View Full Version : Disney sued in France over Nemo

12 December 2003, 05:33 AM

"A French children's author is suing Disney, saying the international box-office hit Finding Nemo may have been lifted from his own work.

Writer Franck Le Calvez says many characters in the film look very much like those of a book he published last year, Pierrot the Clown Fish.

He is demanding a ban on any product imitating his Pierrot brand.
Disney insists Nemo was an original creation, and does not infringe any trademark or copyrights.

Mr Le Calvez says that he registered Pierrot the Clown Fish with France's copyrights body in 1995.

At the time he tried to approach French animation studios but his idea was turned down, he says.

In 2002 he financed the publication of 2,000 copies of the book himself.

Mr Le Calvez says Nemo - who is also a clown fish - appears to be based on Pierrot.

"We have also found the same supporting characters, such as a surgeon fish and a cleaner shrimp," his lawyer Pascal Kamina told AFP news agency.
"The similarities are sufficiently troubling for us to ask for an explanation from Disney."
If no answer is forthcoming, Mr Kamina says, his client will press ahead with his lawsuit in France.
Mr Kamina adds that many bookstores have refused to stock the Pierrot book, because of the interest generated by Nemo-related products.

Mr Le Calvez is suing both Disney, which is distributing Finding Nemo, and the animation studio that produced the film, Pixar.
Disney, in a statement quoted by Le Monde newspaper, denies any plagiarism."


12 December 2003, 06:10 AM
What ever happened to the guy that was suing Pixar/Disney over Sulley and Mike? And what happened to Mr. Ray, the school teacher?

12 December 2003, 06:30 AM
Originally posted by Array
What ever happened to the guy that was suing Pixar/Disney over Sulley and Mike? And what happened to Mr. Ray, the school teacher?

Yeah, that guy "Ray" had a good point! Welp, I'm starting to see a patern... I dont know about you guys but I'm deffinitely sueing for "Incredibles", heh its gonna be good. Too good! Heh, oOh-right. j/k

Ocean Size
12 December 2003, 07:03 AM
"Small talents borrow, big talents steal"


12 December 2003, 08:00 AM
Would it be OT to wonder why he's suing Disney and not Pixar? Pixar authored the work, so if any plaigiarism went on it would be at that end.

Wish they had some images of his book.

12 December 2003, 08:10 AM
well yeah there is a resemblance. but its a regular clown fish with a few human like features for animation. anyone would have had the same thing.

12 December 2003, 08:20 AM
Originally posted by Dearmad
..Would it be OT to wonder why he's suing Disney and not Pixar? Pixar authored the work, so if any plaigiarism went on it would be at that end...


there was this line in the news:

"Mr Le Calvez is suing both Disney, which is distributing Finding
Nemo, and the animation studio that produced the film, Pixar."



12 December 2003, 12:04 PM
The idea for finding nemo came about before and during toy story
if I remember correctly (its in the dvd comentary at home). That
was around 1995/96 so he could probably make a case. But the
only people who know the truth are the guys who pitched the
idea in the first place.

Its all so messy this kind of stuff .

12 December 2003, 01:19 PM
If anything, atleast he's got more justification than 'Mr. Ray'

12 December 2003, 02:31 PM
Call me stupid but Copyrights wouldn't protect that Children's book author's characters. He would have needed to trademark them, in which I didn't see any notice of him doing so. So unless Pixar/Disney copied an exact image that he did, then he has no legal grounds to WIN this case.

12 December 2003, 03:21 PM
Call me stupid

Ok stupid hehe sorry couldnt resist

That does make sense. I dont see how just because you made a
nice picture of a common animal you can expect no one else for the rest
of your life to change,improve adapt the image for their own taste. Its ridiculous.

I would like to see this book before making
any judgment to be honest. Whoops too late

12 December 2003, 04:14 PM
Here ya go:

12 December 2003, 04:31 PM
OMG! They're both orange with white stripes!

12 December 2003, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by Spankspeople
OMG! They're both orange with white stripes!

humm I think whoever holds the patent for a regular clownfish should sue both of them because they both look like clownfish.:D

12 December 2003, 04:49 PM
C'mon...that's clearly a picture of Marlin (note the two normal-sized fins). Nemo had one smaller fin (and one normal), so it's clearly not the same fish.

