Frozen is one of the biggest hits ever from a studio that knows a thing or two about hits. However, somebody has their eye on some of that sweet, sweet, Frozen cash, as the movie is now being sued. Specifically, Disney is being sued over the iconic song “Let it Go.” Spanish pop singer Jaime Ciero is suing because he claims the song was based on his own 2008 song “Volar.” His suit names Disney, of course, but also Idina Menzel who sang “Let it Go” in the movie, and even Selena Gomez, who sang the radio version of the tune.
According to the legal filing, Jaime Ciero claims the two songs share note combinations, structures, hooks, melodies, lyrics, themes, production, and textures, which sounds like about every possible element you could name in a song. He’s seeking a share of the profits as compensation, but not just the profits of the film, but also the music, the marketing, and more. Considering how much of a cash cow Frozen has been for Disney, that’s no small chunk of change.
Jaime Ciero claims his song “Volar” was a massive hit in 2008 that received global airplay and ended up on numerous music charts. That part of the argument is important because simply proving that the two songs are similar is far from what’s necessary to win a lawsuit like this one. Even if the similarities between the two songs are obvious, the person bringing the suit has to prove that the defendants actually heard, or likely would have heard, the first song. Without that, there’s no way to know that the writers of “Let it Go,” husband and wife team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, didn’t just write a similar song completely on their own. We’re assuming they’re also specifically named in the lawsuit, though TMZ does not say.
This isn’t the only high profile lawsuit that Disney has had to deal with recently regarding one of their major film properties. There has been an ongoing legal battlebetween the company and a man who claims he had the original the idea of the skeleton pirates that were central to the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The studio was also sued by somebody claiming they had originally pitched the company on the idea that became Zootopia. Regardless of the validity of the claim here, lawsuits are, at least to some extent, the cost of doing business.
Disney has yet to comment publicly on the suit We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this one, as Frozen is coming back into the public eye once again, thanks to Olaf’s Frozen Adventure currently screening before Pixar’s Coco, which comes out prior to Frozen 2 currently set for 2019.
By DIRK LIBBEY