Disney and others behind the wildly popular "Toy Story 4" just got slapped with a lawsuit from the estate of legendary stuntman Evel Knievel. K&K Promotions, a company that claims rights to Knievel's image and likeness, is suing Disney, Pixar, and others for their liberal use of Knievel’s persona in the beloved family film.
The lawsuit refers to the daredevil character Duke Caboom in the movie. “Toy Story” creators weren’t exactly trying to hide the similarities between Caboom, voiced by Keanu Reeves, and Evel Knievel. Kelly Knievel, son, and spokesperson for K&K said: “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."
They allege that producers did not seek permission or approval to base their character on Knievel. They also point out that the toy depicted in the film, atop a wind-up motorcycle, is a near replica of the original Evel Knievel toy, first produced in 1973 and still sold today. I LOVED that toy. My cousin Tommy had one and we played with it like crazy. Full disclosure... it was impossible to make the toy Evil Knievel do ANYTHING they showed in the commercial, so it was sort of a rip off, but that's how it was with EVERY toy in the 70's. On TV, they basically had the right to lie to kids about anything. Oh well.
Any way, back to the lawsuit... Let's be real... Duke Caboom is an EXACT rip off. It's amazing they even tried to get away with it. Check out these videos, courtesy of YouTube.
photo: Getty Images. Videos Courtesy of YouTube