Disney Denied Dismissal In Muppet Babies Lawsuit


It’s usually rare when Disney is dragged to court over a lawsuit. The reason being that most of the time whenever someone sues them it quietly goes away, usually due to either an out of court settlement or getting the case dismissed. But it appears that their bid to dismiss the Muppet Babies lawsuit was denied and now must face the suit head-on. 

For those who aren’t aware, back in October of 2020 writer Jeffery Scott, the creator of the popular 1980s cartoon The Muppet Babies, filed a lawsuit against Disney. The lawsuit asserts that that Disney stole his production bible and lifted many elements from the original 1984 version for the 2018 Reboot. Scott claims multiple counts of copyright infringement, fraud and breaking an implied contract.

In April of 2021 the case was seemingly thrown out due to a 2003 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy; But the lawsuit was revived earlier this year in February via the Bankruptcy Trustee. Now in a recent attempt by the Walt Disney Company to get the case dismissed it appears that the house of mouse will be forced to defend themselves in court.

The original Muppet Babies cartoon aired form 1984 – 1991. The series was considered a cult classic and many of the characters would go on to appear in other media such as the 1990 anti-drug PSA Cartoon All-Starts to the Rescue.

In 2018 Disney revived the Muppet Babies in a reboot series that aired on Disney Junior from 2018 – 2022. The show didn’t last as long and was no stranger to controversy. Scott claimed that multiple elements that he created for the 1984 version were lifted for this reboot without any compensation.

The attorney for both Jeffery Scott and the Trustee commented on the Judge’s decision to move the case forward:

My clients were grateful for the Court’s thoughtful dismantling of Disney’s specious arguments, but disappointed that Disney continues to refuse to acknowledge and pay Mr. Scott.

With the case moving forward we could either see the case go through the full legal proceedings or Disney could pull the usual and just pay an undisclosed sum to make the problem go away.

Source: Reuters

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