Disney Is Being Sued For Stealing A Song For Popular Movie Franchise
Disney is being sued by Daniel Grigson for allegedly stealing his music for the Frozen II song "Some Things Never Change."
The Walt Disney Company is being sued for ripping off a decades-old song when creating the soundtrack for Frozen II. According to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court, plaintiff Daniel Grigson claims that the track “Some Things Never Change” copies several aspects of his song “That Girl,” including melodies, chords, and lyrics. Representatives for the entertainment giant, as well as songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, have yet to comment on the accusations.
According to Reuters, Grigson told the court that he runs an educational nonprofit called the Sprout Experience and has a very public history of writing original music for children. As part of his charitable efforts, his band Neccos for Breakfast released “That Girl” in 1999. Court documents say the original track was streamed over 100,000 times in 2014 via a music site called Trusonic. Much like the Disney hit, the song is also available on major streaming platforms.
After discovering that Disney stole his song for Frozen II, Grigson hired a music analyst named Robert Tomaro to compare the tracks. Tomaro, a musicologist and symphony conductor by profession, found several significant similarities between “That Girl” and “Some Things Never Change.” This included their melodic structure, rhythm sections, and chord progressions.
Most notably, the chorus of “That Girl” features the lyric “some people never change.” The plaintiff explained that the Disney song’s similarities were so striking that it caught him off guard when he took his wife and children to see Frozen II in 2019. According to the complaint, his 11-year-old daughter leaned over to him and said, “Dad, Disney took your song.”
Now, Daniel Grigson wants the entertainment company to hand over profits from the song. He also wants them to stop using the track, TMZ reports. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, from a script they co-wrote with Marc Smith, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and Robert Lopez, Frozen II was released in 2019 as a sequel to 2013’s Frozen.
Set three years after the original, the story follows Anna and Elsa as they travel to an enchanted forest to unravel the origin of Elsa’s magical power. They are accompanied by Kristoff, his reindeer Sven, and the snowman Olaf on a journey that’s filled with adventure and Disney songs. Following its release, Frozen II received positive reviews for its craftsmanship, delivery, and themes.
But its narrative and focus drew some criticism, while the Disney songs received a mixed reaction. Still, the film earned $1.450 billion at the global box office, finishing its theatrical run as the third highest-grossing movie of 2019. The project also had the highest-grossing worldwide opening of all time for an animated film.
Produced by Peter Del Vecho, the film featured the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, and Jonathan Groff. The soundtrack album was released on November 15, 2019, after a version of Panic! at the Disco’s take on “Into the Unknown” received radio airplay. Ironically, Frozen II received a nomination for Best Original Song at the 92nd Academy Awards, among several other accolades.