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The Real Reason Zootopia Has A Different Name Outside Of America

In March 2016, Walt Disney Animation Studios added a fresh feature to its lineup that received rave reviews (via Rotten Tomatoes). The film was "Zootopia," a tale of determination and unlikely friendships that brought in $73.7 million at the box office during opening weekend, as compared to the $67.4 million of "Frozen" in 2013 (via Insider).

"Zootopia" follows the journey of Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), an ambitious bunny who wants nothing more than to prove herself to her much-larger colleagues on the force. Determined to get promoted beyond parking duty, Judy agrees to investigate the case of Mrs. Otterton's (Octavia Spencer) missing husband, much to the annoyance of Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), who heads the Zootopia Police Department. Bogo makes a deal with Judy — if she can't crack the case within 48 hours, she must resign. Judy then enlists the unwanted help of Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a con artist fox.

Audiences of all ages have come to know and love "Zootopia" and its cuddly cast of characters over the past seven years. However, many American "Zootopia" fans might not realize that, in countries outside of the U.S., the movie has a slightly altered title.

Disney wanted Zootopia to have a unique title in the U.K.

When "Zootopia" was released in the U.K. several weeks after its successful introduction in the U.S., international theatergoers enjoyed the same exact story of Officer Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, and the other residents of the town. However, instead of "Zootopia," it's entitled "Zootropolis."

While some have speculated that the name change was to avoid copyright issues with the Givskud Zoo Zootopia, located in Denmark (via Irish Times), Disney officials never confirmed or denied this. Rather, a spokesperson simply stated, "In the U.K., we decided to change the U.S. title 'Zootopia' to 'Zootropolis' to merely allow the film to have a unique title that works for U.K. audiences."

Because the U.K. version includes a voice-over only of the word "Zootropolis" every time a character says "Zootopia," rather than the cast re-recording the entire line, many fans felt annoyed. On Reddit, u/Tobs74 wrote, "The lip syncing is still synced to 'Zootopia' while everything else is fine and Gazelle pronounces it very slowly, so makes that even worse." u/TheCampfireGamer was in agreement, complaining, "I watched the normal version but in the EU on TV it's the 'Zootropolis' version and every time it said 'Zootropolis' I got a little more triggered."