Disney might go to court over 'Frozen'
In its second attempt, the Walt Disney Company failed to have a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by The Snowman creator Kelly Wilson dropped on Thursday. (Cue “Let It Go” jokes.)
Wilson filed the suit last March, claiming the teaser trailer for Frozen boasted many similarities to her short, 2D computer-animated film.
Disney first tried to have the suit dismissed in July; California federal judge Vince Chhabria, however, said “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.”
On Thursday, Chharbria shot down Disney’s newest argument—which included a forensic analysis of YouTube records of The Snowman and Frozen. In court papers detailing the decision, Chabbria cited the 2011 San Francisco International Film Festival where The Snowman screened four times, saying Pixar employees who were heavily involved with the creation of Frozen attended the festival. “The connection between The Snowman and people involved in creating the Frozen trailer is fairly close,” Chabbria writes.
The Snowman created a lot of buzz following the festival, likely drawing attention from industry personnel. Wilson and her co-creator also applied for jobs at Disney and Pixar using samples of their work on The Snowman.
Chharbria writes that he believes a reasonable jury could see either side of the case, and a trial date has been tenatively set for October.
This decision comes just days after Kuwaiti author Muneefa Abdullah filed a federal lawsuit against Disney for allegedly stealing the idea of a snow princess who has the ability to turn people and objects into ice from her story “The Ice Princess.”
See how the two clips stack up: