STATES CHRONICLE – Animations are appreciated by both children and adults and some become so passionate that they cross the line like the artist accused of ‘Kung Fu Panda’ fraud.
Disney was the company who started the animated movies industry, the first feature film being ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ in 1937. Ever since then along with short cartoons, more and more animated movies appeared which despite being made for children, also appealed to grownups.
With the development of technology, animations also developed and in 1960 we already had an animated television series, ‘The Flinstones’ created by Hanna-Barbera. The way companies created the animations also changed and while at first they used figurines and stop-motion they now used advanced computerized techniques for different animated effects. But what everybody still uses are drawings. Manually or computer-made, drawings are the base of each animation.
So when the Kung Fu Panda animated movie was announced and some drawings resembling the movie characters were released by an artist who claimed DreamWorks was ‘stealing’ from him, a huge scandal started.
The artist, called Jayme Gordon claimed that the company has stolen from him the story as well as the characters they used for making the movie. However, it turned out that it was all a lie, and he was just trying to make everyone believe that he was actually the first and sole creator of the characters and story.
After years of trials, authorities have reached the conclusion that after seeing a trailer of the movie, Gordon got inspired and draw sketches of some characters meaning to make people believe that the Kung Fu Panda movie was actually based on his sketches and a previously written story, called “Panda Power”. He then decided to rename his story “Kung Fu Panda Power”. However, according to authorities, the stories had very little in common with the movie.
He proceeded on filing a lawsuit of copyright infringement against DreamWorks asking them for $12 million to drop the charges. The company refused to settle and the lawsuit continued for about two years.
Gordon kept submitting false evidence he fabricated to try and support the lawsuit. He finally gave up when DreamWorks confronted him about a coloring book which seemed to be a source of inspiration for all of the false evidence he’s been producing.
Because of orchestrating this scheme, the artist is currently facing 20 years in prison plus a $250,000 fine and he’ll probably also have to pay DreamWorks for committing fraud against them.
Image source: www.bing.com