Mayor Swinton was the main antagonist in the original version of Disney's 55th full-length animated feature film Zootopia. She was to be the mayor of Zootopia and secretly the mastermind behind the disappearance of the predator population of the city, due her own hatred towards them for being a member of the prey species.
In earlier drafts of Zootopia, Mayor Swinton was the pig mayor of Zootopia. While acting like a benevolent leader, Swinton was secretly the mastermind of the conspiracy behind the mysterious disappearances of the predators. This was because she harbored a secret hatred towards that portion of Zootopia's population. As such, Swinton was a highly intelligent and calculated leader, and was implied to be fairly vain in the developed animatics. She also had a sheep minion, named Wooly, as her enforcer.
Mayor Swinton's role as the film's villain was inspired partially by the research of the filmmakers, as pigs are regarded amongst the most intelligent animals in real life. Thus, it would make sense for a pig character being behind the villainous operation while fooling her people simultaneously. The decision to make Swinton a pig was not only to fit her high intelligence, but also reflect that her appearance could be easily juxtaposed with her true nature, that of a col-blooded, murderous, corrupt politician.
Neverthless, Mayor Swinton was ultimately scrapped from the final version of the film in favor of Mayor Lionheart as the city's mayor, given that the filmmakers agreed that the common conception in the animal kingdom is that the lion is the "king of the jungle", thus making logical to cast ta lion as the leader of an all animal city. On the other hand, Swinton's role as the main antagonist of the film was assigned to Dawn Bellwether, Lionheart's assistant.
Despite this, according to directors Rich Moore and Byron Howard, Swinton ended up appearing in the film as the pig warden seen in the film's credits as a cameo role. She is specifically seen watching over the arrested Bellwether during the Gazelle concert sequence.
- While directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore affirmed that Mayor Swinton's design was reworked into that of Warden Swinton, a physically similar-looking pig lady can be seen as well in the Department of Mammal Vehicles scene before Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde meet with Flash Slothmore. Whether Swinton's design was also reworked into this character or it was a coincidence is unknown.
- While Mayor Lionheart replaced Mayor Swinton in the finished film of the film and was involved too in the conspiracy, Lionheart is much more well-intentioned and tries to search a cure for the predators. As previously said, the one behind the attempt to turn all predators in savage killer machines ended up being Dawn Bellwether, Lionheart's assistant.