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Zootopia Gets a Graphic Novel from Dark Horse this September 2018

Dark Horse has announced a new graphic novel for younger readers set for release in September 2018 titled Disney Zootopia: Friends to the Rescue! This story collection includes two separate tales of friendship, one featuring Zootopia’s Judy Hopps as a youngster in Bunnyburrow, and the other featuring Zootopia’s Nick Wilde and his urban childhood experiences. From writer Jimmy Gownley and artist Leandro Ricardo da Silva, with colors by Wes Dzioba and letters by Chris Dickey, come two tales of how talent and teamwork can overcome sticky situations. Written for younger readers, this volume will appeal to Zootopia fans of all ages with its adventurous characters and engaging artwork. Also included in this original graphic novel are a variety of story-related activities and special features!

Disney Zootopia: Friends to the Rescue finds both Judy and Nick in tricky, but different, situations. Judy is excited to tour the fun at the Bunnyburrow County Fair with her Pop Pop, but Dinah has to sneak out of the house to join her! Then, when Pop Pop says no to a hot air balloon ride, Judy still gets her chance in the air when Dinah stumbles into trouble and needs rescuing! It will take both their talents, rabbit and sloth, to ensure that everyone makes it safely home at the end of the day. Meanwhile, Nick learns it’s the thought that counts when he saves the day at his friend Hedy’s birthday party. While he might not have enough money to buy a gift, Nick has other talents that he puts to good use for a truly unforgettable celebration.

Disney Zootopia: Friends to the Rescue goes on sale September 12, 2018. This 48-page original graphic novel retails for $7.99.

Joe Books Launches Their As Told by Disney Emoji Cinestory Comics

Joe Books has announced the launch of the As Told by Disney Emoji Cinestory Comic series.

As Told by Disney Emoji are animated shorts that retell classic Disney stories using emojified versions of popular characters. The series has had over 130 million worldwide video views and is accompanied by the hugely popular Disney Emoji Blitz game.

Launching in September 2017, Joe Books will publish the graphic novel adaptations of emojified versions of Disney Beauty and the Beast, Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Disney Zootopia.

Ninja Turtles Come in First with a Soft Opening, Stopping the Apocalypse

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_Out_of_the_Shadows_posterIt was a Mutant vs Mutant battle for the top of the box office this past weekend.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows was the top of the box office earning an estimated $35.3 million. That’s just 46% of the 2014 original film’s opening weekend. It opened with $65.5 million. However the sequel cost $135 million, $10 million more than the original. The film also brought in an estimated $34 million in foreign markets for a total of $69.3 million. Paramount may be nervous seeing those numbers, but the film did get an A- Cinemascore though is just 35% at Rotten Tomatoes (with 62% of the audience liking it).

The film bumped previous week’s champ X-Men: Apocalypse into second. The film earned an estimated $22.3 million to bring its domestic total to $116.5 million. The film has also earned $286 million in foreign markets for a total of $402.5 million. The film seems to not be performing well domestically, but internationally, that’s not the case. It had the second largest Fox opening in China. The foreign markets is what will likely drive the film’s success.

Coming in third place was new film Me Before You which earned $18.3 million. Also debuting was Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping which came in eighth with $4.6 million.

Also of note, Zootopia crossed the billion dollar mark, the second film of the year to do so, so far.

In comic movie news, Captain America: Civil War added $7.6 million to its domestic total. The film stands at $388.9 million domestically and $1.132 billion worldwide. Deadpool is still opening in locations, the latest being Japan where it earned an estimated $6.48 million.

This coming weekend we’ve got a few interesting films opening. The Conjuring 2, Now You See Me 2, and Warcraft will all open domestically. It’s unknown how that’ll play out and if the films will find their own distinct audiences, cannibalize each other, or one will break out.

Captain America: Civil War Repeats, While Marvel Crosses $10 Billion

Captain America Civil WarCaptain America: Civil War sat at the top of the box office again with an estimated $72.6 million. That’s about a 59% drop which is similar to Avengers: Age of Ultron. So far the film has earned $295.9 million domestically. The film also earned $84.2 million making its international earnings an even $645 million. That puts it at $940.9 million worldwide and currently sitting in second behind Zootopia for the top earner of 2016. The film will easily pass $1 billion making it the first film in 2016 to do so.

