... Disney is going to court against an alleged imitator. According to a trademark infringement lawsuit filed in California federal court, Phase 4 Films changed the name of one of its films to Frozen Land, so as to trade off the success of the acclaimed animated feature.
"On November 1, 2013, less than three weeks before the Hollywood premiere of FROZEN on November 19, Phase 4 theatrically released an animated picture entitled The Legend of Sarila, which generated minimal box office revenues and received no significant attention," says the complaint.
The lawsuit adds that Phase 4 knew of Frozen, and so to enhance the commercial success of Sarila, the defendant "redesigned the artwork, packaging, logo, and other promotional materials for its newly (and intentionally misleadingly) retitled film to mimic those used by [Disney] for FROZEN and related merchandise." ...
Can it possibly be?
This business of cheapie knockoffs has been going on since Disney animation's last Golden Age twenty odd years ago. Then, if you walked through a Toys R Us or discount store, there were bins full of VHS tapes and DVDs that were cut-rate versions of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Lion King.
Then, of course, Disney commenced doing its own knockoffs, grinding out The Return of Jafar, Jungle Book II, Lion King 1 1/2 and other choice entertainments for the kiddies, all to cash in on the surging market its theatrical releases had created.
If the flattery of low-budget imitation is kept in the family, you see, that's one thing. But if some scuzzy outsider tries to horn in on the act, it's WAR!