officer Clawhauser, requested by Judy in the Rainforest District. Bogo is told that a jaguar turned savage and tried to kill her and her accomplice, Nick Wilde, but the jaguar is nowhere to be found. Feeling as if Judy is just running a wild goose chase, Bogo demands her badge as a sign of resignation, but Nick stands up for her. He scolds Bogo for purposely providing Judy with limited resources for a major case that the entirety of the ZPD couldn't crack in two weeks, calling out the buffalo on his bigotry before declaring that Judy still has ten hours remaining to find Otterton by that point, meaning the deal is still in motion. Though Bogo tries to defend himself, Nick's valid argument ultimately leaves him in silence. He solemnly watches as Judy and Nick take their leave, before departing the scene, himself, in apparent shame.
The following night, Bogo is in his private quarters entertaining himself with a Gazelle app, only to be interrupted by Clawhauser, who, to his excitement and delight, discovers the chief's secret love for the pop star. Embarrassed and angered, Bogo quickly tries to change the subject while claiming to be working on the missing mammals cases, reminding Clawhauser to reveal that Judy has uncovered all fourteen missing mammals, plus the savage jaguar, deeply shocking yet impressing the chief. Bogo and his force then infiltrate an asylum operated by Mayor Lionheart, where it is revealed that the mammals, all predators, have been illegally imprisoned by wolf mercenaries per the mayor's orders, and have somehow lost their sanity and gone savage. Lionheart is arrested by Bogo, and the new mayor, Bellwether, rises to power subsequently.
Following these events, a press conference is held at the ZPD headquarters, where Bogo acknowledges Judy, who earns his respect for her accomplishment. However, the savage predators are still not cured, as the cause of their peculiar behavior has yet to be uncovered. This, along with Judy's public assumption that "biology" is the cause of the outbreak, leads to public outcry—the prey citizens of Zootopia are unintentionally led to believe that predator mammals are reverting back to their "primitive, savage ways". With the city in fear, Bogo discusses with Bellwether that Judy (who is viewed as a trusted hero of the city) should be promoted to be the spokesperson for the ZPD, as a means to both subdue the public panic, and reward the latter. Judy solemnly denies the offer, however, feeling she's ruined the city with her actions; she then makes the decision to resign from the force, much to Bogo's shock.
During the climax, Judy discovers the truth behind the predators' strange behavior; it is Bellwether who's to blame, as she and her ram henchmen created a serum capable of turning peaceful animals into wild beasts, using it to turn the predator minority population savage so the prey majority population would turn against them and, in turn, have prey dominate the city. Judy and Nick track down the source of the toxin and gather the necessary evidence to take to Bogo. As they make their way to the ZPD headquarters, however, Bellwether and her rams confront and eventually corner Judy and Nick, regaining the evidence. Bellwether then frames a call to Bogo, claiming that Nick has gone savage, and is attacking Judy. By the time Bogo and his force arrive onto the scene, however, Judy plays a recording on her carrot pen recorder, which reveals Bellwether's confessions of criminal activity; the former mayor is arrested subsequently.
In the end, Judy is reinstated into the ZPD, while Nick joins the force, as well. Bogo accepts both and treats them with as much dignity and respect as the other members of the force. However, during their first muster, this doesn't stop him from enjoying a few rounds of playful banter with the duo, on account of their history with one another, before assigning them with a more suitable mission of tracking down a speed racer tearing through Savanna Central.
Bogo is last seen during the end credits, excitingly dancing alongside Clawhauser at Gazelle's concert performance.
An emoticon version of Bogo appeared in the Zootopia entry of the As Told by Emoji short series.
- His name comes from the word "m'bogo", which means "cape buffalo" in Swahili which was borrowed from Luganda.
- When chastising Judy on her incident with Duke Weaselton, Bogo references the trope of Disney songs being a form of expressing dreams and "Let It Go" from Frozen.
- Like real-life buffalo, Bogo has poor eyesight, hence he has reading glasses.
- Bogo has a scar above his right eye.
- At one point in the story, Bogo was to give a speech to his officers, declaring the guidelines to be an efficient member of the force—one of which involved his belief that police officers shouldn't be emotional; Judy would try to take this into consideration after her unpleasant first day in the city.
- A silhouette of Pascal (a character from Tangled) can be seen on one of the medals in Bogo's office.
- Bogo's calendar features San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6 as the picture of the month.
- Despite his dislike for Lionheart's politics interfering with police matters, Bogo kept a picture of himself and the mayor in his quarters―seen hanging on the wall behind his desk.
- According to Zootopia: The Essential Guide, the top 3 things that annoy Bogo are:
- The mayor interfering in police matters.
- Bunny cops with delusions of grandeur.
- Donut crumbs on the case files.
- This line only appeared in the first offical trailer for Zootopia and did not make it to the final film.
- Oh My Disney: "Meet the Characters in Zootopia".
- Zootopia Blu-Ray and Digital, Research: A True Life Adventure
- The Art of Zootopia, page 72
- "Idris Elba joins Disney's Zootopia cast as a brawny, goofy buffalo cop". Entertainment Weekly (October 26, 2015).
- Byron Howard on Twitter, October 27th 2015
- VIDEO: 'Rich Moore and Byron Howard Q&A' on Facebook
- Zootopia Blu-ray and digital deleted scenes: "Homesick Hopps" (Introduction)