Lawsuit accuses Disney of ripping off blockbuster hit ‘Zootopia’

This image released by Disney shows Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, in a scene from the animated film, "Zootopia."  Screenwriter and producer Gary L. Goldman sued Disney on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in a Los Angeles federal court alleging last year's animated blockbuster "Zootopia" copied a franchise he pitched the studio in 2000 and 2009 as a way to explore life in America through a society of civilized animals. (Disney via AP)

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This image released by Disney shows Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, in a scene from the animated film, "Zootopia." Screenwriter and producer Gary L. Goldman sued Disney on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in a Los Angeles federal court alleging last year's animated blockbuster "Zootopia" copied a franchise he pitched the studio in 2000 and 2009 as a way to explore life in America through a society of civilized animals. (Disney via AP)

A Hollywood screenwriter has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Walt Disney Pictures off ripping off his idea for last year's blockbuster film "Zootopia."

Gary L. Goldman, known for his work on “Total Recall” in both 1990 and 2012, “Minority Report” and “Big Trouble in Little China, alleged in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that Disney copied a franchise he pitched to the studio in 2000 and 2009.

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Disney denied the allegations in a statement, calling the lawsuit “riddled with patently false allegations.”

“It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court,” Disney said.

Goldman said in the lawsuit that he pitched Disney the idea for "Zootopia" about a society of animals exploring life in America. He included drawings in the suit that show a remarkable similarity between the animated characters he said he presented to Disney and the characters Disney used in the film.

He also listed in the suit other films he contends Disney stole including “The Lion King,” “Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc.”

It’s unclear what kind of compensation Goldman may be seeking from Disney, but box office analyst comScore reported “Zootopia” made more than $341 million in domestic ticket sales.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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