The Lying King: How Disney Made A Killing Stealing Kimba

Discussion in 'Western Animation' started by ReymousFumes, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. ReymousFumes

    ReymousFumes Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Nerd

    Apr 9, 2017
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    You know, when people use the phrase, "corporate evil", it's usually a hyperbole, not to be taken seriously. But I'll be damned if I don't use it here to accurately describe the ugliness of Disney corporation. Talk about leaving a bad taste in your mouth. I mean, Disney has always had a dubious reputation tracing back to the days of Snow White, how Walt Disney himself had a shady background towards his terrible work ethics. But this, this is a new low.

    The video is a year old, but I figured it's appropriate to share this anyway, especially with the live action ripoff- I mean adaptation of the ripof- I meant "The Lion King" coming soon next year. It's good to know about these things because you get to understand the unfairness and injustice that goes on behind the scenes, simply because Kimba (and at the time, Japanese animation) was more obscure to western audiences, myself included.

    I wouldn't have jumped to the conclusion that a "stealing" was indeed committed, and I might have just concluded that there might have been some sort of misunderstanding... were it not for the video revealing the side-by-side artwork comparison between Kimba and Lion King. It's uncanningly similar. Made me want to throw up just seeing them, thinking about how people could overlook such an obvious ripoff.

    I've had a little bit of experience with Tezuka and his work, and I do like his work quite a bit, especially when Astro Boy actually had quite a meaningful anti-war context behind its story, tracing back to World War II sentiments. I even had the manga sequel, "Pluto" on my plan-to-read list at one point, but never got the chance to read it. So yeah, it's rather disheartening to hear that one of his works have been so unfairly stolen just because "Disney had better lawyers." And not just stolen, Disney even tried to sue his production company for ripping off the overrated Lion King. Jeez, how do you sleep at night?

    Man, all this is just so ironic when you consider the context, the story told in The Lion King. An entire legacy stolen, violently ripped away while the rival is thrust away. It's so ironic it's almost funny.
  2. Shannon Apple

    Shannon Apple Sour Apple
    Staff Member Administrator

    May 20, 2016
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    Oh wow. I knew the Lion King was based on an Asian animation, that much was common knowledge despite Disney's bs. I didn't realise it was that similar though. What a bunch of lying assholes. Perfect example of big corporations ripping off the small guy and suing anyone that does the same to them, or trying to sue the original creator. Apple is famous for doing pretty similar crap.
    ReymousFumes likes this.
  3. Struggler

    Struggler Sapient Meat
    Platinum Founder

    May 24, 2016
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    Interesting. Hadn't heard about this. If it weren't the Lion King, and was instead something I haven't loved since I was 6, I'd be disgusted by the blatant intellectual theft but...I like Lion King too much for this particular instance of thievery to bother me.

    Did Disney clearly lift the apparent entirety of Tezuka's King of the Jungle (and subsequent adaptations)? Yes. Did they ever even publicly allude to Tezuka's work even being just an inspiration? Nope. Was the significance of The Lion King's alleged originality in the film's marketing cringey as hell after learning about the IP theft? Fuck yes.

    Do I care? Nope.

    I enjoy The Lion King too much to care about the legality or morality surrounding its creation.

    Plus, the East (most China and Korea, but still) blatantly steals enough intellectual property from the West as it is, so seeing some tables turning only feels like just desserts.

    Interesting nonetheless. The best part of the video was definitely learning the truth behind that old Simpsons Lion King reference. That honestly blew my mind.
  4. Masterminor

    Masterminor Newbie

    Jun 20, 2019
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    Yeah I remember hearing about this and it breaking my little heart. Clever title to the thread by the way. I still enjoy both series in their own respects. But Disney did a dirty on this. In the wise words of Carly Shay (AKA Miranda Cosgrove) "You can't just take our ideas, change them a little bit, and then pass them off as yours!"

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