Disney has announced "Zootopia," a toon from Walt Disney Animation Studios set in an animal world. Film will be released in 2016.

Film is a buddy action comedy in a modern animal world where humans have never existed, according to "Tangled" director Bryan Howard who is helming the project from a script by Jared Bush. The world itself is imagined the way animals might design cities.

A mountain becomes a fancy apartment complex covered in snow and ice; a palm tree is a thousand-foot tall luxury apartment tower, for example. Tundratown features ice taxis made of Zambonis, and the Busted Tusk karaoke club. They read the Wall Street Gerbil.

"It's an entire animal civilization that's incredibly real, incredibly original and distinctly animal," Howard said.

Project was announced at the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday.

Afer wrapping "Tangled," Howard told Disney animation chief John Lasseter he wanted his next film to feature animals as human characters in the vein of one of his favorite toons, "Robin Hood."

"Lasseter will support any movie that has animals running around in clothing," Howard said.


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