Top 7 Characters That Fans Are Reluctant to Call Blatant Ripoffs

It’s time for another Top 7 list, everybody!

At Iridium Eye, originality and innovation are often celebrated here. I’ll applaud some movies and series that I don’t care about as much if I can tell they’re actually trying to be unique. It can be amazing seeing some fully original concepts, storylines, and certainly characters on the screen. Unfortunately, some characters are just plain freaking unoriginal, period! There are some examples like the Rubber Robo Gang from Medabots being a wannabe-never-was Team Rocket from Pokemon in terms of concept and execution. Kayley from Quest for Camelot has been bashed for looking way too similar to Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Also, I can’t be the only person who thinks that Aunt Figg from the first Tom and Jerry movie totally looks like a human version of Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Those examples are easy targets since few fans would ever try to defend those pieces of media.

This is not one of those times.

Some characters are just blatant and shameless ripoffs of other characters, but for some inexplicable reason, people are scared to call them out as such. Sure, sometimes people legitimately don’t know about the characters who got cloned. There are some variables like people being too afraid or in denial to ever criticize things they like. While I’m not the first person to make a list about ripoff characters, I’m approaching this from a different angle by emphasizing various characters who seem to get a free pass despite being unoriginal (or at worst being walking copyright infringement cases that haven’t been filed). Of course, so many people are dyed in the wool with what they enjoy to the point where they don’t want to admit the flaws of a blatant lack of innovative concepts. Isn’t that right, Kid Lykos?

Great googly moogly, I can’t believe I just used a BritWres meme for a post like this. Thank you to all two of you who appreciate the reference. Boy, I’m a blogger of many ironic contradictions! Hahahaha! Okay, here’s some of my guidelines for this post.

1: Only one character per movie/series for each ripoff character (this drastically affects two of my choices), but the characters who are from the same movie/series who did get ripped off can be represented more than once.

2: Similarities that will be emphasized…looks, personalities, actions, roles in their stories, and how intentional these similarities are. Also, some characters have even been admitted to be ripoffs by their creators or by actual legal action against them.

3: No homages, analogs, or parodies will be used.

4: Ripoffs who are more popular than their originals will be affected on this list.

5: A lot of this will be ordered by personal opinion alongside these other guidelines, but to be really honest with you, I know multiple examples are inarguable especially with the ones higher up on the list.

Alright, everyone! Let’s find out who some of the most acclaimed clones are that people are just too reluctant to call out. I may or may not have had some ulterior intentions while making this list. People should also be thankful I didn’t know about these cases when I was younger or I would have done everything in my power to insult those who have insulted the things I like(d) then even though I rarely ever make fun of people. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!


Ripoff: Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Debuted in 2001
Character she ripped off: Nadia from Nadia: Secret of Blue Water
Debuted in 1990

That’s right, I’m kicking things off with a Disney ripoff of an anime character. If you think that’s a bridge too far, then feel free to stop reading and turn back because things are going to get much worse. I know Kida isn’t part of the Disney Princess Breakfast Club like Ariel, Cinderella, Jasmine, or eventually Raya (calling it right now!), but this should still give people pause. Atlantis may not be a top name for film plagiarism controversies, but this still needs to be addressed with her and multiple characters. Kida and Nadia are both Black princesses from Atlantis, often wear bikini tops, sport long earrings, have dead parents, fall in love with the nerdy lead character, and they both have mystical blue necklaces tied to Atlantean powers. I’m surprised Gainax/Hideaki Anno fans don’t bash Disney as much for stealing from Nadia: Secret of Blue Water as they accuse Pacific Rim of doing to Neon Genesis Evangelion (even I wouldn’t go THAT far with both properties and yes, I’ve seen both). I’m aware that both works are influenced by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but there were some eerie similarities with both Gainax’s inaugural TV series alongside Disney’s movie from the early 00s. Come on, Mickey Mouse! Even Nadia was around in America before you made that steampunk movie. This is probably the least egregious of the examples I can mention because I’ve got 6 more after this.

Also, I strongly recommend Ashley Capes’s article about the Nadia/Atlantis plagiarism controversy which goes really in-depth about this issue!


Ripoff: Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story series
Debuted in 1995
Character he ripped off: Meteora from The Christmas Toy
Debuted in 1985

For those who haven’t read my review of The Christmas Toy months ago or at the very least didn’t know about the plagiarism controversy associated with Toy Story, you’re thinking this: “Oh, come on! They don’t even look alike and they’re completely different genders!”. They certainly don’t look the same which I’ll agree with the naysayers over there, but I’m going to refute the notion that they aren’t alike in other ways. Let me break it down for those who haven’t seen Jim Henson’s obscure Christmas movie. A science fiction toy is a present for a child in a suburban home where toys come to life when the humans aren’t around. Said toy is seen to be a threat by another toy (one with orange, black and white as part of their color palette) to possibly replace them as the favorite. Flight is associated with the character when it comes to actual powers. They legitimately believe they’re on an alien planet, talk like they’re in a sci-fi movie, have robot archenemies, and even have an arrogant disposition that stems from them actually believing they aren’t toys at first, but are suddenly convinced that they actually are by the rest of these playthings. This description PERFECTLY fits both the Space Ranger as well as the Queen of the Asteroids and that’s not even debatable. Watch The Christmas Toy and I dare you to call me a liar. Over the past year or so, I’ve been realizing how unoriginal Pixar has been with their works and Buzz Lightyear isn’t the only Pixar character to be on this list. Oh…we’ll get to that OTHER one later.


Ripoff: Thanos from the Avengers series
Debuted in 1973 (comics), 1998 (animated debut with Silver Surfer), 2012 (cinematic debut with Avengers)
Character he ripped off: Darkseid from Justice League
Debuted in 1971 (comics), 1984 (animated debut with Super Friends), 2021 (cinematic debut with Zack Snyder’s Justice League)

I sometimes feel bad for DC fans and this is coming from someone who was more of a Marvel guy when I was a kid. If anyone would’ve guessed that Thanos would be one of the most popular movie supervillains, then they must be Nostradamus. Even though I knew who he was due to the ill-fated Silver Surfer cartoon in the late 90s or any of the Capcom fighting games with Marvel characters (Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter, and especially Marvel Vs. Capcom 2), I also knew who Darkseid was because of the 90s Superman animated series. What I didn’t know was that the leader of planet Apokolips existed first. It sucks that some idiots think that Darkseid is a Thanos ripoff just because the Mad Titan just happened to get the silver screen treatment first going back to that brief scene in the first Avengers movie. What they don’t realize is that the Lord of Destruction predates the alien with the finger snap of doom by two years in the comics! Yeah, put that in your pipe and smoke it, Marvel fans. The similarities between the two are noticeable. Both of them are alien dictators of their respective home worlds, managed to get power from fallen civilizations before them, are associated with death (or anti-life in Darkseid’s case), both have huge god complexes, are insanely muscular, and have plans involving the multiverse at large. If you think that I’m being a conspiracy theorist with these similarities, then wait until you read this quote from Thanos’s creator where he originally planned to steal from Metron from DC’s New Gods series before being told to steal from Darkseid:

“That was the one exception where there some long term plotting on Thanos. [Jack] Kirby had done the New Gods, which I thought was terrific. He was over at DC at the time. I came up with some things that were inspired by that. You’d think that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, but that was not the case when I showed up. In my first Thanos drawings, if he looked like anybody, it was Metron. I had all these different gods and things I wanted to do, which became Thanos and the Titans. Roy took one look at the guy in the Metron-like chair and said : “Beef him up! If you’re going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!”

HAHA! See?! Even Marvel wanted Jim Starlin to rip off one of DC’s top villains! It gets even better when a crossover comic just happened to lean into this issue with this page.

Dang, successful troll is successful! I can’t believe I never realized the similarities between these two intergalactic comic book baddies or that anyone would admit to stealing from another character.


Ripoff: Graf Orlok from Nosferatu
Debuted in 1922
Character he ripped off: Count Dracula from Dracula
Debuted in 1897 (book), 1921 (cinematic debut with Dracula’s Death)

No one is safe for this Top 7! I made some uncomfortable observations for Disney fans and superhero fans, but now I’m going after the horror movie buffs as well as the classic film connoisseurs. [Lightning flashes in the background] HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

I felt kind of stupid because I actually watched Nosferatu for a homework assignment in my World Cinema class in my college days, but I don’t believe that I realized then that the German silent movie was literally a work of plagiarism! That movie was an “unofficial” (I use that term loosely) adaptation of Dracula by Irish author Bram Stoker, but never got the rights to adapt the work. Stoker’s descendants sued F. W. Murnau’s film, won the lawsuit, and even destroyed a ton of copies of Nosferatu. However, some copies survived and that silent film was only able to exist due to piracy if you really think about it. How is it that film is one of the few media out there where plagiarism is actually acceptable or even critically acclaimed (not that I care about Rotten Tomatoes, but Nosferatu ranks at 97% Fresh there)?

Let’s talk about the similarities. Both of them are vampires (obviously), are counts, are originally from Transylvania, and have an association with rats with Dracula being able to summon them and with Orlok bringing on an infestation when he’s in town. However, Dracula doesn’t play up Anti-Semitic undertones or implications like Graf Orlok in Murnau’s movie, so the original has that going for him. Besides that, I realized that Alucard from Hellsing’s first name is Nosferatu and his name is literally “Dracula” backwards, so maybe that anime was trying to reference both? It’s an odd homage, to say the least. Anyways, plagiarism really sucks especially when people get rewarded for it. More creators should grow a pair…of fangs. Yes, I got that joke from The Key of Awesome in the “Emo Vampire” video. Wow, that reference is dated!


Ripoff: K9999 from The King of Fighters series
Debuted in 2001 (The King of Fighters 2001 game)
Character he ripped off: Tetsuo Shima from Akira
Debuted in 1982 (manga), 1988 (anime movie)

Okay, so I’m kind of cheating a bit by putting a video game character on this list, but K9999 (pronounced K-Four-Nine) DESERVES to be on a list like this one. Besides, there have been adaptations of The King of Fighters around up to and including the first anime review I’ve done on the site with Another Day if anyone has been here since day one. SNK is certainly influenced by a ton of anime and references it in the KOF series which I have no issue with. You have examples with Benimaru Nikaido modeled after Polnareff from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Chris being the modern-day Swedish analog of Seta Sojiro from Rurouni Kenshin (no, I’m still not forgiving Nobuhiro Watsuki, but I’m using that character as an example), or even referencing Evangelion twice with Yuri Sakazaki saying “Anta baka?” for a taunt or Iori Yagami’s desperation super move totally parodying Unit-01 going berserk. With that being said, there’s a difference between homage, parody, and straight-up theft.

People can make a very strong case of K9999 being in a ripoff list as well as being #1 in certain other circumstances. Both the KOF character and Tetsuo have red capes, a disembodied right arm that can expand, have psychokinetic powers, can project barriers, have brash personalities, drive motorcycles, and are characters who happen to be experiments (K9999 is an altered clone of the main character Kyo Kusanagi), but the kicker is that both characters are VOICED BY THE SAME SEIYUU! I’m not making this up, Nozomu Sasaki is probably the only actor on earth to play both the original character and his knock-off version. That actually happened. If you think this is crazy, then check out this video compilation of both K9999 in the KOF video games with footage from Akira. Even if you don’t know Japanese, you can clearly tell some of his dialogue is verbatim. Also, the Kusanagi character as seen in this video (not to be confused with Kyo since he’s another clone) is voiced by Mitsuo Iwata who is the voice of Shotaro Kaneda himself! Holy Haohmaru, SNK was REALLY leaning into the Akira references way too hard!

