When you are poised for global domination, you really don’t pay much mind to the peons of society. Take Disney’s Pixar for instance. This is a billion-dollar empire, so when they have an idea for animation — or even “an idea” that someone “borrowed” — it’s going to make the cut.
Meet Duke Caboom, Canadian’s most daring stunt artist and bravest daredevil.
He has confidence, swagger, fly threads, and I’ll be damn if he doesn’t seem a lot like 1970s daredevil Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel. Yeah, that’s what his family’s estate thought when they saw Toy Story 4 also, so today, they’re suing Pixar for copyright infringement and probably a hefty sum of that box-office take.
Is Duke Caboom That Close to Evel Knievel?
With exception to the geography, national colors, and germane accents, there’s a definite
resemblance…eh, source of inspiration.
- Same dopey thrift-shop Superman outfit
- Arabian tuft of chest hair (seriously, shave that crap, dudes)
- Both with death-defying motorcycle handles
- And enough bravado that would make a eunuch from Game of Thrones believe he had a pair. You know…again.
According to the New York Post, K&K Promotions (that is, Knievel and Knievel) is suing Disney, Pixar, and others for “their liberal use of Knievel’s persona” in Toy Story 4, according to a lawsuit filed by attorneys Randall Jones and Ronald DiNicola in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.
“Evel Knievel did not thrill millions around the world, break his bones, and spill his blood just so Disney could make a bunch of money. He remains an instantly recognized icon, as demonstrated by the huge popularity of the re-issued Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle among kids who hadn’t even been born when my father died a dozen years ago”Kelly Knievel, son and spokesperson for K&K
The Likeness of a Stunt Cycle
So, just how close is this likeness anyway? I mean, stunt daredevils have been a thing for decades. While that is true, there has never been anyone like this crackpot.
Evel Knievel is the reason why America’s Got Talent features all those schmucks looking for a quick thrill and a good time. Fire. Water. Air. He dared all the elements to take his life…and, in a few instances, they almost did. And for his acclaim, he got one of the best Christmas toys ever — The Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle.
It was amazeballs for kids of the late ’70s and into the ’80s. Fights began on Black Friday over this, not gaming consoles. Here’s why, and see if this familiar at all, Toy Story 4 fans.
Suck on all of that, Duke Caboom.
You know Keanu Reeves, who voiced the bombastic stunt driver in the Pixar movie, watched all the Evel Knievel footage he could. He did nothing wrong. Pixar just kinda never told the Knievel estate would be based “loosely” on Evel.
In the suit, K&K allege that “producers did not seek permission or approval to base their character on Knievel.” They also point out the Duke Caboom toy depicted in the film is a near replica of the original Evel Knievel toy, first produced in 1973 and still sold today. (And, they’re right!)
Regretfully, this isn’t the first time Pixar has been sued for “borrowing” an idea. Upon the release of Onward, the magical van in the film was allegedly stolen from a San Francisco artist who claims the company stole her artwork under “wickedly misleading pretenses.”
Given this dirt track record, there’s still no telling if any lawsuit against Pixar will come to fruition. However, what do you think? Is Duke Caboom and his cycle direct rip-offs from the Evel Knievel estate? It’s close enough to look twice. And if you dare, enjoy this… as it has been said: He dresses like Elvis and breaks his pelvis! Literally.