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Lin-Manuel Miranda To Collaborate With ‘Zootopia’ Director Byron Howard On Secret Disney Project
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Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda may be known for his Tony Award-winning work on Hamilton, but the singer, songwriter, and actor is quickly coming into the Disney fold. Following the release of Moana next week, Miranda moves onto Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt. Not only that but there’s also the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

But that isn’t all for him. In fact, he is already lining up his next project for the Mouse House. A new report says that he will now be working with Zootopia co-director Byron Howard on a secret project. More on the story below.

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‘Zootopia’ Directors Bryon Howard, Rich Moore Talk Research, Building The World, ‘Wreck-It Ralph 2’
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Zootopia directors Rich Moore and Byron Howard

Disney’s Zootopia is the number one animated film of the year, grossing nearly $1 billion worldwide, a number suited for the king of the beasts. Now with the film finally arriving on Blu-ray, you can take that same joyful experience you had watching the film on the big screen to your house, where you can watch it over and over and over again. To help promote the film’s home entertainment release, we sat down with the directors of Zootopia, Bryon Howard (Bolt, Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph 2, The Simpsons and Futurama) to talk about what their biggest takeaway was since the release of the film, how their research trips from other zoos and Kenya helped shaped the film to what it is now, and the progress on Wreck-It Ralph 2 and the new Tangled animated series.

Check it all out below.

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Movie Review: Zootopia
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Zootopia Header

Zootopia
Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
Writers: Jared Bush, Phil Johnston
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Shakira
Studio: Disney Animation Studios
Release Date: March 4, 2016

On the surface, Zootopia looks like just another talking animal with anthropomorphic features piddling around getting laughs by means of using childish humor. But that is just the surface, and it is a very thin one. In reality, for beyond that layer lies a deeper and more meaningful story, and if you peel that layer back, you’ll soon discover that Disney Animation Studios’ latest film has a message, a very poignant one that could not have come out at a more perfect time.

In a day and age where bullying, prejudices, stereotypes, and preconceived notions are hurting many, and social issues are becoming more prevalent in our neighboring communities and homes, Zootopia has a message. Yeah, expecting a film like this to get everyone to get along is merely impossible and expecting too much, but all it is asking of us is to “try.” Try to understand one another, because if you do, you’ll become more exceptional. Check out the full review of the movie here below.

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Disney’s ‘Zootopia’ Poster Teases Animal City’s Times Square
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Zootopia Header Image

Disney’s Zootopia brings back anthropomorphic characters for an all new adventure. The film will put a twist on the buddy cop genre by pairing two characters — the sly con artist fox Nick Wilde and by-the-book rabbit cop Judy Hopps, who are normally associated as predator and prey — together to help solve a huge mystery taking place in the titular city of Zootopia.

The anthropomorphic metropolis is home to areas like Sahara Square, which was built for desert animals; Tundra Town, a snowy and cold structures for cold animals; the humid Rainforest District; and The Bunny District, home to millions of rabbits living in bunny-shaped houses, with an ever-growing population. Now Disney has released a brand new poster giving us an idea of how their world isn’t that much different from our own. Check out the full poster below.

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D23 Expo 2015: ‘Zootopia’ Introduces Us To A World Of Anamorphic Disney Fun
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Disney's Zootopia Gazelle voiced by Shakira

Walt Disney Animation Studios opened up their panel on Friday at the D23 Expo with Zootopia, the anamorphic film that brings back talking animals to the Disney animation studios, but with a buddy cop twist.
Disney Animation’s Zootopia is set in a sprawling metropolis built, run, and populated by non-human animals. We’ve already got a hint at what is to come from the film, but no real story.

For Zootopia, directors Rich Moore and Byron Howard went to the Animal Kingdom theme park at Disney World in Orlando, FL, to do research, and and were sent to Kenya to get a real sense of animal movement and their behavior in a natural environment. They soon developed an idea of how these animals would move without thumbs or hands. For instance, if a camel were to walk on hind legs, it would be more of a wonky walking stance due to their leg structure. And for an elephant to grab a scoop of ice cream, they would roll it using their trunks.

