Disney Fights Back Against Zootopia Lawsuit

Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
Disney may be having a good week after breaking records with the release of Beauty & the Beast, but the media giant woke up to some pretty sour news today. A screenwriter, Gary L. Goldman, with the help of his company, has revealed an extensive lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company claiming that the idea and premise for the 2016 hit Zootopia was his — and that Disney stole it.
Disney is, of course, already fighting back to defend the integrity of their company and their wildly successful film, Deadline reports. The complaint alleges copyright infringement, breach of implied-infact contract, breach of confidence, and unfair competition. Disney says that the claims are "false." A spokesperson for Disney told Deadline: "Mr. Goldman’s lawsuit is riddled with patently false allegations. 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."
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So, what is Goldman alleging?
"The Disney Zootopia is substantially similar to the Goldman Zootopia," reads first part of the 37-page complaint, linked here via Deadline. "They copied Goldman’s themes, settings, plot, characters, and dialogue – some virtually verbatim...They copied Goldman’s title, Zootopia. They even copied Goldman’s character designs and artwork."
Who all is involved?
The complaint lists over a dozen different Walt Disney-affiliated defendants: 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.
And what does he want after the jury trial?
"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." (That's a lot of money.)
The movie, which charmed audiences all over the world and raked in over one BILLION dollars in revenue (making it the fourth highest-grossing movie last year), even won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The company isn't gonna let this one go.
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