Did Dreamworks Steal ‘Kung Fu Panda’, Maybe With Help From That Evil Snow Leopard?

Thursday, February 17 by

Master Shifu is very displeased.

Jayme Gordon, a cartoonist in Boston, claims he created Kung Fu Panda, and unlike a lot of crackpots who claim they came up with the idea for Inception 6 years ago on a drug trip and wrote it on a cocktail napkin, this guy seems to have some decent evidence. Apparently he even registered his Kung Fu-Doin’ Panda and martial arts animal pals in 2000 with the US Copyright Office. The first Kung Fu Panda movie was released in 2008. Here’s the Po-down:

- Title of the story he wrote: “Kung Fu Panda Power” (One too many words, if you ask me.)

- Gordon says he pitched the idea to former Disney chief Michael Eisner, Katzenberg’s old company, and gave him a ton of artwork.

- In Gordon’s story and artwork, there are kung f fighting red pandas, snakes, mantises and snow leopards, like in the movie.

- “The Five Fists of Fury” was the name of the group of kung-fu animals in Gordon’s story, whereas for the Dreamworks film, they used a very different name: “The Furious Five.”

- Both versions take place in a village of the same name, “The Valley of Peace.”

Gordon wants a ton of cash, an author credit, a percentage of the profits and noodles for life from Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures.

So far, it looks like Gordon’s case is as strong as Master Oogway, but some of these claims may turn out to be bogus. Also, there may be some groupthink involved here, since another screenwriter sued Dreamworks for stealing his idea for a kung fu panda movie last summer, and Wikipedia says the idea itself has been kicking around Dreamworks since 1993 in one form or another.

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom comes to theaters with that silly title May 26, 2011. (TheWrap)

Do you like this story?