12 December 2003, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by t-man152
humm I think whoever holds the patent for a regular clownfish should sue both of them because they both look like clownfish.:D

This just in...God is currently consulting His lawyers in attempt to determine a suitable course of legal action against the copyright infringement of his clownfish creation along with the infringment of other of His oceanic productions.
Disney, Pixar and childrens author, Frank Le Calvez are said to be "crapping their pants."
God has yet to be reached for comment.



12 December 2003, 06:22 PM
Its funny how pixar got all the Glory from Nemo and Disney got the lawsuit from Nemo.


12 December 2003, 08:30 PM
saurus - actually if you read the article, the suit is against disney and pixar.

ok, i'll prolly be gunned down in flames for saying this, but i gotta admit i find pierrot cuter... though i'm pretty certain you can't sue over the the breed of your characters (otherwise the beatrix potter estate could have sued over any number of disney films). if the plotline itself is similar/the same, then possibly i guess. it certainly wont do sales of his book any harm to get some international notoriety and try to latch on to the disney/pixar bandwagon... :/

12 December 2003, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by mdme_sadie
saurus - actually if you read the article, the suit is against disney and pixar.

Sorry...I just read the threads title. Didn't have enough time to read the article.


12 December 2003, 01:59 AM
Originally posted by mdme_sadie
ok, i'll prolly be gunned down in flames for saying this, but i gotta admit i find pierrot cuter...
I kid...I kid...sorry, couldn't resist. Cuter than..? Marlin...possibly someone could argue that case, I still wouldn't agree myself. Nemo...nuh-uh, no way, nope. ;)

it certainly wont do sales of his book any harm to get some international notoriety and try to latch on to the disney/pixar bandwagon... :/

I think you just hit the nail on the head with that one.

12 December 2003, 03:17 AM
They are more similar then i would have expected. But then again, I guess that goes with it being based on real fish. Let's just say if I saw that guys artwork, I would have thought it was concept art for Nemo.

He has more of a right to be suspicious then that Mr. Ray guy.


12 December 2003, 06:55 AM
I disagree. Other than both being fish of the same color they are entirly different.

Different shaped head.
Different mouth shape.
Different eye shape.
Different eye color.
Different fin shape.
Different nose/bump shape.
Different body shape.

In addition the guy is a self published Author for chris sakes. I know the breed. He paid for 2,000 copies to be printed and then was only able to give away a few dozen to family, friends, and the odd library or local book store.

12 December 2003, 11:01 AM
I think a judge would rule there are only so many ways to display a clownfish. (Red with white stripes)

It would be the same as when you create e.g. a princess character, most princesses look alike in stories (long dress,crown etc) Yet no-one sues eachother over that, because it's impossible.

Same with the Eye-ball of Monster-inc, only so many ways to create an eye-ball with legs and mouth, that guy didn't win the case either.

It would be different if the actual story of Pierrot was the same as Nemo's story.

12 December 2003, 11:15 AM
Disney kinda ripped of the story for the Lion king so these things happen. I'm not convinced that they did or didn't copy the whole thing though. Perhaps it's purely coincidental. Who knows.

12 December 2003, 07:41 PM
The book had 2,000 copies published? In France?! By 2002, when the book was published, the movie was already in full swing. If you ask more than one artist to come up with a character based on a clown fish, you're going to get similar results. The other characters in the story aren't exactly a distant leap from what you'd expect somebody to write in a situation like that.

I dunno. I'm looking at this and seeing plenty of signs of coincidence, virtually nil of plagarism.

12 December 2003, 07:48 PM
I guess this shows us that as soon as you think of a story or a character you need to write or sketch it down, put a date to when you came up with the creation, probably some blurb about where you got the inspiration from, and how it came together, then send it to yourself in a piece of mail (or if you have a lawyer, have them stamp it with an office date stamp in an envelop). Hard work... yes... ridiculous... yes... necessary if your idea turns into a multi-million dollar making product... yes.