Captain America: Civil War‘s performance along with the other films comprising the 13 films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has pushed Marvel to having earned over $10 billion worldwide.

In second place was The Jungle Book which earned an estimated $17.8 million in its fifth week. Following that were two new films Money Monster which earned an estimated $15 million and The Darkness which earned $5.2 million.

In other comic film news, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was #14 earning $535,500 to bring its domestic total to $328.2 million and worldwide total to $868.8 million.

Even though it’s out on DVD and digital Deadpool added $200,000 to its total to bring its domestic total to $362.5 million and worldwide to $762.4 million.

This coming week should be interesting as X-Men: Apocalypse opens internationally (except for China and Japan) and Neighbors 2 opens domestically.

Batman v Superman Drops to Second, Passes Deadpool Worldwide

The_Boss_posterThe Boss just beat Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice this weekend. The film debuted in first with an estimated $23.48 million, while Batman v Superman earned an estimated $23.43 million. Yes, that’s just a difference of $45,000.

While I’m sure many will give Batman v Superman crap, but it is the third highest grossing film domestically for Warner Bros with $296.7 million. Worldwide though, things are looking good for the film. It currently sits in second for the year behind Zootopia and yes, that means the film has earned more worldwide than Deadpool. Batman v Superman has earned $783.5 million while Deadpool has earned $758.8 million. The film currently sits at #59 of all time and will likely be near #50 by the end of the coming week. That will put it ahead of films like Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. The last of which it has already passed.

In other new films, Hardcore Henry wasn’t all that hardcore and came in fifth with $5.1 million and Demolition was #15 with $1.1 million.

In other comic news Deadpool was #12 with $2.1 million bringing its total to $358.4 million domestically.

Next weekend The Jungle Book and Barbershop: The Next Cut will be coming to domestic theaters, so expect one or both to top the box office.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Rules the Box Office Worldwide

Batman v Superman Dawn of JusticeWhile people were divided, they still packed the box office sending Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice into first place with an estimated $424.1 million worldwide opening. The film set a domestic March opening weekend record as well as setting the record for largest opening ever for Warner Bros.

Domestically, the film earned an estimated $170.1 million which beat the previous record holder by about $18 million. The film also has the largest Easter opening as well as the largest opening for a DC Comics property. While the film has a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, the audience score has it at 73%, a clear split between critics and fans. The film also received a “B” CinemaScore. All that together creates a very unknown next weekend, but without major competition, the film should stay in first.

The film earned $254 million internationally which is the fifth largest international opening and its worldwide opening is the fourth largest of all-time. The film also has the fourth largest opening weekend for a comic book adaptation, only $4 million shy of third.

In other film news, Zootopia dropped to second adding $23.1 million to bring its domestic total to $240.5 million and worldwide to $696.7 million.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 opened this weekend as well earning $18.1 million to come in third.

In other “comic” related films, Deadpool is now in seventh adding $5 million to its domestic total bringing it to $349.5 million domestically and $746 million worldwide. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is also still in theaters adding $805,000 to bring its domestic total to $933.7 million and worldwide to $2.06 billion.

Fashion Spotlight: Whotopia, Hakuna Montana, Magic Charms

Ript Apparel has three new designs! Whotopia, Hakuna Montana, and Magic Charms, by foureyedesign, kgullholmen, and Stephen-Hartman, are on sale today only! Get them before they’re gone!

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Zootopia Continues to Stay On Top of the Box Office

zootopia-movie-posterFor the third week in a row, Zootopia was at the top of the box office earning an estimated $38 million to bring its domestic total to $201.8 million. The film also brought in roughly $64.8 million internationally to put its foreign box office total at $389.9 million. So far the film has earned $591.7 million in its three weeks.

In second place was The Divergent Series: Allegiant which earned $29.1 million, down 44% from the opening of the previous film in the series. With another film to go, this is not a good sign for the franchise’s end. We’ll see how well it does in the long run, but Lionsgate has to be slightly disappointed in the opening.

Coming in third was Miracles from Heaven which earned $15 million. With a budget of $13 million, the folks behind the film must be happy. It has earned a total of $18.5 million after five days. It also continues the success of films focused on a religious audience.