KUSANAGIIIII….I mean, KANEDAAAAAA!! Don’t lie, your jaw dropped when it got to that part of the video assuming you weren’t laughing your butt off with how blatant the thievery was. Tetsuo is certainly an unstable menace, but he’s on my short list of anime characters who got shamelessly ripped off. SNK stopped using the K9999 character after The King of Fighters 2002 and replaced him with Nameless who doesn’t infringe any copyrights even if he kind of looks like Black Jack (as in the Osamu Tezuka character) fusion danced with Sasuke Uchiha, but that’s beside the point. The only thing that’s stopping me from putting this shameless ripoff character from the higher spots is that more people know about Tetsuo or at the very least the Akira movie than this blue-haired fighting game clone.


Ripoff: Elastigirl from The Incredibles
Debuted in 2004
Character she ripped off: Elasti-Girl from Doom Patrol
Debuted in 1963 (comics), 2003 (animated debut with Teen Titans), 2018 (live action debut with Titans)

I told you there would be another example of Pixar being shameless thieves. If you’re going to name a superheroine, then at least have the decency to not use the same name, hyphen or not! I was certainly more familiar with Mrs. Incredible first since I saw that movie a long time ago and I wasn’t aware of the Doom Patrol team. Although if we’re really honest with ourselves, The Incredibles is basically a PG version of Watchmen if you really truly think about it. Superhero registration act? Check. Superheroes having to be in hiding and not having to use their powers or their costumes lest they be chastised? Check. Plot to kill superpowered beings around the world? Check. Weight gain subplot with one of the main characters? Check. Characters who are analogs and/or deconstructive parodies of other superheroes? Check.

Well, except for the woman with the plasticity powers that is. I thought Helen Parr was a gender-swap parody analog of Mr. Fantastic when I first watched this movie given some of the Fantastic Four parallels (The Thing/Mr. Incredible, Invisible Girl/Violet, Human Torch/Jack Jack), but I was SO wrong.

For those scoring at home, I mentioned TWO DC characters with legitimate ripoffs and I feel sorry for DC fans that know about these issues. That’s not even getting into the controversy of the X-Men ripping off that superhero team since both of them involve outcast mutant heroes led by a wheelchair-bound man, one of the members having “Beast” as part of a superhero name (more on that later), and a villainous faction called the Brotherhood of Evil. Let’s break down the similarities with these superheroines besides their code names. They both have the ability to stretch themselves (obviously), size-shifting (although the DP character can turn into a giant or someone minuscule), and both of them have very similar last names with the Incredibles one’s surname being Parr while the DC character’s surname is Farr. Both characters are married and become moms in their own right. Rita Farr however is an adoptive parent as her adoptive son is actually Beast Boy in the comics. Yes, as in the Teen Titans character, everyone. I was shocked that DC or their parent company Warner Bros. didn’t try to sue Disney/Pixar when their famous superhero movie came out given the rivalry between both of them. Instead, Helen Parr had to be called Mrs. Incredible with the toys. Come on, if the Doom Patrol IP came out after The Incredibles, all the Disney fans would crap all over DC for ripping off their favorite action mom. You know that would happen if the situation was reversed. Seriously, if you were to ask anyone about when it comes to hearing the superhero name of both characters, then I guarantee you that most people would think about The Incredibles character before the Doom Patrol one. Pixar, I know you know better, so stop trying to be like your parent company by making all these unoriginal characters with this many specific similarities even though people defend them no matter what.

SPOILER ALERT! I guess this would be a perfect transition to my #1 pick even though I know some of you were thinking about the next example or something from that same IP if anyone is familiar with Iridium Eye. Here goes nothing…


Ripoff: Scar from The Lion King
Debuted in 1994
Character he ripped off: Claw from Kimba the White Lion/Jungle Emperor Leo series
Debuted in 1950 (manga), 1965 (animated debut with Kimba the White Lion)

Let’s keep this 100, everybody. If you didn’t grow up in the 60s/70s or lived in Japan, the only reason why you and/or ANYONE watched anything involving Kimba the White Lion is because of finding out about The Lion King plagiarism controversy. Ask anyone who has watched this old-school anime as to which character stands out the most when it comes to being shamelessly cloned by Disney, and I guaran-flipping-tee you that the answer will be Claw by a savanna mile! There is absolutely no way I wasn’t going to put Scar on this list because I don’t see anybody calling him out as a copyright infringement case that just happened to not go to court even with all the painfully obvious similarities between these evil lion characters. I wouldn’t have been so forgiving to Mickey Mouse if I was Osamu Tezuka’s son Makoto, but that’s a story for another day.

For those of you who haven’t read my reviews of Kimba, Jungle Emperor Leo: Hon-O-Ji, or even my Top 7 Underrated Anime Villains list, let me educate you about how both Claw and Scar are alike:

-Black manes
-Wounded left eyes
-Dark fur
-Takes over the main character’s respective kingdoms after the father lion gets murdered (Claw doesn’t kill Caesar, but the timing is still there)
-Noted rivalry with said father lion who was also the original king of the animals
-Gravelly baritone voices (okay, they have different accents, but still…)
-Hyena cronies around them

There were actually other comparisons that I legitimately didn’t think about after those posts or just pointing out the obvious things about both feline villains. For starters, Yesterworld did a video essay called The Lion King Lie, and he pointed out that both characters’ respective names are a before and after situation of sorts (claws leave scars), and even brought up the deleted scene of Scar coaxing Nala to be his queen (although this plot point is used in the Broadway version). Despite him making the mistake of confusing her with Sarabi, he was corrected by a commenter and since Claw does have a storyline in the anime of trying to get Kimba’s girlfriend Kitty/Lyra to be his queen when she’s older, this makes Scar even MORE of a ripoff when you realize that the lioness is the Original Nala for crying out loud! Major props to Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews for telling me about that video! Also, I have to thank Fiddletwix for her review of The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride where she mentions that Scar, Kovu, and Nuka are based on Barbary lions (a breed where the males have natural black manes). Guess what? Osamu Tezuka intentionally made Claw a Barbary lion when making his story. Coincidence? I think not!

If anyone tried to pull off that strawman argument of “Well, it’s common to have the same animals in a jungle or savanna environment.” (also paraphrased from Lion King co-director Rob Minkoff), then I’m going to immediately clap back and say “Explain Scar, then.” No one has ever been able to make a good counterargument against me whether online or offline when it comes to me rightfully calling Scar a shameless and literal copycat. Sadly, there are people who still deny this and the other cases that have been documented like how I saw a YouTube comment involving a highlight of a certain video essay from a famous YouTuber talking about this issue and said something along the lines of “Scar is based on Shere Khan.” I couldn’t handle the sheer stupidity of that comment. Sites like WhatCulture and Cracked were too cowardly to even mention this character in their downplaying of the comparisons between Kimba and TLK. Disney STILL keeps this facade of their movie being an “original work” for over two decades of denial. Yeah, I just parodied a lyric from “Be Prepared” to drive that point home. Why aren’t more Lion King fans acknowledging these things? I swear there are so many scaredy-cats (or should I say cowardly lions?) who wouldn’t even dare challenge the House of Mouse with how unoriginal this character is or anyone in the first movie who isn’t Timon and Pumbaa. For real, you know it’s bad when I’ve seen far more people online call out Buzz Lightyear for stealing from Meteora than when it comes to Disney not even trying to create a unique villain for this movie.

If you consider Scar to be one of the best Disney villains, movie villains, or villains of all time, then I better not see you call any other character a ripoff EVER AGAIN! I’ve even been tempted to go to mainstream movie blogs or at the very least Disney-related blogs and straight-up school people for liking a clone of an anime villain as a kind of indirect revenge against people who insulted me. Ever since I finished watching Kimba the White Lion years ago, I have asked myself this question when it comes to other characters who are obvious clones: “Is this character as big of a ripoff as Scar?”. That’s right, this British-accented lion doppelganger is my benchmark when it comes to un-originality when I deal with these controversies. Back when I used to watch A Dose of Buckley ages ago, there was a great variation of a quote he says: “Imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery. It’s the laziest form of creation.” Despite how good the animation is for The Lion King, Disney was beyond lazy when they had to filch from a 60s anime villain for one of their critically acclaimed antagonists. This ticks me off to this day how people still defend all the unsavory things involving this cursed movie franchise that owes everything to Osamu Tezuka, Solomon Linda, and even 90 million Swahili speakers. Keep lying to yourselves that this copycat and this franchise are original. Go on, I dare you to keep telling yourself that.

As I calm myself down, that was the list. I guess some of my entries are predictable, but what did you think? Were you aware of some of these examples? What other characters can you think of that are shameless ripoffs that no one seems to call them out on being ripoffs? Thanks for reading, everybody.

All photos and videos are property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws.

The someecards image is from Pinterest.

#CCK is Kid Lykos and Chris Brookes and the GIF is from Insane Journal.

Kida is from Atlantis: The Lost Empire and is property of the Walt Disney Corporation. The image is from and is property of The Walt Disney Corporation.

Nadia is from Nadia: Secret of Blue Water and is property of Gainax and Sentai Filmworks. The GIF is from Amino Apps and is property of Gainax and Sentai Filmworks.

Buzz Lightyear is from Toy Story and is property of Pixar. The picture from Toy Story 4 is from Pinterest and is property of Pixar.

Meteora is from The Christmas Toy and is property of the Jim Henson Company, Lionsgate, and HIT Entertainment. The screenshot is from Scripts and is property of the Jim Henson Company, Lionsgate, and HIT Entertainment.

Thanos is from the Marvel Universe and is property of Marvel Comics. The screenshot from Avengers: Infinity War is from DisKingdom and is property of Marvel Studios.

Darkseid is from the DC Universe and is property of DC Comics. The screenshot from Zack Snyder’s Justice League is from NME and is property of Zack Snyder, DC Comics, and Warner Bros.

The panel of the DC Vs. Marvel crossover is from Quora and is property of DC Comics and Marvel Comics.

Graf Orlok is from Nosferatu and is property of F. W. Murnau and the Film Arts Guild. The screenshot is from Features Reverse Shot and is property of F. W. Murnau and the Film Arts Guild.

Count Dracula is from Dracula and is property of Bram Stoker. The GIF of Dracula (1931) is from Classic Movie Hub and is property of Tod Browning, Bram Stoker, and Universal.

K9999 is from The King of Fighters series and is property of SNK Playmore. The image of K9999 from The King of Fighters 2001 is from Pinterest and is property of SNK Playmore.

Tetsuo Shima is from Akira and is property of Katsuhiro Otomo. The screenshot is from Pinterest and is property of Katsuhiro Otomo, TMS, and Funimation.

Elastigirl is from The Incredibles and is property of Pixar. The image is from Pinterest and is property of Pixar.

Elasti-girl is from Doom Patrol and is property of DC Comics. The screenshot from Doom Patrol is from YouTube and is property of DC Comics, Warner Bros., and HBO Max.

Scar is from The Lion King and is property of The Walt Disney Company. The GIF is from Pinterest and is property of The Walt Disney Company.

Claw is from Kimba the White Lion/Jungle Emperor Leo and is property of Tezuka Productions. The screenshot from The New Adventures of Kimba the White Lion is property of Tezuka Productions.


    • I can see some GI Joe-isms with the Buzz Lightyear character in the presentation and how he talks. Meteora wasn’t based on GI Joe or any characters from that franchise. I do remember Buzz being named after Buzz Aldrin a long time ago.

