Anyone who saw Disney's bizarrely misleading trailer for mega-hit Frozen last year might have been lead to believe the film was some sort of Ice Age rip off. The trailer features Olaf the Snowman and Kristoph's reindeer Sven frolicking around some ice, fighting over a carrot, it was silly and forgettable but, strangely, there wasn't a princess or song in sight.
Disney clearly thought the young male demographic (me) which shed over the majority of Hollywood's cash wouldn't be able to handle such things. They felt it might damage the earnings, perhaps it would have (though we doubt it). Now the studio finds it's bank balance in jeopardy for another reason entirely and it's that very same trailer which might be at fault.
Animator Kelly Wilson brought out her animated short The Snowman in 2010 and she has now chosen to sue Disney not for Frozen as such but for the trailer which proceeded it. She might just be in the right, as Techdirt reports:
Wilson's animated short film, The Snowman, has been all over the internet since its release in 2010. It was even entered in several animated film festivals where Pixar employees "were present and competing" in the same category. Wilson doesn't say she personally showed this to Disney employees but she infers that there were many, many ways anyone could have viewed her creation prior to Frozen's development. She does note, however, that Disney's personnel had been supplied with copies of the animated work in the past.
Frozen just became the highest grossing animated film of all time but you get the feeling it will be a cold day in hell (excuse pun) before Kelly Wilson sees a dime of that. The Muscle of Hollywood's most powerful company might be too darn hard to beat. Perhaps we should root for Ms Wilson, she certainly seems to have a case and most likely could use all the help she can get.
Stay tuned, this one might get interesting.
Check out the two shorts and let us know if Ms. Wilson has a case in the comments below.