12 December 2003, 07:55 PM
Even then, it wouldn't help much in a case like this. This isn't trademarks or patents. As long as people can tell the difference, it's pretty much fair game. Ever notice that Krusty the Clown and the clown (Binky?) from the Garfield cartoon look virtually the same?

12 December 2003, 08:14 PM
People still seem to be missing the difference between copyright and trademark. This is a case about copyrights, meaning the clown fish design doesn't even matter. From what I've read of the article, this fellow doesn't own the "Trademark" of the clown fish design, so his case is baseless if that is what he is suing for.

From the article:

Mr Le Calvez says that he registered Pierrot the Clown Fish with France's copyrights body in 1995.

The only thing he can legally sue Disney/Pixar for is if they used his images. That's all a copyright protects you from. Not designs, influences, referenced etc... If he would have trademarked the characters, then he would have a case to sue Disney and Pixar over. That's only if he could prove that his trademark was actually found to be the dominant icon, meaning his design is the most well-known. But if his trademark isn't, he could in fact loose it. But the article doesn't say he trademarked his characters/story. And like I said earlier, I'm not sure how France handles it's trademarks and copyrights, so he may in fact own a trademark. It's just not apparent from the article.

12 December 2003, 09:07 PM
EDIT: Woops wrote while the above post was being placed and unintentionally basically reiterated some of the above ideas.

From what I understand, trademark is a "use" right. You don't *need* to register it if you're using it- the registering is more of a time stamp on it.

His fish doesn't look unique enough to me to invoke trademarking- he doesn't feature it as a branding to his work, nor as part of the signature "look."

The envelope mailed to yourself story is just that- a story. Won't hold up in any court anywhere.

Seems to me the only leg he has to stand on is if the *stories* are similar, and he actually pitched his idea, had it turned down and *someone* or some *document* can be traced to link that meeting with the meeting Pixar had for their story inception. Rots-o-ruck.

12 December 2003, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by Spankspeople
OMG! They're both orange with white stripes!

Hey !!! Now that you mention. I created something in orange just the other day. Guess I should sue them also for stealing my orange-pixels.
And I probably have some white pixels laying around also, so that's twice.

Copyrights on inventions ? That's ok.
Copyrights on 'art' ? That's not very pratical.


12 December 2003, 04:42 AM
Originally posted by supervlieg
They probably ripped it off to some extent. Disney kinda ripped of the story for the Lion king so it figures. They would probably use the words "inspired by"

Dont want to deviate from the topic but the cartoon was called "Kimba" the white lion. The creators of Kimba actually felt honored that Disney created a cartoon "similar" to theirs. Now back to the topic...

12 December 2003, 01:46 PM
Hi, great story! Thanks for the heads up Roberto Ortiz.
The missing storyline from Pierrot was mentioned, Found a few generalities from the french press.

Translated story line fromLe Monde des Artes (

Pierrot the clownfish lives happily with his parents and Rose, their protective anemone...
until the arrival of Liona the scorpion fish. Driven out by Rose, Liona promised revenge by eating the clown family.
Pierrot must show his courage to escape from Liona. Fortunately Pierrot is helped by the nice fish he meets throughout his adventures. With his new friends, he discovers life holds beautiful surprises for him...

Translated from an article at (

Franck Calvez, who dedicates a passion for the inhabitants of aquariums, dreams up one day in 1995 "Pierrot the clownfish", scenario for an animated film deposited with the SACD. He makes the rounds to all the production companies. In vain.
In 2000, he recycles the idea as a children's book, illustrated by Pascal André and his team of Cybervillage. Robin Delpuech and Thierry Jagodzinski end up being confined to finishing the clownfish in 3 D, with a human face, equipped with two large tender eyes.
Meanwhile having become a lawyer, Franck Calvez invests his income in the publisher Flaven Scène and produces in November 2002, Pierrot the clownfish.

Similarities. The story is simple: Pierrot lives in an anemone with his parents, until the day when life, which is dangerous even at the ocean floor, deprives him of his parents. What follows is a path of initiation, where at the end he finds his mother.
The book sells with a thousand copies available. Thinking of marketing by-products, the editor registers in February the clownfish not as a character but as a brand/trademark, at the National Institute of Patent Rights. The aquariums of France ask him to look into the creation of a stuffed cuddly toy.

