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Animator sues Disney, claims Frozen trailer is copyright infringement

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Aug 5, 2014 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
Disney is being sued for copyright infringement by animator Kerry Wilson, who is claiming the company copied her work. One of the trailers for the hit animated film Frozen is quite similar to Wilson's 2D computer-animated short, The Snowman. The lawsuit has already been through the first round in the courts. California federal judge Vince Chhabria said in his ruling, "The sequence of events in both works, from start to finish, is too parallel to conclude that no reasonable juror could find the works substantially similar."

Judge Chhabria describes the parallels:

"(i) a snowman loses his carrot nose; (ii) the nose slides out to the middle of a frozen pond; (iii) the snowman is on one side of the pond and an animal who covets the nose is on the other; (iv) the characters engage in a contest to get to the nose first; (v) the screen pans back and forth from the snowman to the animal, set to music, as they endeavor to get to the nose; (vi) the contest continues when the snowman and the animal arrive at the nose at the same time; (vii) the animal ends up with the nose, leaving the snowman (and the viewer) to wonder if the snowman's nose will become food for the animal; and (viii) in the end, the animal returns the nose to the snowman."

The judge did dismiss the idea that the full film was an infringement of Wilson's short. The case will likely go to trial if it is not settled.

To view Disney's Frozen trailer, click here.

To view Wilson's short, click here.