7 Disney Movies That Were Accused Of Stealing Ideas

5. The Thief And The Cobbler - Aladdin

When you're in the market of adapting classic stories it's not unlikely for your version to have some similarities with other takes on the material. Aladdin, released in the middle of the Disney Renaissance, was based of the Middle Eastern tale of the pauper and his magic lamp, which had been first recorded centuries earlier. So when you look at The Thief And The Cobbler, a film with a similar plot and archetypes it's easy to initially dismiss the two as just being distant relatives. But then you notice some slight similarities; the villain in both has a bird sidekick; the princess has noticeably large eyes; the visual landscape design share many elements. And so it looks like we've got another case of Disney stealing ideas on our hands. Except the story's not as simple here. The Thief And The Cobbler had been in production since the sixties yet still hadn't been released by the time Aladdin rolled around. When the project was finally finished, to make it marketable Miramax (then a subsidiary of Disney) cut the film so it had a closing bearing to the massively popular Aladdin. The biggest similarity - Theif's villain Zig-Zag looks like Jafar and acts like Genie - in fact comes from the same animators being employed on both films. Was it plagiarism? There's a lot of shared elements and with the intertwined production it's hard to really decipher what came from where, but if there is any lifting on Aladdin's part it's quite light.
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Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.