Get this: A woman claims the movie Frozen is a rip-off of her life in an autobiography published four years ago. In the copyright infringement suit, the plaintiff alleges that Disney plagiarized the Frozen script using her published work. As a consequence, the woman is suing Mikey and Minnie’s company for a cool $250 million, and it doesn’t look like she’s going to let it go, let it go.
The Walt Disney World Company has undoubtedly faced its share of civil liability lawsuits, but the case of the woman claiming the Frozen movie is a rip-off of her life — not inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen — is as maniacal as it comes. But for the sake of seeing both sides of the argument, perhaps, it’s worth delving into.
Isabella Tanikumi, according to her bio on Barnes & Noble, is a Registered Physical Therapist, Registered Nurse, Licensed Acupuncturist, and artist, who grew up in Peru’s Andean mountains. The woman who claims Frozen is a rip-off is the author of Yearnings of the Heart, according to TMZ. The book was published by FriesenPress on February 7, 2013.
The overview of the woman’s book, apparently written in 2010, appears to parallel plot, theme and character traits in the Disney animated film, Frozen.
“This is a compelling, introspective account of the life of Isabella TaniKumi, who takes her readers on a journey through various phases of her remarkable life — from her family’s survival during the devastating earthquake of 1970 in Huaraz, Peru, to the trials of overcoming heartbreaks of her youth. Conquering personal insecurities led to exploring the reaches of her intellect while facing the tragic, and untimely death of her beloved sister, Laura.
“Despite language barriers and the consequent obstacles of fitting in, Tanikumi wittily narrates her struggles with her assimilation into American life and culture. Forging many enduring friendships most notably with Julie, who rescued her from the depths of grief. Tanikumi also interweaves a dialogue with her long lost love Eduardo. This novel tacitily and expressly addresses Eduardo as a salient recipient of her reflections. Ultimately, Tanikumi is able to share her gratitude and joy as well as her insatiable thirst for life.”
Before one can judge whether or not the woman claiming the film Frozen is an unauthorized account of her life story, or rip-off, according to the search trend, it’s probably not a bad idea to make a comparison — or not — with the film’s synopsis. With Disney facing a multimillion dollar lawsuit over allegedly stealing the woman’s life story, no stone can be left unturned.
Amazon provides a detailed account of Disney’s Frozen movie.
“A sweet, magical film filled with great music, likable characters, and striking effects, ‘Frozen’ is a fairy tale about overcoming obstacles and the power of true love. Princesses Anna and Elsa are sisters and the closest friends until one day Elsa discovers that she can no longer control her power to create ice and snow. Terrified for the safety of her sister and everyone around her, Elsa isolates herself and vows to never feel any sort of passionate emotion again in hopes of suppressing her powers. But when Elsa comes of age and is set to be crowned queen, she must open the gates of the palace and let in the public, not to mention her sister Anna. Things go horribly wrong and Anna pursues her sister into the mountains in an attempt to save Elsa and reverse the deep freeze that Elsa has inadvertently released on the kingdom of Arendelle.
“Along the way, Anna joins forces with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an ice seller with a strangely close relationship with his reindeer Sven, and Olaf (Josh Gad), a goofy snowman whom she suddenly remembers from early childhood. In the end, Anna and Elsa discover that only by embracing their deepest feelings do they have a chance of saving themselves and the kingdom. Inspired by ‘The Snow Queen’ story by Hans Christian Andersen, the film has plenty of quirky, lovable characters along with a nice blend of corny humor, serious sentiment, suspense, and peril. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel deliver rousing performances of great music that includes original songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and an original score by Christophe Beck, and the visual effects are simply stunning. ‘Frozen’ definitely succeeds in captivating audiences young, old, and every age in between.”
Well, if you managed to get through all that reading, a number of things should stand out. For one, the lives of TaniKumi and Anna or Elsa (hard to discern which sister favors the author’s character) are, arguably, closely related. Secondly, the overall themes of survival, a menagerie of emotional struggles, metaphorical birth-rebirth and (wait for it) l-o-v-e, draw close comparisons. Finally, but only in this writing, there are no mentions of trolls and a talking snowman. Now if there were only someone resembling the character Olaf, she’d likely have a slam-dunk case in her copyright lawsuit against Disney.
So, a woman claims Frozen is a rip-off and she is suing Disney, the company that Walt built, for crying out loud. What happens next? Well, as outlandish as it seems, Mickey will have to lawyer up with a squadron of great thinkers who must prove to a judge, and maybe a jury, that the woman’s story was written first and has a direct connection to the $1.2 billion box office film. Should she prevail, it’s money, honey.
Heck, things could have been worse; her story could have been based on The Croods.