Duke Caboom is a character from Toy Story 4 that reminded a lot of people of the daredevil Evel Knievel. The similarities were so striking that those who are in charge of Knievel’s likeness and image are suing Disney, Pixar, and some of their subsidiaries through K&K Promotions. According to TMZ, the suit filed says that Disney did not get any kind of approval for a character to be based on the legendary daredevil. It goes on to explain:
Per the docs, obtained by TMZ, K&K say that Evel’s style, influence and even a nod to his famous stunt cycle toy from the ’70s is clearly sprinkled throughout the film – of course, Duke himself is dubbed as the greatest Canadian stuntman, and he even comes with an energizer to wind up and release his bike…much like the Evel toy from back in the day.
The suit also alleges that Disney told the cast and crew of Toy Story 4 to “go out of their way to avoid using Evel’s name during interviews” in an attempt to avoid any trademark violations. I’m no lawyer, but that last part definitely sounds like a “no duh.” I’m sure there’s more to that last bit that I just simply don’t understand. According to Business Wire, “[t]he complaint seeks actual, compensatory, statutory and punitive damages, as well as profits from the film, “in an amount to be determined at trial.”
What do you think of this case? My guess is that Disney will settle out of court, but who knows. Do K&K have a strong case?