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Chinese filmmaker denies ripping off 'Cars'

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Lightning McQueen rides again. Sort of.

Just released in China on July 4, a new animated movie called The Autobots has critics and fans accusing its filmmakers of ripping off Pixar’s Cars. (Although from the title, you’d expect it to be accused of plagiarizing Transformers instead.) The film’s poster bears a lot of similarity to Disney’s Chinese poster for Cars, but the director and the production company deny any wrongdoing.

“I know of the movie Cars, but I have never seen it. I don’t even know the names of its characters,” Zhuo Jianrong, the movie’s director, told CNN.

Zhuo told CNN that Disney has sent legal letters to his production company, but he maintains that The Autobots is an “original” and “independently produced” film. “The main storyline of our movie is completely different than Disney’s,” he said. “Our goal is to teach children about thinking and innovation.”

Some Chinese viewers who saw the film voiced their disappointment online, claiming they were duped into seeing a movie they thought was Cars or Cars 2. A spokeswoman for Disney, which owns Pixar, told CNN: “We share the same concerns as many netizens and movie fans in China but have no further comment at this stage.”

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