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At D23, Disney announces new animated feature 'Zootopia'

The Walt Disney Animation Studios announced "Zootopia," a new 3-D animated feature film from "Tangled" director Byron Howard, at the D23 Expo in Anaheim on Friday.

Howard described "Zootopia" as "a buddy action comedy set in an animal world where humans have never existed." The story, written by Jared Bush, writer-producer on the CW's "All of Us," centers on two natural enemies, a fox and a rabbit.

The 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. When both animals become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover they can become best friends.

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Some of the other characters Howard introduced at the fan event give a hint of the movie's whimsical tone, including a pop star gazelle and a wildebeest in an "I'm with Gnu-pid" T-shirt. Zootopia is due in theaters in 2016.

In 2010, "Tangled," a musical retelling of the Rapunzel tale, was well received by audiences and critics, earning $590 million at the worldwide box office. Howard directed that film with Nathan Greno.

Disney announced "Zootopia" as part of its animation panel at D23, a three-day fan event at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The panel also included footage from the upcoming Disney Animation movies "Frozen" and "Big Hero 6," and the North American premiere of the new Mickey Mouse short "Get a Horse," as well as films from Disney Animation's sister studios, Disneytoons and Pixar.

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