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PB idea that's the same topic as a Disney film

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I thought I'd had a great idea for a picture book but while researching I discovered Disney had made a movie on the same subject (so I guess it was a good idea!). Does this mean I should say goodbye to my PB or if I can make it different can I still go for it? I was thinking of going down the non-fiction PB route for this whereas Disney is fictionalised with talking animals galore.
Disney movie is Valliant (I'd never heard of it!)
#1 - January 08, 2017, 08:40 AM
Twitter: @ChristineNEvans

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A subject, in itself, is never off limits just because someone else (even if it's Disney) dealt with it. And you're planning to treat it quite a bit differently? Definitely go for it.
#2 - January 08, 2017, 10:27 AM
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I think the topic of carrier pigeons in WWII is a great one! There's much more you can do with it, fictionally and nonfictionally, that would not conflict at all.
#3 - January 08, 2017, 11:23 AM
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Yup, I agree with the others. I have also heard Disney is notorious for copyright infringement, so just make sure your idea doesn't take the Disney-specific ones and use them. Good luck!
#4 - January 08, 2017, 11:38 AM
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Yes, my editor was quite concerned while I was writing CINDER EDNA that I not even use Disney's CINDERELLA as a jumping off place. In other words, I had to be sure that all the humor, ideas, jokes, images, etc. were based on Perrault's version of the story, which is in the public domain.

Disney is VERY litigious. They once sued the owner of a childcare facility for painting pictures of Mickey Mouse on the walls--I kid you not. They have an entire department of lawyers ready to defend their copyright. Publishers all know about this.

BUT what people are telling you is true--you absolutely can write your own book on the topic. And even more so if yours is nonfiction and theirs is fiction. No one stopped writing about elephants after Disney produced Dumbo. No one stopped writing about lions after they did the Lion King. It's quite doable. Go for it.
#5 - January 08, 2017, 01:52 PM
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Thank you so much everyone for your comments and insights. I'm feeling positive about my story again now!
#6 - January 08, 2017, 01:53 PM
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Yes to Disney being very litigious. There's a local bar and grill called Grumpy's Pub and Grub. They used a painting of the Disney dwarf. Disney seriously must have eyes everywhere. Although, all the place did was paint a big cloud with a question mark in the middle of it to blank out Grumpy's face, and apparently that was enough.
#7 - January 08, 2017, 07:02 PM
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