ByGhezal Amiri, writer at
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Ghezal Amiri

Take note, future fraudsters: does not play around when it comes to frivolous lawsuits. A lawsuit involving Massachusetts cartoonist Jayme Gordon has finally come to its definitive conclusion, resulting in a two-year jail sentence for Gordon and a hefty $3 million pay up to Dreamworks.

For those unfamiliar with the case, Gordon claimed that he created the concept for Dreamworks' multi-million dollar property Kung Fu Panda in 2016, demanding a $12 million settlement from the studio for what he believed to be his concept.

There have been a myriad of creators who claim giant movie studios have stolen their ideas, but these claims would rarely lead to a criminal investigation by federal government afterwards. What separates this highly irregular Dreamworks court case from the rest is the obscure scheme Jayme Gordon implemented in order to deceive the courts.

A Lion King Coloring Book Was The Smoking Gun:

The Kung Fu Panda fraudster initially created fake concept art after seeing the trailer for the Dreamworks back in 2008. He then decided to backdate that drawing and claim it was from the early '90s so it would appear as though he had created the artwork first.

The lawyers for Dreamworks ultimately foiled this devious scheme by realizing Gordon's concept art looked oddly familiar to a beloved classic. The discovery was made that the Gordon's concept art was actually traced from a Lion King coloring book from 1996.

Throughout the trial, Gordon insisted that he created the concepts for numerous other animated films. These claims continued to be made during the most recent sentencing trial, where Gordon claimed to have not only created the concept for Kung Fu Panda, but also The Lion King and ’s A Bug’s Life.

The Final Verdict:

Gordon was recently sentenced to two years in a federal prison and was ordered to repay Dreamworks more than $3 million in restitution - the amount the studio had to spend defending itself throughout the lawsuit.

The initial charges, which included wire fraud and perjury, carried a maximum of 25 years in prison and prosecutors originally wanted a five-year sentence for Gordon. U.S District Judge Patti B. Saris ultimately reduced it to the two year sentence and stated she thought he might suffer from autism or other undiagnosed mental health disorders.

(Source: Cartoon Brew)

What are your thoughts on this Kung Fu Panda case? Let me know in the comments below.


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