The spring of 2003 arrives and the Nemo tidal wave, its million spectators, its hundreds of derived products. Calvez panics for his Pierrot. Advised by Pascal Kamina, lawyer specialized in the copyright law, he writes to Disney to ask for details on the creation of Nemo,
and especially on the policy of envisioned merchandising. Disney, for which the question of copyright is always delicate, gives no response. Calvez prepares a reprinting of his book. Fnac Junior would have _ verbally _ advised to him to improve the model, and to choose a hard-bound cover.
Come September, the purchasing accountant for the book does not place any book at Fnac Junior. Explanation by a person connected to the author:la chain made a deal with Disney Hachette for the release of Finding Nemo, and Pierrot resembles him too much.
"There, I decided to react. I did not want them to prevent my fish from living ", said Franck Calvez.

Calvez attacks on two fronts: intellectual and industrial property, Pierrot being a character of fiction and a trademark. The lawyer for Editions Flaven Scène thus brings Pixar, Disney and Disney Hachette, editor of the books, before the Court of Bankruptcy in Paris,
for counterfeit of character and trademarkmark. He asks for the prohibition of film and the derived products. The first hearing, October 29, did not judge anything, lawsuit scheduled for February 17, and the quarrel around the artistic copyright could last months, even of years.
Too long for Pierrot. "I want my book to live", repeats Franck Calvez, who appears to realise, with his costs, the power of Pixar and Disney,
and witness, dismayed, what he never could have imagined: "Considerable booksellers refuse to sell my book under pretext that it is a plagiarism of Nemo. It's the world turned upside down."

Before being "choked-out", Pierrot has another weapon: trade-mark law and the respect of the patent rights, whereby his editor could, in a few days,lodge a summary procedure with the Court of Bankruptcy.
It would ask for the seizure of all products, objects, notebooks, clothing, with the effigy of Nemo. The court will appreciate that.

Delicate context. For the moment, Disney reacts by rejecting any charge of plagiarism: Nemo is a creation, original 100 %. A contracted attitude, in a delicate context, at least for the American studio. Another possibility
would be that Pixar and Disney compromise with Editions Flaven Scène and the creators of Pierrot. The persistant rumour (1), was it not that during the time of Lion King , preceding the planetary success of the company, a friendly transaction could have taken place between
Disney and the Japanese Osamu Tezuka, creator in 1965 of the Lion King, with whom the resemblance is more than troubling? The rumour, still crazy, speaks of hundreds of thousands of dollars, but, no more than plagiarism, the figure was never proven.

Translated article at (,1-0@2-3246,36-346603,0.html)

It's the story of small fish against a large one, Pierrot versus Nemo. The first is the hero of a book by Franck Calvez,"Pierrot the clownfish", published in November 2002 by the publisher Flaven Scene.
The second is the character in the film by Walt Disney Studios, "Finding Nemo", already at the top of the boxoffice with 1,133 million tickets sold.

The author of "Pierrot the Clownfish" filed legal proceedings against Disney and Pixar studios, on grounds that Nemo would be a counterfeit of Pierrot: he asks for the prohibition of diffusion of the derived products imitating the Pierrot trademark, submitted to the National Institute of Patent Rights
on February 18, 2003 and recorded January 4, 2004, and for damages. After hearings in front of the court of Paris on October 29, the case will return before the civil judges in February 2004.

"Passionate" about clownfish, and "anxious" for their survival, Franck Calvez wrote a script for an animation, submitted it to The Society of Dramatic Authors (SACD) in December 1995: the small clownfish loses his father, eaten by a scorpion fish, then is separated from his mother,
whom he finds at the end of the story. The student presented his script to production houses, which refused it. Having becomes a lawyer of maritime law, he financed the 3D illustrations of his characters and submitted them to SACD in June 2002, with the idea to publish a book.
Refused by the editors. He then creates his own publishing company, Flaven Scene, and publishes 2000 editions of his work - distributed mainly by Fnac ( Parisian and also sold by the Aquariums of France.

