The director of an animated Chinese film a Shanghai court recently ruled was a rip-off of Disney and Pixar’s Cars franchise says he has never seen the American movie. Seriously.
Zhuo Jianrong, the director behind Chinese-language film The Autobots, plans to appeal the ruling protecting Disney’s intellectual property rights, arguing his movie can’t infringe on the U.S. studio’s copyright because he’s never even seen Cars, reports Variety.
“His lawyers said in court that the characters had been independently developed from real vehicles,” the magazine reported, even though it’s readily apparent the stars of Autobots, released July 2015, are a direct clone of Lightning McQueen and other Cars characters.
The Chinese courts ruled that even the name of the film in Chinese sounds an awful lot like “Cars,” and demanded Jianrong and producers Bluemtv cease the copyright infringement and pay a fine of $190,000. (For what it’s worth, Autobots pulled in $863,000 in the Chinese box office.)
After filing his appeal, Jianrong says he plans to make a sequel, though he’s still looking for funding for it. Huh, funny: Cars 2 already came out way back in 2011.