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-   -   The People's Court. Did Pixar steal students work? (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/showthread.php?t=824454)

Atomic Cow 01-26-2010 09:31 PM

The People's Court. Did Pixar steal students work?
 

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...orthebirds.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...1/smallfry.jpg
You be the judge.

THE PLAINTIFF
Stevie Wermers first year animation student at Cal Arts.
The defendant states "I made a student film at Cal Arts shown at
the producers show attended several representatives from Pixar and Disney.
My film won first place among over fifty other student films presented at the show. Pixar and Disney both cast votes for the best films of the show so I believe they have to have seen and enjoyed my film.
A few years later I watched Monster's Inc. and to my stunned surprise For the Birds came on as a short before the film.
Similarities:
The characters. A big gawky bird and a bunch of little birds.
The Setting. A telephone line, two telephone poles and a country setting.
The set up. A bunch of little birds clustering together on a phone line crowding out a bigger very goofy looking bird.
Attitude: Big bird friendly and wants to be social. Little birds don't like him because he is big and gawky.
Similar scene: Big bird sitting on top of the pole waiting for an opportunity to sit.
Designs: While different you have to admit many of the design elements are very close especially when you consider this is 3D
Music: A silent film mostly told with pantomime and attitude.
The ending: Almost totally different except both end in a shower of bird debris.
Time
About 90 seconds for both

THE DEFENDANT
Pixar claims this film was in the beginnings or production and partly storyboarded before the film was a glint in Stevie Wermers eye.

THE JURY

You
Did Pixar representatives see this film at the Cal Arts producers show and helped it take first place and later decided to make one a lot like it?
Or is Pixar totally innocent here. After all there are a lot of stories about little birds on a phone line and a big goofy bird. Its a staple of american entertainment since film began.

And which film is funnier?
SMALL FRY BY STEVIE WERMERS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_o02W1Va0w
FOR THE BIRDS (STORY BY STEVIE WERMERS) AND PIXAR
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i861a...eature=related

Let me know if the link stops working. I posted it as a private video which means only 25 can see it. I didn't want to post it all over You Tube.

Mr. E 01-26-2010 09:40 PM

There's a difference between taking you ideas from elsewhere, which pretty much all artists that ever lived have done, and "copyright infringement", which is a legal issue. So it's hard to say unless you know the insights of the case.

Hizzyfitz 01-26-2010 09:42 PM

Will Judge Milian be presiding?

Ringo Forever 01-26-2010 09:45 PM

Wapner. Definitely Wapner.

Freebirth 01-26-2010 09:51 PM

Small Fry is not working anymore.

BuckyCaptain 01-26-2010 10:07 PM

Only thing that Monsters Inc. may have stolen from is Aaahh!!! Real Monsters in that the nick cartoon did a scare school for monsters first, but I don't think Pixar stole this guy's idea.

kamill 01-26-2010 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atomic Cow (Post 16641272)
SMALL FRY BY STEVIE WERMERS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_o02W1Va0w

that link is asking me to sign in.

i say guilty!

Atomic Cow 01-26-2010 10:29 PM

Link should work for all now
If not click this!


Hoping to get more guilty verdicts now that there are pictures and a working video.

Atomic Cow 01-26-2010 10:33 PM

My memory of how identical this was is a little different, because I thought I remembered the birds crowding him out in the same way. Instead they were hopping away.
But aside from about 15 seconds of a 90 second film they are really super similar. For me I am convinced the idea was definitely lifted from the Cal Arts Producers show. I was at the show.
I also thought it was made within a couple years but the timing is more distant.

Freebirth 01-26-2010 10:37 PM

Yeah... I think you could definitely make a case.

Atomic Cow 01-26-2010 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. E (Post 16641563)
There's a difference between taking you ideas from elsewhere, which pretty much all artists that ever lived have done, and "copyright infringement", which is a legal issue. So it's hard to say unless you know the insights of the case.

I've defended The Lion King and Kimba on the same grounds. BTW were you able to see both videos?

Mr. E 01-26-2010 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atomic Cow (Post 16642926)
I've defended The Lion King and Kimba on the same grounds. BTW were you able to see both videos?

Nah, the first one said it was private.

Hizzyfitz 01-26-2010 10:48 PM

Small Fry wins!

Big Coffin Hunter 01-26-2010 10:51 PM

After seeing both shorts I have a harder time believing there wasn't some swiping going on.

Watashi 01-26-2010 10:52 PM

Toy Story is a rip-off of the Twilight Zone episode, Five Characters in Search of an Exit.

Freebirth 01-26-2010 11:19 PM

Yeah... I think you could definitely make a case.

Atomic Cow 01-26-2010 11:36 PM

I was a little paranoid. I drove home from work, only thirty five minutes and I signed on and this thread was no where to be found. I never had a thread disappear. I believe it was stuck in a time warp. I couldn't get on the site for ten minutes and when I finally got on again it was back. I was about to look out my window for black helicopters.

Atomic Cow 01-26-2010 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hizzyfitz (Post 16643131)
Small Fry wins!


I think its funnier. And She didn't have a team of people working on it. Drew it herself in about three or four months.

Hizzyfitz 01-26-2010 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atomic Cow (Post 16644218)
I think its funnier. And She didn't have a team of people working on it. Drew it herself in about three or four months.

Indeed. And dark, too. I like that about it.

neumdaddy 01-26-2010 11:59 PM

Meh.

Atomic Cow 01-27-2010 12:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by neumdaddy (Post 16644837)
Meh.

Lolz. I don't know what that means.:)

Atomic Cow 01-27-2010 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bucky Captain (Post 16642321)
Only thing that Monsters Inc. may have stolen from is Aaahh!!! Real Monsters in that the nick cartoon did a scare school for monsters first, but I don't think Pixar stole this guy's idea.

When I was in animation school, monsters in the closet was considered the ultimate student film cliche. I remember wanting to do monsters in the closet myself but the stigma was too great.

bacon 01-27-2010 01:54 AM

Sure they both had birds on wires, but beyond that there isn't really any similarities. It might make it to court, but it wouldn't have any merit, there are just far to many differences to really say that anything was stolen.

Birds sit on wires. It's just one of those things.

Something 01-27-2010 02:18 AM

At least Pixar did it better.

Molestoyevsky 01-27-2010 02:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Backlash (Post 16649034)
At least Pixar did it better.

With only the help of an army of trained creative professionals and rendering farms that allow them to easily utilize top-tier 3D animation.

Atomic Cow 01-27-2010 02:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bacon (Post 16648119)
Sure they both had birds on wires, but beyond that there isn't really any similarities. It might make it to court, but it wouldn't have any merit, there are just far to many differences to really say that anything was stolen.

Birds sit on wires. It's just one of those things.

The only other character is a big gawky different bird sitting on the pole trying to figure out how to fit in with the other birds. There is your concept. Another similarity you can't deny is the humorous action. The bird has a big pendulous body that swings back and forth as it flies. And the way the birds hop along the line in groups is also identical. In both movies the little birds don't like the big bird because he obviously isn't cool. The posing of the shots is almost identical. It certainly didn't have to be. And the film ends with the little birds in particles. The concept is the same. The actions are the same. The characters are the same. The setting is exactly the same. Just sky clouds, blue sky, and two telephone poles and a long quick establishing shot showing the scene. So the real difference is the big bird lands on the line and weighs it down resulting in the birds trying to peck him off. Funny thing is the film was working up to this point because it made sense until then. Big as the bird was he wasn't so big as to sink the line. And how weird to have him end up hanging upside down.

If Pixar had never been to see the film I could dismiss it as coincidence. But Pixar was there and helped vote the film to first place. So not only did they see it but they liked it. They noticed it. (I am assuming they did vote for it or strongly considered it) You can argue the specifics of the story are different. My argument is they wouldn't steal it outright. Then they would have a lawsuit on their hands for sure. But the core of the original film was there.

A good argument to use against me would be to point to any other animated film in the history of film...(or live film) where little birds are on telephone/power line hopping in groups. Or even easier show me a cartoon character with a big pendulous bird the flies who happens to have a big head, a skinny neck, a big beak, and flies like a sack of sand being swung back and forth during a drinking song at an octoberfest. Even one example might dent my case. Any Warner, Disney, Bluth, Anime, Miyazaki, Nicktoons, Cartoon network, Jay Ward, Tex Avery, Clutch Cargo, or Saturday morning cartoon that looks a lot like this or shares a similar story or plot will do. That's what lawyers do is produce examples showing how common this is. With sixty years of animation to look back on I personally can't think of one story about groups of birds sitting on wires hopping about. Can you?

We all can accept the concept an animated story can be inspired from past works. But what was the impetus to tell this story. What can we point to? I think we can point to Stevie Wermers.

Atomic Cow 01-27-2010 03:05 AM

http://www.animationartgallery.com/i...BS/WBSBOAW.jpg

Something 01-27-2010 03:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Molasses (Post 16649887)
With only the help of an army of trained creative professionals and rendering farms that allow them to easily utilize top-tier 3D animation.

I wasn't talking about the quality of the animation but whatever.

Molestoyevsky 01-27-2010 03:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Backlash (Post 16650322)
I wasn't talking about the quality of the animation but whatever.

Considering that the shorts in question are literally nothing but animation with background music, I'm assuming then that you're talking about the quality of the background music?

Or are you being dense?

Something 01-27-2010 04:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Molasses (Post 16650383)
Considering that the shorts in question are literally nothing but animation with background music, I'm assuming then that you're talking about the quality of the background music?

Or are you being dense?

You're as thick as your name.

I prefer Pixar's ending...


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