A copyright case over a Hollywood blockbuster looks strong on
paper, but the plaintiff may have trouble when he gets in the ring.
BY ANDREW GOLDBERG
A paunchy panda with a taste for Chinese food and a dream of becoming a kung fu master walks into the restaurant where he works as a waiter. There, he meets up with his martial arts mentor, a small red panda wielding chopsticks as weapons. Soon, backed by
five kung fu–fighting friends—a crane, a mantis, a monkey, a snake, and a
tiger—the panda is training to battle an evil animal antagonist to save the
Valley of Peace.
Sounds familiar, right? Of course. It’s the story of Po, the star of DreamWorks Animation’s 2008 animated hit Kung Fu Panda, which grossed more
than $630 million in box office sales worldwide and $100 million in DVD
sales and spawned a popular video game, an online virtual world, and a potential blockbuster sequel set for release on May 26.