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'Zootopia' Lawsuit Claims Disney Ripped Off Film Idea Big Time

Image: 'Zootopia' Lawsuit Claims Disney Ripped Off Film Idea Big Time
(screengrab from trailer)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 09:09 AM

A "Zootopia" lawsuit claims Disney ripped off the idea for the Oscar-winning animated film from veteran author Gary L. Goldman after he pitched it twice in detail.

Goldman, who has movies like "Total Recall" and "Minority Report" to his credits, filed the lawsuit under Esplanade Productions on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in California, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Twice – in 2000 and 2009 – Goldman, on behalf of Esplanade, pitched defendants his 'Zootopia' franchise, which included a live-action component called Looney and an animated component called 'Zootopia,'" said the lawsuit. "He provided a treatment, a synopsis, character descriptions, character illustrations and other materials."

"He even provided a title for the franchise: 'Zootopia.' Instead of lawfully acquiring Goldman's work, defendants said they were not interested in producing it and sent him on his way. Thereafter, consistent with their culture of unauthorized copying, defendants copied Goldman's work. They copied Goldman's themes, settings, plot, characters, and dialogue — some virtually verbatim."

The lawsuit went into painstaking detail comparing each of Goldman's characters and the ones that appeared in the animated film.

The lawsuit named the Walt Disney Company, Disney Enterprises, Inc., Walt Disney Pictures, ABC, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Disney Consumer Products, Disney Book Group, Disney Shopping, Disney Store USA, Buena Vista Books, and Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media as defendants, according to a copy posted by Deadline.com.

Goldman is asking that Disney to show "all profits derived from their use of the Goldman Zootopia and their production, reproduction, preparation of derivative works based on, distribution, performance, and display of the Disney 'Zootopia' or the 'Zootopia' merchandise in all media, from all sources, worldwide."

A Disney representative told Deadline.com that the company will defend itself and that Goldman's claims are loaded with inaccuracies.

"Mr. Goldman’s lawsuit is riddled with patently false allegations," said the Disney rep. "It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court."

"Zootopia," which was released a year ago this month, made $341 million domestically and another $682 million overseas, according to Box Office Mojo. The movie won the best animated movie Academy Award last month.

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A "Zootopia" lawsuit claims Disney ripped off the idea for the Oscar-winning animated film from veteran author Gary L. Goldman after he pitched it twice in detail.
zootopia, lawsuit, disney
365
2017-09-22
Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 09:09 AM
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