In its second week 10 Cloverfield Lane dropped to fourth earning $12.5 million in its second week. This is as expected as I’d think many would have flocked to see the film in the first week so as to not be spoiled.

Rounding out the top five is Deadpool which added $8 million to its domestic total putting it at $340.9 million. The film has also earned $389.7 million in foreign markets to bring its worldwide total to $730.65 million. The film still has about $17 million to be the top “X” film worldwide when it comes to unadjusted totals.

This coming weekend will see the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so expect that film to easily top the box office.

Zootopia Crosses $400 million, Deadpool Crosses $700 million

zootopia-movie-posterZootopia remained at the top of the box office, raking in $50 million to bring its domestic total to $142.6 million. It’s global total is over $431 million in just two weeks. The film just dropped 33.4% from last week.

Newcomer 10 Cloverfield Lane earned $25.2 million in its first weekend to come in second place. Also new this week, The Perfect Match was sixth earning $4.15 million, The Young Messiah earned $3.4 million to come in seventh, and The Brothers Grimsby earned $3.15 million to come in eighth.

Deadpool was third bringing in $10.8 million and making its domestic total $328 million. The film has also earned $380 million internationally to bring its domestic total to $708.1 million. That puts the film in the top ten when it comes to domestic earnings. It will easily slip past number nine and will likely settle into the eighth slot when it’s done. When it comes to just Marvel films it ranks eighth domestically and will wind up in sixth.

Zootopia Deconstructs Beast Fables, Ancient and Modern

Zootopia

*Spoiler alert for the entire Zootopia film*

The latest Disney animated film Zootopia wowed both audiences and critics grossing $75.1 million domestically, which is the biggest opening weekend for a non-Pixar Disney animated film, and getting 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film features anthropomorphic animals (Mostly mammals.) living in a society, not unlike contemporary American society with complex gender, class, and race divisions. It follows the first bunny police officer Judy Hopps (voiced by Once Upon A Time‘s Ginnifer Goodwin) as she moves from the rural Bunny Burrows to Zootopia and investigates a missing animal case with the help of fox con man and self-proclaimed hustler Nick Wilde (voiced by Jason Bateman). Along the way, she becomes aware of the problems, corruption, and overall complicated nature of living in a diverse society. The plot of the film is a crime thriller meets mystery with a dash of comedy and satire, and there are nods and homages to great crime stories, like Breaking Bad and The Godfather along with the slapstick and pitfalls of animated films. However, throughout the film, Zootopia is a deconstruction of the classic beast fable genre, which uses animals and their often stereotypical personalities to teach a moral lesson.

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Reynard the Fox seducing the other animals.

Beast fables are simple and usually straightforward tales that use animals to model ethics. For example, in the The Nun’s Priest Tale found in Geoffrey Chaucer‘s Canterbury Tales, the fox Reynard symbolizes deception and evil while the doomed rooster protagonist Chanticleer symbolizes pride and its downfall. It’s a pithy, memorable tale with the lesson of not listening to flattery. But beneath the moral instruction and broad animal personalities, there is usually something nefarious dealing with the ideological conflicts or fears of the time period. In the 14th century, the Roman Catholic Church used the popular Reynard character to attack the English Lollard preachers, who believed that the common people should read and hear the Bible in their own language and not Latin. Later, in 1937, there was an anti-Semitic Dutch children’s story called Of Reynaert the Fox that was used as Nazi propaganda on the eve of World War II to show the lawlessness of Jewish people and socialists.

This story (and later animated film) is one of many that shows the power of children’s stories featuring talking and dressed animals to create social and racial divisions. Disney itself isn’t exempt from this with Dumbo (1940) featuring an actual character named Jim Crow, the singing Siamese cats in Lady in the Tramp (1955), and all of the Song of the South (1946), which has never been released on video or DVD, but is still featured as part of the Disney theme parks’ Splash Mountain ride. Basically, people attribute different personality qualities to animals that may have nothing to do with their actual nature, biological or otherwise, and apply them to people to demonize them and make them less than human. This happens in Zootopia, a world where predators and prey supposedly live in harmony, but Judy’s parents give her repellent and a taser specifically made for foxes before she goes off to the big city. The opening of the film shows a young Judy along with a tiger cub talking about how they have moved on from this primal state, but deeply engrained racist attitudes still persist even in a highly developed society, like Zootopia.