Mr. Calvez discovers "in spring 2003" Nemo, which storms the United States. "There is a troubling resemblance between the two fish", he summarizes. "The beginning of the story is similar, even if the scenarios are different."
The 2nd printed edition of Pierrot appears in October 2003, well after the French version of Nemo (Hachette). "Right away, Fnac Junior, which was to distribute Pierrot, canceled the order because of a deal made with Disney Hachette Productions", affirms Mr. Calvez.
If the purchasing manager for Fnac Junior, Laurent Turillon, known to have had "two contacts, during the interval of one year "with Flaven Scene, he answers that he "never placed the order for Pierrot, nor assembled operation with Disney Hachette Productions".
Same denial at Disney: "the procedure brought in France is completely unfounded, because Finding Nemo, a work which belongs to Pixar and Disney, is the fruit of an independent creation and won't be undermined by any copyright or trademark.", explains the direction,
which employs five lawyers on the case. Mr. Calvez has now three.

12 December 2003, 01:52 PM
Well, there you have it. A trademark. Nifty. Now this guy has a case. I'm surprised though that Pixar didn't check for similar trademarks when they Created Finding Nemo.

I got a feeling that this guy is going to make a fortune.

12 December 2003, 02:07 PM

12 December 2003, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by chadtheartist
Call me stupid but Copyrights wouldn't protect that Children's book author's characters. He would have needed to trademark them, in which I didn't see any notice of him doing so. So unless Pixar/Disney copied an exact image that he did, then he has no legal grounds to WIN this case.

Two words:

Derivative Works

It sure does cover them. It's the same as if you went and made a story using the Lion King characters. Disney would havea c&D on y ou as fast as they could.

12 December 2003, 03:32 PM
Link to description of Derivative Works:

This is something I didn't know. It seems that artists can have a "Trademark-like" protection of their work. Seems kind of scary in a way, because how many people here use other photographs, images, etc... to aid in their work?

I guess the courts will have to decide if Nemo, and Pierrot are similar enough for this guy to say Pixar stole his work. Weird world we live in eh?

12 December 2003, 05:41 PM
but people should remember that copyright and trademark laws are different and respected as such in different countries. Some eastern blok countries refused to recognise any rights of any foreign products which made it fully legal to copy them inside that country.

01 January 2004, 03:12 PM
I think that putting a trademark on a clownfish is ridiculous.
Maybe he should prohibit petshops as well from selling clownfish to children because his plastic representation of a clownfish is on the market for sale. Thats big time BS. :surprised

01 January 2004, 05:36 AM
I have heard accusations that "The Lion King" is a rip off of "Kimba: The White Lion," an anime film from the 60's. Similarities have also been pointed out between Lion King and Shakespeare's Hamlet.

I have heard accusations that Disney's "Atlantis" is a rip off of "Nadia: Secret of Blue Water," an anime from the early 90's. (Document also contains a link to a rebuttal site)

Now I have read an article on stating that accusations have been made that "Finding Nemo" is a rip off of "Pierrot Le Poisson Clown (Pierrot the Clownfish)," a concept trademarked by a French author in 1995, which shares many similarities in plot with the film.

I take these articles for what they're worth. The article on Atlantis contains a link to a rebuttal site, just to offer "equal time." The similarities I have seen in the Lion King and Atlantis examples have been compelling, but they haven't really been a shock to me. Just about every animated film Disney has produced was adapted from an old fairy tale (Cinderella), novel (Beauty and the Beast) or play (Peter Pan).

From reading the article on Nemo, I don't believe the author has an argument over the illustrated childrens' book. Finding Nemo was in production for a couple of years prior to the book's production and release. The story shares some major similarities, however, and the author's trademark of the characters (and story?) for "Pierrot" predates "Nemo", so there may be some merit in his argument.

01 January 2004, 08:04 AM
Have to chip in with more bunk/debunk.

Tezuka died in 89, the lion king came out in 94, so the creator of the lion king would never have had a chance to be honored that simba copied kimba. As I recall, the estate decided to feel honored by the similarity rather than take disney to court.

