Disney and Pixar Animation have been awarded damages after a Shanghai court ruled a Chinese film dubbed The Autobots was an illegal copy of Cars.
Variety reports that the producer of The Autobots, Bluemtv and distributor G-Point have been fined the equivalent of $194,000. According to the court, the producers of The Autobots illegally used characters and posters owned by Disney and used in Cars, ruling that the Chinese film constituted unfair competition.
Rather remarkably, the director of the film, Zhuo Jianrong says he is innocent and has never watched Cars. That comes despite the fact that the lead protagonist of The Autobots (pictured above) is almost identical to Lightning McQueen from Cars.
Chinese media report that Jianrong will launch an appeal and intends on directing a sequel.
Speaking with Variety, a Disney spokesperson said “Intellectual property rights protection is key to the growth of the cultural services industry. We are pleased that the court is protecting the intellectual property rights of creative companies like ours.”