ZOOTOPIA (Working Title)

Exactly one year from today, we’ll be sitting down for the opening weekend of Zootopia, the next big-screen adventure from Disney Animation. To celebrate that fact, the studio has revealed a new bit of Zootopia concept art showing off the story’s unique setting.

As promised, it looks kind of like a natural habitat “if you squint.” Basically, it’s the city an animal might build if they could design their own. Check out the Zootopia concept art after the jump.

Disney shared the Zootopia concept art on Twitter.

Zootopia concept art

Zootopia takes place in a city built and populated by animals, who live in various “habitats.” For example, polar bears enjoy karaoke in Tundratown, and desert animals enjoy the Dubai-like pleasures of Sahara Square. Small rodents scurry around the miniature streets of Little Rodencha, while rabbits reside in the Studio Ghibli-inspired Rabbit Transit District.

The various animal types don’t tend to get along, however, with the conflict basically boiling down to “flat teeth vs. sharp teeth.” But when a fox gets framed, he’s forced to team up with his natural enemy, a rabbit (who also happens to be a cop, because again, these animals live in a human-like society).

Zootopia isn’t intended to look like the human world, exactly, but a “distinctly animal” spin on civilization. To that end, the filmmakers consulted various experts to figure out what a modern city created by animals might look like.

So in the concept art we see lots of organic shapes and natural colors, rather than the glass, steel, and concrete rectangles favored by human city dwellers. Actually, what it really looks like is a more magical version of Disney’s own Sleeping Beauty’s castle logo.

Byron Howard is directing Zootopia from a script by Jared Bush. It’ll be released March 4, 2016.

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.

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