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Sloth in ‘Zootopia’ rises to fame in China

The sloth in Disney's latest animated hit, "Zootopia," has become a social media sensation in China, where the film is dominating cinemas.

As of Wednesday, "Zootopia" had raked in more than 824 million yuan (about US$126.3 million) in box office sales since its debut on March 4, according to ticket sales site

The new movie is expected to beat "Kung Fu Panda 3" to become the highest-grossing animated film in China. Meanwhile, Flash the sloth is fast becoming an Internet celebrity in his own right.

The department of motor vehicles in "Zootopia" is staffed by sloths, the world's slowest mammal, a sly jab at inefficient government workers.

Pictures of Chinese netizens mimicking Flash's dopey facial expression are making the rounds online. Animated gifs, known as "stickers," featuring the character have also been shared across instant messaging app WeChat.

"Flash the Sloth has stolen the spotlight from the film's two main characters!" said user "LeleTiantian" on microblog Sina Weibo.

For most Chinese, "Zootopia" is the first time that they have even seen a sloth, but people now are keen to know more about these animals.

China News published a series of sloth photographs taken by its photojournalists based in America as well as stories on the animal on its social media accounts, receiving tens of thousands of "likes" from netizens.

At Beijing Zoo, the American animal enclosure, which has several two-toed sloths, has been very popular in recent days.

"I could just watch these creatures all day! They are so cute," said another Weibo user "Yykii."


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