The One Character Zootopia Changed For International Audiences

Zootopia had itself, what the movie business calls, one hell of an opening weekend. It blew past projections of $60 million and landed past $73 million. Added to the international business the film has already done and Zootopia is primed to be one of Disney’s biggest hits. It turns out, however, that those international audiences didn’t get entirely the same movie that we did. One character was swapped out in several regions. While we in the States got a news-reading moose in one scene, other countries got animals a little closer to their own homes.

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While North America, and apparently France, got a moose in this scene, there were five other animals in that seat for other nations. Japan got a tanuki, a raccoon-like creature well known to players of Super Mario Bros. 3. Australia and New Zealand got a koala, for obvious reasons. China saw a panda, which makes perfect sense. All four of these were put together thanks to Ryshat’s Corner on Twitter. As this person notes, the UK saw a corgi, while Brazil got a spotted jaguar.

It’s a fun little nod to other cultures, and something we hope we’ll get to see more of in an eventual DVD release. While the newscasters are minor characters in the film, used to help connect different parts of the film together, it’s a nice way to help the different nations connect with the movie as well. We don’t see any of these animals any other place in the film, with the exception of a black jaguar, so it’s a nice place to include these additional animals. While the corgi is still entirely MIA, the jaguar has been spotted.

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Zootopia’s box office take makes it the biggest opening ever for a Walt Disney Animation Studios feature. Considering what lesser openings, like that of Frozen, eventually went on to become, Zootopia may be poised to do something similar and become that next Disney movie that you simply can’t get away from, no matter how hard you might try. We hope you like Shakira better than Idina Menzel, you might be hearing her almost as often.

Only time will tell how strong Zootopia will truly be at the box office. We doubt a few native animals will truly change the end result, but it’s still one more nice touch on a very strong movie.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.