The Shijingshan Amusement Park included a raven-haired woman with seven men in elf suits, a 'Mickey' mouse and other Disney-style characters.

Deputy general manager, Yin Zhiqiang, said: "The characters in our park just look a little bit similar to theirs. But the faces, clothes, sizes and appearances are different."

"We do not have any agreements with Disney."

Despite the striking similarities to foreign characters, Yin insisted the Beijing park's are all locally designed.

"Take our Cinderella as an example. The face of Disney's Cinderella face is European, but ours is a Chinese. She looks like a young Chinese country girl," he said.

At the center of the park is a building labeled "Cinderella's Castle" on park maps. It bears a striking resemblance to the original at Disneyland in California.

                                                                Cinderella's Castle

The copy has led to strained ties with the United States, whose trade deficit with China soared to US$232.5 billion last year.

Over the weeklong May Day holiday, the Shijingshan Amusement Park filled its grounds on Beijing's western suburbs with actors in costumes that resembled Disney and other foreign characters.

A video shot by Japan's Fuji TV showed children cavorting with Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Japan's Hello Kitty and Doraemon.

A banner over the entrance said, "Disney is too far, so please come to Shijingshan."

The banner has now been taken down and none of the cartoon characters were on display, as crisis talks with Disney continue.

An employee who would give only her surname, Li, said the performances usually occur during the summer and holidays.

Lawyers for the park and the Walt Disney Co. were in negotiations, said Yin, the deputy general manager of the park, which is owned by the government of Beijing's Shijingshan District.

"The results will come out in a couple of days," he said.

A Disney spokeswoman, Alannah Goss, declined to comment on the Shijingshan park but sent a statement affirming Disney's determination to fight copying.

"Disney values and protects its intellectual property vigorously and takes reports of suspected infringement very seriously," the statement said.

In a mixup of cartoon images, the castle ticket booth is built to look like Snow White, while a nearby statue of a woman with seven dwarves is the golden-haired Sleeping Beauty.

Two workmen with sledgehammers could be seen tearing down the Sleeping Beauty statue. But Yin, refused to say why.


metro.co.uk
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2 Responses
  1. anney Says:

    Even if they changed the faces, clothes, sizes and appearances of the characters it's still very obvious they copied Disney.


  2. CJD Says:

    Disney characters are all copyrighted so I could easily imagine the sledge hammers coming out. Plagiarism is a huge legal issue and you must get licensing. This is why Disney purchased several story lines and made them family friendly.


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