ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) - When you say, "Santa Paws" just about every kid knows you're talking about the popular movie series from Disney. A dog that nobody wanted ends up saving Christmas for Santa.
That very story idea was copyrighted by 3 men from the St. Louis area in the 1990's. Now those men are suing Disney Enterprises claiming the company stole their idea.
"We have the copyright of the story book which pre-dated the movies by over a decade," said Albert Watkins, Attorney for the Plaintiffs.
Watkins submitted a DVD into evidence that highlighted the similarities including the use of a magical icicle in the story book and the movie.
Watkins says his clients shopped their idea through a literary agency. He says Disney and others expressed interest in turning their idea into a movie.
Years went by until one day the men discovered the movie was made.
"The very person at the literary agency that was promoting their book called them up and said, congratulations your story book has been made into a film."
The only problem for the men was that Disney never contacted them.
Watkins claims Disney has made millions of dollars off of their Santa Paws movie. A third Santa Paws movie is coming out this fall.
"They had it stolen and made into a movie and that sucks," said Watkins.
A federal judge is considering whether there are substantial similarities between the story book and the movie. If she rules in favor of the Plaintiffs, then a jury will hear the case.
We contacted Disney Enterprises for a comment but did receive a response.
A Facebook page has been created showing support for the men with the story book.