Do you want to build a franchise? A couple months ago we shared some of the details of a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against Disney over the structure and content of the first Frozen teaser. You know, the one with the wacky snowman and the reindeer racing to retrieve a carrot on a frozen lake? Wasn’t in the movie. Kind of gave the wrong impression.
It was also apparently modeled after an animated short by Kelly Wilson and Neil Wrischnik called, simply, “The Snowman.” Disney made two attempts to have the case thrown out, but could not persuade the court.
“[T]he 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.”
The case was scheduled to go to trial in October. However, Wednesday saw the end of 3:14-cv-01441 Wilson v. Walt Disney Company. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria signed an order dismissing the case without prejudice because the parties had reached a settlement. We’d love to know what the details were, but not sharing them is typically part of such settlements.
We can assume the case was strong enough to encourage the conglomerate to settle, though. And that getting this out of the way was a prerequisite for moving forward with the sequel. Here’s hoping both parties walked away satisfied.