Disney is being sued by Evel Knievel’s estate over claims that it used the stunt performer’s likeness in Toy Story 4.
In legal documents seen by TMZ, K&K Promotions have filed a lawsuit against Disney and Pixar claiming that the character is a clear copy of Knievel.
They allege that Disney did not seek permission to use his likeness, which they own, and that the character is a near replica of the original Evil Knievel toy from the 1970s, in which the stuntman is sat on a wind-up motorcycle.
Knievel’s son, Kelly, said of the lawsuit: “Evel Knievel did not thrill millions around the world, break his bones and spill his blood just so Disney could make a bunch of money.
“He remains an instantly recognised icon, as demonstrated by the huge popularity of the re-issued Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle among kids who hadn’t even been born when my father died a dozen years ago.”
K&K also claim that Disney instructed the Toy Story 4 cast to avoid using Knievel’s names during interviews.
In a statement shared with The Independent, the Walt Disney Company said: “The claims are without merit and we intend to defend against them vigorously in court.”
Knievel, who died in 2007, was best known for performing a range of dangerous stunts on motorbike, including jumping over the Caesar’s Palace fountains in Las Vegas and riding over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium.