Disney animated movies ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Moana’ set for 2016 release

Concept art for “Moana,” a Disney animated feature planned for November 2016.

After topping the weekend box office with “Big Hero 6,” Walt Disney Animation Studios has nailed down 2016 release dates for two upcoming films, “Zootopia” and “Moana.”

“Zootopia,” the tale of a fast-talking fox who’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit, will be let loose March 4, 2016. “Moana,” a South Pacific adventure about a spirited teenage girl in search of a fabled island, will set sail Nov. 23, 2016. Both films will be released in 3-D.

Directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled”), “Zootopia” is currently scheduled to open against Tim Burton’s young-adult adaptation “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”

“Moana” is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and the Frog”) and is the first film to plant its flag on the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend, although the “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is to open the week before.

Walt Disney Animation is enjoying a hot streak of late, including the critical and commercial successes “Tangled,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Frozen” and the aforementioned “Big Hero 6.”

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