We are going to diverge from our usual policing of the world for Disney violations to express our distaste for the new Harry Potter postage stamps that have been announced by the U.S. Postal service. We think these are a travesty and an insult to the great United States of America.
There is nothing wrong with the Harry Potter novels, and we haven’t read them just like we haven’t read many great books, but it is an inescapable fact that they are books of foreign origin and therefore should not be celebrated by what is essentially a branch of the American government.
The post office needs to remember its roots. We still have our lovingly collected stamp album of U.S. postage that contains stamps depicting the Disney version of such classic American tales as Winnie the Pooh, 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. Let’s continue the trend, shall we?
Someone who thinks ruining childhoods is funny took the soundtrack from the trailer for the new Carrie movie and paired it with scenes from Disney’s classic Cinderella, like this:
We certainly agree that there’s nothing wrong with making derivative transformational art projects with the soundtrack from some horror movie, but once you start messing with a Disney animated classic — well, that’s so far over the line that if you turned around you probably couldn’t even see the line anymore, what with the curvature of the Earth and all.
This kind of thing just isn’t funny. It wasn’t funny when they combined The Expendibles with The Incredibles. It wasn’t funny when they mashed Lilo & Stitch with Harold and Maude. And it’s not funny now.
This video has us too stunned for words:
If this is a real video, then it obviously isn’t a copyright violation. However, it is definitely evidence of horrible abuse of a Disney trademarked character.
An eagle-eyed reader of this blog passed this along to us:
They found it on this website.
To be perfectly clear, we have no problem with small repertory companies licensing Disney productions for local performance (as we assume they did in this case). In fact, we applaud their working with Disney’s licensing department so that The Mouse has more money to build Pixar-based attractions and film old radio shows.
So what do we have a problem with? Where is the violation? Just look at the ad!!! They are offering not just the properly licensed play, but also a meet-and-greet with Beast and Bell! It even goes so far as to say “Bring your camera and pose on stage with the characters” as if the actual characters will be there — like they are at Disneyland — and not just actors pretending to be the characters! (Also, we are pretty sure that Disney has copyrighted the phrase “on stage,” but we have to research that further.)
Not bad enough? Well how about THIS! They are using actual Disney artwork in their advertisement! Does their licensing of the play allow them to use this artwork? Does it? Well, maybe it does, but even so, they shouldn’t because it creates confusion in the mind of children, adults, and bloggers!
“Maybe this group is perfectly innocent,” you say. “Maybe they intend no harm.” Well, think about this: their URL is www.kidsintheact.org, which clearly reads, “Kid Sin: The Act.” How vile is that?
To sum up: There’s no problem with licensing Disney plays. There’s a big problem with pretending they have real Disney characters in them. If these folks want to have a “Beer with ‘Belle'” event, making clear that guests will be meeting a fake Belle at some local tavern (that’s not named Gaston’s) — fine.
During a recent trip to Target to purchase food and clothing for deserving Disney-loving orphans, we came upon this particular abomination:
Intense scrutiny of the packaging (using a number of commercially available magnifying and decrypting devices) revealed not so much as a hint of a copyright or trademark statement crediting Disney for the obvious “hidden Mickey” nature of this particular kitchen contrivance.
Even so, it is not the copyright violation that infuriates us to the point of spewing forth tears of flame, but the fact that a Disney-owned, child-friendly design was obviously used to trick innocent young ones into cajoling their parents to purchase what we can only imagine is a horrifically dangerous baking device.
Despite what instructions or warnings were on the package that we couldn’t be bothered to read, this device is clearly intended to be used as follows:
- Put a can of beer in the large “Mickey’s head” circle.
- Force a disgusting raw chicken over the can in such a way that it looks like the beer can is a Lincoln-esque man with a tall, cylindrical head wearing a fowl meat hat.
- Put the entire contraption above the roaring fire of a home grill.
- Run to a safe distance and hope to God in Heaven above that nobody is within range when the beer can overheats and explodes.
Even if we ignore the physical danger, what of the mental anguish of a child who sees a bird detonated in this way? What if — perish the thought — one of Donald Duck’s nephews or some other avian American saw such a thing? Can we even begin to imagine the trauma?
Truly, this is one product too horrific to be allowed to exist. Mickey’s silhouette should never be used to create meat-based home munitions. Not even once.
Check out the September 22, 2011 edition of the Lio comic strip:
Now, we’re all for comic strips making social commentary, and there definitely is a “fair use” clause in copyright law, but we can’t figure out what the heck the point of this strip is, therefore it’s not fair use because it’s not fair that we have to sit around wondering what it means!
Seriously, Mr. Comic Strip Artist, if you’re going to make ambiguous works of social satire, at least stick to public domain subjects. This comic would have been just as funny with Little Nemo, the Yellow Kid, Obadiah Oldbuck, or Gertie the Dinosaur!
An August 2011 episode of the animated television show Ugly Americans titled “Wail Street” included the following images:
This is obviously, definitely an attempt to depict Disneyland as a place to which demons go on vacation, and certainly it must have been created without Disney review and permission! How do we know this? Because of all the errors — things that certainly wouldn’t get past Disney’s crack legal review team!
For example (just to name a few):
- Mickey Mouse in the first picture is definitely off model. He looks like some kind of bizarre teleportation-device-failure mixture of our beloved Mickey and Richard Nixon.
- Doombuggies without rear shells? Please!
- The Mad Tea Party color scheme, seating arrangements, landscaping, and (judging from the arc of the spew) spin pattern are entirely wrong.
They may disdain valid copyrights, but have they also no respect for the truth? Particularly since this is a show targeted at children (it is a cartoon after all), that is just inexcusable!
Take a look at this!
Someone with tons of time, massive talent, and a complete disregard for the letter, spirit, intent, precedent, propriety, and protection of copyright created this (obviously counterfeit) WALL-E monstrosity. It wasn’t even made entirely from scratch, since we’re pretty sure we can see parts of old Star Tours robots and Number 5 from Short Circuit in there.
It’s not clear whether or not this is a functional replica of WALL-E or just a thumb-your-nose-at-Disney’s-legal-team statue, but even if it is functional, we’re certain there’s no way it can clean, stack, burrow, and love like the real WALL-E!
Plus, they left it out in the snow, which is not good for robots.
When we saw this image online, we couldn’t help but wonder what the artist thought s/he was getting away with.
Disney owns the rights to Marvel characters and their images, and these pieces of artwork clearly infringe on the intellectual property of the “Marvel Babies” line of toys, books, and organic educational manipulatives. It’s even possible — though we can think of no way to verify it — that the works of Dr. Seuss (if that’s even his real name) have some sort of copyright or trademark protection, but who knows?
By the way, why is the artist picking on Marvel characters and not on characters from rival company D.C.? Is it because they know that Marvel is an awesome juggernaut at the box office? Or that Marvel characters are so globally recognizable? Or perhaps it’s that they have a not-so-secret pro-D.C. bias or are on D.C.’s payroll? Or that the pictures of Superman and Batman aren’t there because we cropped them out to make our point? Again, who can say?
All we know is that Disney is again being slandered. Pardon while we shed yet another tear.
Someone needs to tell this artist that princes don’t let princesses do drugs (or violate Disney copyrights).