Disney, Pixar Hit With Lawsuit Over ‘Inside Out’

Nevada woman says animated film infringes on her work

A Nevada woman has filed suit against The Walt Disney Company and Pixar, saying that they lifted her work for the 2015 animated film “Inside Out.”

In the suit filed in federal court in Nevada on Thursday, Carla J. Masterson says that the film infringes on her book “What’s on the Other Side of the Rainbow?” and another work of hers, “The Secret of the Golden Mirror.”

According to Masterson’s suit, both works “are original, creative, and artistic stories about how children identify, understand the reasons for, and manage the effects of their emotions. The specific original, artistic, and creative expression and device used by Carla J. Masterson in ‘What’s On the Other Side of the Rainbow?’ and ‘The Secret of the Golden Mirror’ is to depict the childhood emotions of Joy, Fear, Sad, Anger, Laughter, Friendship, Love, and Shy as characters that appear throughout the book in consistent and continuing configurations and colors.”

The suit says that the illustrated version of “What’s on the Other Side of the Rainbow?” was included in gift bags for Emmys ceremonies in 2010 and Academy Awards ceremonies in 2011, where “many Disney executives and affiliated persons were in attendance … and had access to gift bags that included Carla J. Masterson’s book.”

“The animated movie ‘Inside Out’ and its characters are substantially similar to original and protected elements of Carla J. Masterson’s copyrighted works, in both the use of its individual components and its combination of components into a single story,” the suit reads.

TheWrap has reached out to Disney for comment on the suit.

Masterson is seeking unspecified damages in the suit, but the complaint does say that she’s suffered an economic loss “far in excess of $75,000.”

According to the suit, the defendants have scored more than $1 billion in gross revenues and hundreds of millions of dollars in net profits from “Inside Out” ticket sales, DVDs, merchandise and licensing.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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