Studio executives behind hit movie Frozen are battling a copyright lawsuit from an animator who alleges the teaser trailer rips off her short film.
Kelly Wilson filed suit in March (14) claiming the trailer for the popular Christmas movie, which features the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, copies the premise of her 2D computer animated short The Snowman.
Bosses at The Walt Disney Company asked for the case to be dismissed, but a judge has ruled there are too many similarities between the trailer and Wilson’s project for it to be thrown out without going before a jury.
Wilson’s clip tells the story of a snowman who loses his carrot nose, and while this isn’t the storyline of Frozen it is the tale portrayed in the trailer for the family film.
California federal judge Vince Chhabria writes in his ruling, “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.”
Chhabria notes a number of similarities including a snowman losing his carrot nose, the nose sliding to the middle of a frozen lake, and the snowman racing against an animal to get the nose back.
The case will now go to trial before a jury unless a settlement is reached.