1. Thailand ruthlessly rips off Disney movies

thailand disney

Disney might have the most ruthless copyright lawyers in the world. This is the same company that essentially re-invented copyright law so they wouldn't lose the rights to Mickey Mouse. They'd toss Walt's frozen head in a wood chipper before letting anyone infringe on their property.

But the maniacs at Thailand's GM Toons are either fearless or stupid. They've concocted a series of CGI "fairy tales" that are clear ripoffs of Disney's specific interpretations. Even though most common fables are in the public domain, putting talking mice in your Cinderella cartoon is a huge no-no. But GM Toons counted on most Americans not being able to point out Thailand on the map, so they went as far as to copy Disney's costume designs and dance sequences

Here, look at the lovely original scene from Cinderella:

Aaaand here's the GM Toons atrocity.

 

 

It looks like someone's trying and failing to run The Sims 2 on their grandma's old turquoise iMac. There's not even any animation going on here, it's just two vacant stares wobbling back and forth in front of sparkly wrapping paper. This wouldn't even get a passing grade in a community college programming class, mostly because it's blatant plagiarism.

 

GM Toons' shameless knockoffs even swipe the packaging for the Disney classics they're riffing on.

aladdin

All GM Toons did was swap out the clothes for Aladdin's main characters and pour the purple MS paint bucket on the genie and boom, the movie is now "Miracle of the Magic Lamp." This whole enterprise is like a kid writing a grade school paper on maple trees by copy/pasting a Wikipedia entry; changing five words isn't going to get it past the teacher.

Even when they switch up the story, there's still Disney DNA over every inch of these Z-grade counterfeit cartoons.

Those are two characters from "The Wild King," an unmistakable ripoff of Scar and one of the hyenas from The Lion King. Even when Disney allegedly pinched Kimba the White Lion for their own movie, they at least put some effort into hiding it. Minus the whole Kimba/Simba thing.

The one part that GM Toons does often tweak are the titles. Something like Sleeping Beauty becomes "Sleeping Laura," and Winnie the Pooh becomes the hilarious "Bearie and the Poo." The most egregious example would have to be 108 Dalmatians, which loses Cruella De Vil and gains horrific racial stereotypes.

108 dalmatians

You can almost see the pitch meeting for this shitshow.

"Well, Disney did 101 Dalmatians, but they also did that live-action sequel 102 Dalmatians. Just to make sure we stay ahead of any more sequels, I say we jump ahead to 108 Dalmatians. They probably won't make that many movies."

"Sold! As long as we include some kind of super offensive character in blackface."

"Way ahead of you. We're gonna make Mr. Popo look like Taylor Swift."

Then again, we're probably giving GM Toons too much credit. It's pretty obvious no one talked to anyone else before this horseshit onto a disc.

 

2. Star Wars gets swiped by Turkey and Brazil

turkish star wars

Of all the nations with lenient copyright laws, Turkey has proven to be the most fertile ground for unauthorized adaptations. Turkish versions of Star Trek, Jaws, Rambo and pretty much every other major Hollywood franchise you can think of have been produced with no oversight from the original rights holders. Unlike the GM Toons catalogue, many of these just use a blockbuster film as a basis, and build out their own story and characters from there.

 

Of course, that doesn't mean something like The Man Who Saved The World won't "borrow" footage directly from Star Wars.

The whole movie -- known simply as "Turkish Star Wars" to its ample cult following -- is a strange hodgepodge of newsreels and original footage that have next to nothing to do with George Lucas' classic series. They even take music from all sorts of movies; listen closely and you can hear some Indiana Jones during a space battle. It's... kind of awesome.

Even the characters are all completely different, from the horn-helmeted villain to the... god dammit, again with this racist bullshit?

turkish star wars

On one hand, it's sort of endearing to see what these filmmakers can scrape together with basically no budget and a liberal definition of the term "fair use." On the other hand, they probably would have been better off creating their own thing, preferably without abhorrent paper mache caricatures of other races as stand-ins for "aliens." 

Of course, when we're talking about a brand as huge as Star Wars, there were bound to be a few other "takes" on the franchise.

vader brazil

Brazil's "The Tramps in Planet Wars," is less of a direct ripoff of Star Wars and more of a parody. That would make it more of a Brazilian Spaceballs, if Tramps hadn't beaten the Mel Brooks classic to theaters by almost a decade. But just because it was first, that doesn't mean it was any good. Yes, the gold Darth Vader suit and cheesy bootleg Stormtroopers are kind of rad, but the whole production has a skeezy veneer. The plot boils down to a few guys trying to get laid, but you know, in space. Not even Goodwill Wig Chewbacca beating the shit out of some homeless Jawas can make up for that. 

Oh but don't worry, we're not done with Turkey. Not if evil serial killer Spider-Man has anything to do about it.