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ANIMATION LITIGATIONAnimation Is Not Immune to Copyright Lawsuits

Since Walt Disney brought his lovable animated characters into the limelight, animation has been a booming business.

Unlike other films, animation eliminates the need for props, locations, and other necessities that usually accompany live action films. And animation has a charm that appeals to both the young and the old alike.

However, this type of film brings its own set of copyright lawsuits and legal battles. More than other genres, animated movies are based upon intellectual property. Combined with their popularity, this makes them ripe targets for legal complaints. Just consider these animated films that underwent legal battles.

Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc. hit the silver screen in 2001. However, the big-name movie soon encountered a big-name legal complaint.

As the SFGate reports, Stanley Miller claimed that the Monsters, Inc. character Mike and other elements of the story were ripped from his intellectual property.

Bee Movie

Bee Movie was yet another animation film to confront legal troubles. And this time, it came from an unexpected quarter. The complaint wasn’t filed by an artist, musician, or screenwriter. The lawsuit came from a skincare company.

Fox News explains that Beecueticals, LLC, alleged Dreamworks Animation SKG, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corp. had violated trademark laws by appropriating the Beecuetical trademarked phrase “Give Bees a Chance.”


While the film Cars may have raced its way to fame, it also sped into copyright infringement claims entailing a complicated and sticky situation.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, it seems that a UK writer created a screenplay containing individual elements later found in Cars. What’s more, the article explains that the author delivered his work to a representative of Lucasfilm who later joined Pixar.

Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda is another member of the litigated animated club. According to Reuters, Jayme Gordon, who claimed the movie ripped his artistic drawings, caused DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., to incur $3 million in legal costs before he was exposed for fraud and fraudulent claims.

That’s $3 million wasted on a legal complaint based on lies.

The key to avoiding issues like these is to know of problems ahead of time. If it is possible, you want to rule out any copyright infringement before you’re forced to rely on E & O Insurance to cover your legal costs.

Protect your animated production with film clearance services suited to your project’s needs.