A federal judge ruled in favor of a filmmaker suing Walt Disney Co. for copyright infringement involving the trailer for Disney’s animated hit, “Frozen.”
The four-page ruling issued April 16 by U.S. District Judge Vincent Chhabria in San Francisco allows the case filed last year by Kelly Wilson to go to trial as early as October.
Chhabria found that the case involved a factual dispute best left to a jury: whether Disney employees who created the “Frozen” trailer also had seen “The Snowman,” a short animated film made by Wilson that screened at eight film festivals.
This was the second time that Chhabria ruled in Wilson’s favor. In July, he rejected Disney’s motion to dismiss after finding that sequences from the trailer and the short film contained significant similarities.
“The Snowman” tells of the tale of the title character, who fears he’s lost his carrot nose to a rabbit. The “Frozen” trailer featured goofball snowman Olaf going up against a reindeer who wanted his carrot nose, which is not the film’s main plot line.
“Frozen,” released in November 2013, became the number one original animated feature film ever with a domestic box office gross of $400 million and worldwide gross of $1.2 billion.
Former Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook has started a media production company with a $150 million investment from a Chinese conglomerate, according to media reports on Monday.
Dick Cook Studios, on Forest Lawn Drive in Los Angeles, will produce and distribute live-action and animated feature films, television and digital and educational products.
Cook worked for Disney, in Burbank, for nearly 30 years, the last seven as chairman of the studio division.
Citic Guoan, a unit of the giant Beijing-based conglomerate CITIC Group, is making the investment, which Cook called a “significant building block” for his company to reach its goals
“It took us quite a while to find the right partners that share our vision to create quality content and our passion of family entertainment through telling rich stories that will travel the globe,” Cook said in a prepared statement.
Cook traveled to China four times in the past year before the deal with CITIC was sealed, according to the Los Angeles Times.