Just when you thought Disney animation reached a new high in creativity with Wreck-It Ralph comes Zootopia, a newly-announced feature that will land in theatres in 2016. The new film was announced on Friday at the Animation panel at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA.
Zootopia (the working title), directed by Byron Howard of Tangled fame and written by Jared Bush, is a buddy action-comedy where humans don’t exist. This world is inhabited, constructed, and ruled by animals.
Howard, who grew up and loved Robin Hood, said he had always wanted to develop a film focused around animals wearing clothes. No joke. It looks like he will execute that in fine film fashion, constructing a society that has as much originality as it does details.
[Disney’s Zootopia (Working Title) concept art courtesy of Walt Disney Studios. Used with permission.]
The concept art shown has animal touches of the modern world, complete with skyscrapers, transportation systems, and other aspects.
Among the various habitats are Tundratown, resembling an icy space for cool creatures; Sahara Square; Little Rodentia (for rodents, of course); and the ultra-cutesy and cunning Burrow Burrough. Millions of rabbits populate this land, and they even boast their own transit system: the RTD.
The film’s lead characters are a hustling fox named Nick Wilde and Lt. Judy Hopps, a bunny. Zootopia even boasts a mega pop star named Gazelle. The species? Well, you take a guess. Wilde and Hopps, an unlikely duo who start out as natural enemies and evolve into good friends, will change some ideas on how the food chain works, too, I’m thinking.
In the animal city of Zootopia, a fast-talking fox who’s trying to make it big goes on the run when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Zootopia’s top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends. In theaters in 2016.
By far one of the coolest concepts to come from Disney in a very long time, I am certainly thrilled and overjoyed to have seen this content in person at D23. Expect buzz to build for Zootopia in the coming years before its 2016 release.
Are you on board? I know I am!
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