Wednesday 13 December 2017

Disney sued for $250 million by woman claiming Frozen is stolen from her life story

Disney's Frozen
Disney's Frozen
Frozen heroine Anna - Disney

Disney's global hit Frozen might be about a queen with magical icy powers who accidentally freezes her kingdom, but one woman is convinced that the storyline is a rip-off of her own life.

Latin American author Isabella Tanikumi is sueing Disney for plagiarism in a $250 million lawsuit, claiming that the plot is based on her 2010 autobiography and not Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale, The Snow Queen.

Tanikumi's self-published book, Yearnings of the Heart, details her experiences of growing up in the Peruvian Andes but surprisingly, no chattering snowmen, talking trolls or secret ice palaces feature.

Nevertheless, Tanikumi's three page complaint insists that Frozen stole the story, characters and general feeling from her work and demands a jury trial. She lists 18 examples of what she claims to be plagiarism from characters' names to the animated film's central sisterly relationship.

Amazon's synopsis describes her autobiography as a “compelling, introspective account” which sees Tanikumi take readers on a journey “through various phases of her remarkable life from her family's survival during the devastating earthquake of 1970 in Huarez to the trials of overcoming heartbreaks of her youth”.

There is the 'sister element' of Frozen, apparently, as Tanikumi recalls “conquering personal insecurities and exploring the reaches of her intellect while facing the tragic, and untimely death of her beloved sister, Laura”.

Then there's her struggles getting used to American life and culture, her “many enduring friendships” and a dialogue with “long lost love Eduardo”.

In contrast, IMDB summarises Frozen as follows: “When a princess with the power to turn things into ice curses her home in infinite winter, her sister, Anna, teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer and a snowman to change the weather condition.”

Perhaps Tanikumi's autobiography needs to be read in full but regardless, she shows no signs of letting this one go.

Representatives for Tanikumi are directing enquiries to a copy of the lawsuit, which can be read online here. Disney is yet to respond to a request for comment.

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