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‘Zootopia’ Trailer: Jason Bateman Explains Disney’s Animal Buddy Cop Comedy
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Zootopia Header Image

Following a string of animated hits, Disney will be doing something that “you’ve never seen be-fur.” Zootopia is their latest animated film that likens to the great buddy cop comedies of the past, but with that Disney Animation twist.

Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) plays a sly con artist fox in the movie, while Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon A Time) plays a bunny police officer assigned to arrest him. If you are wondering how a film like this will look, Disney has released the first teaser for the film, in which Bateman’s character explains how the various animals in Zootopia co-exist. Check out the trailer below.

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Disney Releases New ‘Zootopia’ Concept Art
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Disney Zootopia Concept Art

Disney Animation won’t be releasing any projects this year, but they are currently hard at work getting ready for the release of Zootopia. The film comes from directors Byron Howard (Tangled, Bolt) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph, The Simpsons), and co-director Jared Bush (Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero).

The movie gives the idea of modern crime an animalistic and animated twist. We saw a small tease of the film’s progress at the last D23 Expo, and now new concept art has been unveiled that gives us a better picture of the setting. Hit the jump for more.

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3D Blu-ray Review: Bolt
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Bolt 3DBolt
3 Blu-ray Combo Pack
Directed by Chris Williams and Byron Howard
Starring John Travolta and Miley Cyrus
Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 8, 2011

When talking about the current state of Disney’s animation side of film production (and that’s Disney proper, not Pixar), things aren’t as good as they have been. Animated projects are not only seeing less and less respect with critics, but frankly, they don’t seem to be hitting the zeitgeist in general. However, there is the occasional gem.

Hitting theaters in 2008, Byron Howard and Chris WilliamsBolt has become something of a rarity amongst the general collection of modern day Disney animation releases. It’s not only one of the prettiest pieces of animation the studio has to offer, but it is both wonderfully charming performance wise, and is far more touching than anything Disney has seen hit theaters in quite some time.

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Digital Rental Deal: Disney’s ‘Tangled’
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Disney's Tangled

The digital deal of the day over at Amazon today is Disney’s 50th animated feature Tangled, which is available for rental for only $.99. The film stars the voice cast of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, and Ron Perlman, with music from Alan Menken.

This deal is valid only for today, Thursday, July 7, 2011, until midnight PST. Once you activate the rental through the Amazon Instant Video service, you’ll have access to the movie for 48 hours. (There is no option at this time to purchase this digital version through Amazon Instant Video.)

If you’d like to purchase a physical copy of the movie, it’s also available as a 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D + Blu- ray + DVD + Digital Copy) — which comes with a digital copy — as well as a 2-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a standard 1-Disc DVD.

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Blu-ray Review: Disney’s Tangled
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Tangled

Tangled
3D Blu-ray | Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Byron Howard, Nathan Greno
Starring Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Brad Garrett, Ron Perlman
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release date: March 29, 2011

With their 50th animated feature, Disney tackles the classic fairy tale Rapunzel, bringing to life the story of the young girl with golden tresses locked away high up in a tower, out of reach from the outside world.

In Tangled, the opening sequence gives us Rapunzel’s history: stolen from her King and Queen parents as a newborn by an wicked old woman named Gothel (Donna Murphy), Rapunzel’s long blonde hair holds the power to restore youth, hence why the witch keeps the princess captive. The girl, not knowing her true origin, lives her life in a high tower with no doors, with no friends or interaction with the outside world. Each day, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) lets down her 70-feet of hair through the window for Mother Gothel to climb up. Just before her 18th birthday, the teen has just one wish: to go see the floating lanterns that are lit each year on her birthday, but Gothel has no intention of letting the girl leave “home.”

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