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But, back to the fox. In many cultures, the fox symbolizes treachery. “Outfox” means to deceive someone, the German WWII general Erwin Rommel was nicknamed the “Desert Fox” because he confused Allied forces with his maneuvers in North Africa, and in Japanese folklore, the kitsune is a symbol of mischief. However, in the 1973 Disney animated classic Robin Hood, the title hero was a fox because of Robin Hood’s guerilla tactics to evade the forces of usurper Prince John while stealing the government’s money and giving it to the poor. Robin Hood may not obey the law, but he has the good of ordinary people in mind in his actions. The multiple writers of Zootopia apply this more nuanced characterization to Nick Wilde, the film’s deuteragonist while showing the pitfalls of profiling and stereotyping people through the animal metaphor. Sure, Nick’s a skilled con man, but he only does this job because as a child, some non-predator children beat and muzzled him when he wanted to become a Zootopia Scout. He felt trapped by the stereotype, and one of the most emotional parts of the film is young Nick crying with his muzzle beside him.

The writers of Zootopia present audiences with the stereotypes of foxes being crafty and deceitful with Nick Wilde pulling a con with his partner Finnick (a fennec fox), who pretends to be his little baby as he gets ice cream from a species-ist elephant and then mass produces them as popsicles to sell to lemming bankers in one of the film’s funniest jokes. It’s a clever sequence and sets up Nick’s character as a trickster in the beast fable tradition. Then, the writers subvert it by making him Judy’s partner as they look for a missing otter and end up being drawn into a vast conspiracy featuring gangsters, the mayor, and drugs that make Zootopia’s predators feral. Judy goes from forcing Nick to help her, or she’ll turn him in for tax evasion to actually becoming friends with him. But this “color blind” utopia idea is short lived once Judy tells the press that predators have a “biological” reason to attack prey, and Nick is hurt by her discrimination. This leads to a citywide crackdown on predators from the corrupt vice mayor Bellwether (voiced by former SNL cast member Jenny Slate), who wants to rule Zootopia by uniting the 90% of non-predators in fear against the 10% predators. It’s similar to the racially charged rhetoric that is marking Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign, but Bellwether has a meeker exterior.

The biggest turning point in Zootopia‘s deconstruction of the beast fables comes in a sequence where a savage Nick is chasing Judy around in a natural history diorama featuring deer that is an homage to the Disney classic Bambi. Bellwether (and some of the audience by extension) thinks that Nick is actually savage, and that she can spin a story of a predator killing a hero cop and stir up even more discrimination. But it is all a clever ruse as Nick has replaced the drug in Bellwether’s gun with harmless blueberries from Judy’s parents’ farm. This scene shows the foolishness of judging someone based on their species and by extension, their skin color, sexuality, religion, or gender as Zootopia‘s writers put the stereotypes of the classic beast fables out to pasture in a beautiful musical number by Gazelle (voiced by Shakira), who is a pop star activist, and has tiger backup dancers symbolizing equality. But even though the ending is happy, there is still discrimination going on in Zootopia, and even organized crime from multiple gangs featuring wolves and polar bears that still control whole territories of the city. (Judy and Nick get a lot of help from the polar bear gang led by a shrew named Mr. Big, who is like the animal reincarnation of Vito Corleone.) Just like in our world, there is plenty of work to be done to end racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination.

Zootopia subverts the familiar stereotypes of beast fables and their successors, like the Redwall books where mice are good and animals like ferrets, rats, and weasels are evil simply because they are a certain species, and uses its animal characters to show a more nuanced view of the world. People aren’t bad or have a certain personality because they are a certain ethnicity or religion. Judy might be a bunny, but she’s not dumb. Nick is a fox, but he’s not evil. Instead of being like Dumbo or previous Disney cartoons and using animals to propagate racial stereotypes, Zootopia tears them down and even uses storytelling devices like the bait and switch with the berries and drug to get viewers to examine their own prejudices. It is also an entertaining buddy mystery comedy along the way.

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