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Disney allegedly stole artwork, sold it in its park, and tried to cover it up

When Andrew Martin created a fan-art sculpture of one of the Tiki drummers from Disney's attraction the Enchanted Tiki Room, he planned on turning it into a tip bucket for a Tiki drink night at a local bar.

"I wanted to make a full size one that when people put money in, there'd be a sensor and it would start drumming and playing music," the Canadian artist told Mashable. "It was way too ambitious for the amount of time I had to actually do it, so it never actually came to fruition."

Instead, he sculpted it during a seven-hour livestream in 2018 and posted the design online so other people could 3D print the sculpture, too. Then, earlier this year, Disney started selling what Martin argues is the exact same sculpture as a 50th Anniversary commemorative music box for $125.

SEE ALSO:Pixar's LGBTQ employees say Disney censors same-sex affectionSculptor Andrew Martin's sculpture in front of Disney'sThese two things look... very much alike.Credit: Courtesy Andrew Martin

"About three weeks ago a friend of mine, through Instagram, was like, 'Hey, Disney's selling this music box. This looks a lot like your version.' And he sent me an image of it," Martin said. "I'm like, 'that does look a lot like mine,' and then did a one-to-one comparison of mine just to make sure. And it's 100 percent the one I did."

The same imperfections and details on Martin's sculpture are shown on Disney's, too. No credit was given to Martin, even after he reached out to the company multiple times and posted about it to the tune of millions of views on TikTokand Instagram

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Martin, who posts under the pseudonym Monstercaesar even found the Disney product designer who claimed to design the Tiki drummer. The social media accounts for the product designer have since been taken down, according to Martin.

The art is no longer available on Disney's online store, but, according to some park-goers, it's still being sold at some stores. Disney did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Mashable.

Martin, meanwhile, is selling "art worth stealing" merchandise in the classic Disney font, spreading the word about his sculpture, and continuing to try to talk to anyone at Disney who might have some answers for him.

"I'm very much a Disney fan," Martin said, adding that he loves going to the parks and appreciates the artists who do work at Disney — and don't steal work. But this experience is souring him on that. "If, or when, I do go back to Disneyland, it's going to be a little bit less easy to appreciate what I used to like about it."

Plagiarism sure can suck the magic out of something.


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