Atlantis shares more than coincidental similarities with Nadia and Laputa. Copies of Miyazaki's Daydream Notebook were laying around the studio at the time.

Puss In Boots, Toei, 1969 -

Hayao Miyazaki was a key animator on this one; there's a scene where Puss tricks an ogre into changing into creature after creature until finally the ogre changes into a mouse and Puss eats him. Beat for beat, it is uncannily similar to the shape-changing battle vs Jafar in Aladdin!

Stanley Mouse is the guy with the case against Sulley and Mike. Back in the 60's he had an eyeball character that hung around with a big shaggy monster.

If you have a look at the iterations on the characters in the Making Of book, I think there's an honest progression to the characters they created...

And I think Pixar is totally innocent on Nemo!

01 January 2004, 07:49 PM
I say the Frenchman has a good case. Disney/Pixar could have used any species of clown fish... Tomato, Maroon, Seabe(Spelling?) but it just turned out to be a Percula clown like Pierrot... Percs are not associated with anemones as much as the other types of Clown fishes, however one could make another bright blue fish to be a direct complimentary color of the brilliant orange Clown... Like a Blue Tang perhaps?(Dory).

This is not a case where a woman sues over spilling hot coffee on herself while driving, but a man who shows that a concept and style were being refined to make his dream character come to life well before any hint of Nemo on the horizon. He has obviously spent alot of time with hiring an illustrator and trademarks. Plus, If you showed Pierrot to kids here in the U.S., 100% of them would say that it is Nemo(other than his fin size).

Rather then using lawyers, I would try to settle out of court with this guy... A few hundred thousand dollars would make him a happy man and lawyers are going to cost you as much if not more. The movie has grossed millions...The guy has a case but will probably lose because of financial issues and depression will follow for the rest of his life to see his dream be lived by others.:cry:

01 January 2004, 10:41 PM
I got a feeling that this will be settled out of court. But mostly to prevent the mounting court costs that would ensue if the case continues on, from Disney and Pixar's perspective.

Wether or not his trademarks will hold up in court, because one thing with trademarks is if you don't protect them, you could in fact loose them. So he may decide, or ask for a settlement. We'll have to see I guess.

01 January 2004, 11:27 PM
One more little oddity...
There appears to be a Lionfish (Turkey or Scorpionfish also) on the cover of the Frenchman's book, probably the most stereotyped saltwater fish out there (besides the Clown). Did anyone see one of these in Nemo? Kinda... Strange... No?

01 January 2004, 12:51 AM
with how diverse this community is... no one on here has read the book?
that could help shine some light on the topic.

edit: Well Jeremy pointed out that the book came out in 2002, i didn't know that (or didn't read that part...oops) and that is after Nemo would have been well on the way to completion. Thanks for the info :thumbsup: I wasn't implying anything, just curious.

01 January 2004, 04:42 PM
Well, I have to say that the look of the fish is -ahem-embarassing similar. but is the storyline and other characters similar? we all know that every work can be inspired by smth but its not a copy only for that reason.
I enjoyed Nemo very much, and I'm sorry if this copy rumour is true. otherwise seems like the french author wants alot of money just because of a resamblance.

01 January 2004, 05:50 PM

Pibonne Zuntata
01 January 2004, 03:33 AM
why does Disney like to steal ideas...? urmmm??
Lion King...
Bugs Life...
and now Nemo:surprised

01 January 2004, 05:48 AM
Originally posted by Pibonne Zuntata
why does Disney like to steal ideas...? urmmm??
Lion King...
Bugs Life...
and now Nemo:surprised

But, Disney Feature Animation didn't develop Bug's Life or Nemo, those were original Pixar films.

Bug's Life (apart from obvious "Grasshopper and the Ants" theme) was 100% original. Jefferey Katzenburg (while he was a top Disney Animation exec), of course knew that Pixar was working on an insect movie, and after leaving Disney to co-found Dreamworks SKG, he rushed to get a competing film into theaters in the same season as Pixar's, even getting Antz released a month sooner - that competition doesn't make anything unoriginal about A Bug's Life, though, does it?

