Posters of Pixar's "Cars" (left) and "The Autobots" with striking resemblance.
Disney and Pixar were compensated with more than 1.35 million yuan (4,115) from a Chinese copycat studio, Pudong New Area People's Court said yesterday.
"The Autobots," made by the animation studio Blue MTV and released by G-Point Film in July 2015, had been bombarded by online and other critics saying it was a poorly made copy of the hit film series "Cars."
Blue MTV released a public letter the same month, insisting "The Autobots" was its independently produced film that didn't have any connection to "Cars."
According to the court, judging from the movie poster, the Chinese title of "The Autobots" was so similar with that used by "Cars," a misunderstanding was easily caused.
Also, the leading characters of the Chinese film bore a high resemblance to those in "Cars" — from eyes, mouths and body colors.
Its K1 and K2 looked very similar to Lightning McQueen and Francesco Bernoulli in the 2006 and 2011 "Cars" movies, the court said.
Blue MTV, based in the coastal city of Xiaman, and G-Point Film, based in Beijing, were convicted of unfair competition and copyright infringement.
They were ordered to pay more than 1. 35 million yuan to the filmmaker Pixar and its parent company Disney.