Disney-Pixar's Onward Sued Over Allegedly Plagiarizing Van Design

Weeks ahead of the release of Onward, The Walt Disney Company has been hit with a lawsuit by artist Sweet Cecily Daniher, alleging Disney-Pixar copied the design of a van she owns without permission. Daniher filed suit Monday in the United States District Court's Northern District of California saying through her lawyers Pixar stole her design for a vehicle she owns she calls the "Vanicorn."

In the lawsuit, Daniher and her lawyers suggest Disney contacted her inquiring about renting the van for a "special event" in September 2018. It was then brought to her attention in May 2019 Disney planned on using the designs from her van in Onward without her prior approval.

Daniher has been candid about the ordeal through her use of Instagram, oftentimes posting images of the van with her thoughts on the case at hand. In a post on June 3, Daniher says Onward producer Kori Rae called her to apologize about renting the van "without disclosing their full intentions, or plans." Rae is a defendant in the suit alongside Disney and Pixar.

Daniher is seeking damages of a monetary amount to be determined at trial in addition to asking the court for an injunction that'd stop Disney from "promoting, selling, marketing, advertising, shipping, transporting (directly or indirectly) or otherwise moving in domestic or foreign commerce, any and all of the Defendants' advertisements, promotion and/or merchandising materials and/or products, and/or the motion picture entitled Onward and products which infringe upon Plaintiff's copyrighted work."

"[T]hey have altered this Plaintiff’s highly personal and public transubstantiation of her lifelong artistic interest in unicorns into the Vanicorn (a uniquely San Franciscan work of public, mobile, automotive art, and a redemptive and validating act of recovery from toxic masculinity and a former marriage)," the suit complaint reads. "And which has, instead, been pilfered by the Defendants as a commercial and corporate conduit for the aspirations of a pair of blue boy elves looking for their father in a mass marketed Disney film, and was accomplished by the Defendants under wickedly misleading pretenses."

Onward hits theaters March 6th.


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