By 2002, when this lawyer self-published those books, everyone knew what Nemo looked like. (Heck, in 2001, when Boo handed Sully a toy "Nemo" at the end of Monsters Inc., everyone in the theater got it and laughed.) In 2002, Nemo images had been released to magazines, the trailer was on the Monsters DVD, many sites had written about Finding Nemo test screenings, and after years of development, the movie was almost done - how could you imagine that anyone at Pixar was copying the suspisciously similar book that he published in 2002, if that's what you're saying?

It's sortof as if this lawyer had self-published a book about "Mobster Sharks" in 2003 - only a year before a big feature was expected - this student/lawyer has certainly got himself a good high-profile case, a chance at some settlement profits, and a lot of publicity for this story that he couldn't even get a publisher for before.

Whether this is a coincidence, just good luck on his part or not, is not something I'd speculate about, but I'm shocked to hear anyone jump to conclusions that someone at Disney or Pixar somehow copied a book published when the movie was almost done.


(As always, opinions I post on the internet are my own, not representing any business or any inside information about anything, of course.)

01 January 2004, 09:15 AM
won't delete...!

01 January 2004, 03:21 PM
While it is hard to judge wether or not something is copied (or very much inspired by) from a distance and without knowing all the facts it is quite obvious that bringing a well told story to the silver screen in such a way that it appeals to a large audience is a feat that not many are able to accomplish, and therefor they (Pixar) should be applauded.

I for one enjoyed all the movies by Pixar, but it doesn't make me any less of a sceptic when these rumours surface.

If I offended you Jeremy for making an assumption, I apologize.

But keep on churning them out, cause I'll keep watching 'em.

01 January 2004, 06:31 PM
jeremybirn: The way I've read the articles, I believe the author's argument is that his characters and story, which he trademarked in 1995, were the works allegedly plagiarized by Disney and Pixar's Finding Nemo, not the childrens' book that was released in 2002-2003.

01 January 2004, 07:13 PM
Ideas are always borrowed some way or another in the entertainment industry. It's commonplace. But what concerns me is that if this french man wants to sell his book will he be able to? I think not because the question would be raised whether it's a copy of Nemo. That is the truth. More than anything it bothers me that a large company can have such a stronghold on an idea or image that they can have complete and utter control over it and nothing can be even a bit similar otherwise legal action would be taken. It's also funny that nothing ever comes of it (not that I've heard of). What if Pixar/Disney really did steal the "idea" from this man? How would you feel if it was you? The fact that so many people here have disregarded this man's allegations frightens me in thinking that only these big mega corporations have the right to do anything. All they have to do is set their lawyers and money on it and it's solved. It would be nice to hear thay a little guy won over a big nasty company. Not because I want to see the company go down but to see that things like honesty and justice prevail. Unless they accept hush money, then who cares.

01 January 2004, 08:54 PM
This really seems to be one of those things were people are making judgments with out all of the facts. With the limited information we have it clearly looks like Mr. Calvez is a litigious man out to make some money.

The problem is that we don't have all of the facts. Clearly the book was not published until after Nemo's release. But what was it that he shopped around in 1995? None of us really know for sure. It sounds like he had a simple script, and that's it. This of course would not be a legitimate base to take action against Pixar. We just don't know.

Now I personally highly doubt that Pixar would steal anything. As a matter of fact I would be willing to bet that Pixar even spends time and money insuring that things are not stolen by accident. IE people looking out that if someone comes up with what they believe to be an original design/concept that they find out if it was done exactly that way before by someone. To avoid this very type of thing.

The man at least deserves to present his argument. Once all the facts are out and if then we find that his claim to be wholly with out merit and a waste of Pixar/Disney's time and money. I would love to see some punitive action taken against him. I hate litigious people with a passion that burns like the sun!!!!

PS I personally think Mr. Birn has it right. It sounds very much like this man simple came up with his story idea in 1995. No one thought it was any good, and he held onto it until recently when he could afford to publish it himself. I got the impression from the article, in fact, that there were no character designs what so ever in 1995. And that when he went to put his children’s book together in 2002 it was then that the character design process happened. The simple fact that there is a similarity in story is coincidence, and really that story is so simple as to be a for gone conclusion. The reason "Nemo" rocks is because of what Pixar can do with such a simple and universal story. They are truly amazing at that. But like I said he deserves to at least present his argument.


01 January 2004, 11:43 PM
Not that I agree or disagree with you Necropolis but you seem to have made up your mind without all the facts as well. Automatically you think that this man is guilty of trying to make money off of Pixar's success. True, having all the facts will resolve it but are you saying that there is no possibilty of Pixar and Disney doing this.

Our industry is so small and ,for example, I have worked in America, Canada and Europe and every company I have worked for I have ended up meeting people who have worked around the world like me. I always hear of what my colleagues are working on and what going on their studio. We are all interconnected. Ideas could be passed around and inadvertantly thought of as to be original. If Mr Calvez tried to make his fish story into a film in France is it not possible that someone might have heard of it and then told someone else, who told someone else, who told someone else etc. It's like an urban myth. I'm not saying this is what happened but hey, it could.

Inspiration is found anywhere and is it negligent to say that someone's inspiration has been influenced by someone else's idea. No. Even all the great artists in our time and of history were influenced by someone else.

The only thing is that IF they did scam this fish idea is that they give credit where credit is due. I mean c'mon take a look at The Lion King, and Atlantis. It's the blatant refusal to even say there is a similarity that irks me. But who really cares what I think. Later.

01 January 2004, 11:52 PM
Sadly, the costs incurred (UK patent attorneys reckon an average starting cost of about £60,000 for such a case) are out of reach of the little guy; excepting of course, if he has managed to put together an absolutely watertight case.
The sheer number of visual and scriptual variables that go under scrutiny (and often drawn out over a period of many months)leave little opportunity for a case to realistically get very far down the road, before fund-exhaustion.


01 January 2004, 01:20 AM

Sorry if I was unclear. I was stating with what facts we have now I tend to agree with most people that the man looks like he is after some quick money. However in recognition of the simple truth that we do not have all the facts we can't exactly make judgments on it. If my post confused that, I am sorry.

And although I understand how you might have inferred that I believed it simply to be impossible that Pixar did steal the concept, or at least major parts of it. I was simply trying to state, that not having all the facts, I would give Pixar the benefit of the doubt. I am not saying that there is no way they didn't steal it because I have no real way of ever being 100% sure. What I am saying is I would be shocked and my opinion of them would change if they did, because I do not believe them to be those kinds of people. The small number of people and dealings I have had with Pixar have shown me that they are some of the most creative and genuine people I have met. I would not expect this kind of dishonesty from them. For that reason I tend to, with the facts I have, side with them.

Yes this industry is small and you make a great point about the passage of ideas. In this case there is a simple fact that kind of makes that organic passage of ideas not work. Andrew Stanton the writer/director of Nemo has made numerous claims about where the idea for Nemo comes from. So either he is out right lying by claiming he alone came up with the core idea, or he is telling the truth and it started with him and not with someone who told him about Peroit. Although I haven't ever met Andrew, I would give him the benefit of the doubt by association.

Hope that clarifies.

You bring up a great point though. What should happen in cases where two completely original ideas are very similar? When no link between the two can be proven is it first come first served?


Edit PS I don't understand why we lump Disney and Pixar together. They are seperate companies, and people at Pixar have made the claim that Nemo is their original idea. What does that have to do with the Lion King or Atlantis. Yes I understand that there are some question about those two films, but the company that made them had nothing to do with the core idea behind Nemo. That is, at least, the statement being made by people at Pixar.

01 January 2004, 05:09 PM
well if anything all this is generating a lot intrest in a very unpopular book....its all over the web on news outlets....I guess what Im getting at is maybe all this guy wants is the publicity for his book...

but you dont go against Disney lawyers unless you think you have a case...right? it will be intresting to see how this turns out.

p.s. I personaly dont thing pixar would steal from any one...they dont seem like the kind of money driven studio....

01 January 2004, 06:16 PM
What I find interesting is that Disney did not file suit claiming some sort of infringment against their Nemo character.

If I had published a book with a character as similar as the Periot clownfish I'm sure Disney would be all over me.

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