It looks like Hollywood is finally starting to take a stand against the low budget knock-offs and copycats that have been creating confusion on store shelves over the past couple of years. After Universal successfully forced The Asylum to change the name of their Battleship clone American Battleship to American Warships earlier this year, Disney has decided to throw their weight around as well, threatening to sue the makers of a film called Braver. British indie production company Brightspark Production Ltd. has been following in The Asylum’s footsteps by putting out budget animated films in the U.K. that sound very similar to Pixar and DreamWorks films (ie. Tangled Up, Puss N Boots, Little Cars), but this time they have finally gone too far, forcing Disney to step in and protect the upcoming release of Brave on DVD and Blu-ray.
According to The Guardian, the Mouse House has sent a cease and desist letter to the company in question, demanding that they withdraw the DVDs or face litigation. In particular, Disney has taken issue with the packaging and artwork, which is very clearly made to resemble one of the theatrical posters for Brave. Brightspark responded to the accusations by saying, “We came up with our title around 18 months ago and if we thought consumers would mistake our film for Brave, we would have renamed it.” Obviously!
Ironically, Braver is not the only Brave knock-off out there; an Indian studio called Shemaroo Entertainment also put out Kiara the Brave, which I believe is currently available in North American stores now. Unlike The Asylum’s so-called mockbusters, which often border on being tongue-in-cheek parodies, it’s hard to see how these animated rip-offs have any reason to exist other than to take advantage of uninformed parents. What do you think, does a company like Brightspark have a right to put out these kinds of misleading films or should they be subject to legal action?