A child development expert has amended her copyright complaint against entertainment companies Disney and Pixar over the 2015 animation film “Inside Out”.
Filed on Wednesday, September 20, at the US District Court for the Central District of California, the amended complaint alleged that Disney and Pixar had misappropriated the central concept and characters behind the movie.
Child development expert Denise Daniels alleged that her idea for a children’s TV programme called “The Moodsters” was copied by the entertainment companies.
The Moodsters live “deep down inside every child” and feature five main characters, each representing a single emotion: happiness (yellow), sadness (blue), anger (red), fear (green), and love (pink).
Daniels, through Moodsters Company, registered the pilot episode of “The Moodsters” with the US Copyright Office in July 2007.
“But Disney×Pixar was not the first to conceive of the idea of anthropomorphised, colour-coded characters inside a child each of which represents a single emotion, as depicted in ‘Inside Out’,” said the suit.
According to the claim, between 2005 and 2009, Daniels and her team held several discussions with Disney executives about developing an animated series focused on emotional intelligence in children.
Daniels, who has previously worked with children affected by natural disasters and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, also claimed that she explained the characters, curriculum and concept underlying “The Moodsters” to Pete Doctor, the director of “Inside Out”.
“Pixar began work on ‘Inside Out’ in 2010, the year following Daniels’ last discussions with the studios,” the suit said.
Daniels claimed that the companies have never before anthropomorphised emotions as an ensemble of characters in any of their major motion pictures.
Ronald Schutz, partner at Robins Kaplan and lead trial counsel for Daniels, said: “Based on her decades of work with children, Daniels created an original, accessible and powerful way to tell a story about emotional intelligence through the use of five colour coded characters each representing a different emotion.”