People are visiting theaters to see Walt Disney’s "Zootopia," an animated movie with a courageous bunny named Judy Hopps as the adorable protagonist.
Delighting critics, "Zootopia" broke records collecting $73.7 million in North American theaters. To compare this success, Disney’s "Frozen" received $67.4 million in its first weekend of ticket sales in 2013.
"Zootopia" also hit the record for the highest three-day opening ever for Disney Animation and the fourth biggest March debut.
The action-packed film follows Judy on her quest to to become the first rabbit police officer in the bustling metropolis of Zootopia.
Judy graduates from the police academy and ends up on the force in Zootopia, but her boss (Idris Elba) relegates her to parking-ticket duty while more experienced officers investigate 14 missing-mammal cases. While obsessively writing tickets, Judy meets Nick (Jason Bateman), a world-weary hustler who slowly becomes her friend and adviser as she pokes her nose into the missing-mammal epidemic despite her boss’s resistance.
Critics have strongly praised "Zootopia" for its humor and strong message. The film explores racism and other intolerance in its portrayal of relations between two kinds of animals in the city.
"The thing I love most about this movie is that it was a surprise to even me when I saw how not just timely and relatable it was, but also in realizing that this movie was written years ago, how timeless these issues are and how maybe we should’ve dealt with them a long time ago," said Ginnifer Goodwin, the voice of Judy, in an interview with National Public Radio.
Other voices featured in the family-friendly film include that of Bonnie Hunt, Octavia Spencer and Shakira.
Movie buffs credit the popularity of Disney’s recent animation films to the major $7.4 billion buyout of Pixar, the animation powerhouse behind "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo," in 2006. Many believe films such as "Tangled," "Big Hero 6," "Wreck-It Ralph" and "Frozen" would not have been nearly as successful if Disney’s animation studio did not have the brainpower of previous Pixar geniuses.
Although they were released under the Walt Disney Animation Studios banner, Pixar’s DNA - a double helix of artistic daring and technological innovation - is evident in all of the films produced. As part of the Pixar purchase, the company’s leaders Ed Catmull and John Lasseter assumed responsibility for all of Disney’s animated output.
Experiencing its first financial flop with "The Good Dinosaur," Pixar has focused on sequels to their original blockbuster hits. Hoping to introduce equally crowd-pleasing installments of "The Incredibles," "Cars" and "Toy Story," soon, Pixar is fighting for fame. "Finding Dory," a follow-up to "Finding Nemo" will release this June.