      My concerns about those two was how eerily similar their character development and overall role in their respective stories. Sure, Buzz was a main character and Meteora doesn’t show up until the last third of her film, but there were just too many similarities with their characters for it to not be coincidental.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. “There are some examples like the Rubber Robo Gang from Medabots being a wannabe-never-was Team Rocket from Pokemon in terms of concept and execution.”
    Not really; they’re both ineffectual comic relief villains, but that’s about it.
    More importantly, Team Rocket themselves are blatantly based on the villainous trios from the various Time Bokan series, of which the most famous is the Doronjo gang from Yatterman.

    I really think that these, along with K9999 and both Pixar examples fall more into homages, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fair enough. I made that comparison with both groups being comic relief villains collecting things in “Mon” related shows with Team Rocket stealing Pokemon and the Rubber Robo Gang stealing medals and robots in Medabots.

      Great point about the Doronjo Gang influence with Team Rocket. They were certainly influential. Even Grandis and her gang were influenced by them. Although, Jessie does look like Grandis, but that’s a story for another day. Haha!

      The Buzz/Meteora example was way too suspicious with the similarities with their characters and especially their role in their respective stories. The Elastigirl situation is something I take issue with since the Doom Patrol character has been around for several decades and no one decided to give her a different superhero name. Pixar didn’t credit either character which is quite bogus.

      The K9999/Tetsuo case was interesting in that SNK stopped using that character after KOF 2002, but used his replacement Nameless in some recent games again which I do find intriguing. I think they worried about being sued by Katsuhiro Otomo and I know I’m not the only person who thinks that way with how they handled that character.

      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate this dialogue. I do wish more characters would be original.


  2. Thanks for sending folks to my post on ‘Nadia’ 🙂

    I hadn’t realised that there was a Jim Henson text that had been targeted, maybe no surprise considering his influence… but still, disappointing to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No problem! It’s a wonderful post and more people should know about that issue. I knew you would appreciate it when I put Nadia on this list even though you probably could’ve guessed her and two other characters on this list. Haha!

      I know, right? I didn’t know about The Christmas Toy until last year when I saw an article from DBMoviesBlog about it. I just had to watch that movie and when Meteora showed up and saw how she acted, my jaw dropped. I reviewed that movie last December, by the way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re certainly welcome.

        Yup, that certainly was going to be the case. Disney actually owns 5 of the ripoff characters I have on this list if you count Pixar and Marvel. It just bugs me how people give Disney a pass. People shouldn’t be telling me how much Kayley from Quest for Camelot looks like Belle if they love The Lion King or Atlantis. Just saying.

        The Christmas Toy was an interesting watch even though I wouldn’t call it the best movie ever. It was eye-opening especially with the existence of Meteora.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting list! Here’s a coincidence: yesterday I was listening to a movie podcast and they mentioned the fact that Nosferatu is a ripoff of Dracula and eventually many copies were destroyed following the lawsuit by Stoker’s family/estate!

    As for Akira, I didn’t know about that videogame… But when I read Kanedaaaaaa! in my head I heard it exactly like in Otomo’s movie! :–D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for checking out that list, Sam! No way! That is so crazy with the timing of you hearing about the fact that Nosferatu was a work of plagiarism. I didn’t even know that until recently and I first saw it during my university days. Back then, I thought it was just another famous vampire work, but I didn’t know the creator didn’t get the rights for Stoker’s book to make that movie. It only survived with the few copies that did survive.

      Hahaha! I’m glad you had that effect of Tetsuo saying Kaneda that way. I’ve played multiple King of Fighters games when I was a child and in my early teens, but that was before I saw Akira. Just a few years ago, I realized the obvious connection and didn’t even know they got the same voice actor. K9999 even sounds like an older Tetsuo.

      I just wish that people would be more original when they make characters.

      Thanks for checking out my Top 7 list!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Murnau’s Nosferatu demonstrates that sometimes copying can lead to artistic achievements, though. Not thta I’m in favor of plagiarism, but that’s an interesting story… And think of Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars!

        Liked by 1 person

      • There were some iconic scenes like Orlok’s shadow in the Nosferatu movie, so I’ll give them that much. It’s good that you’re not in favor of plagiarism. Funny you bring up A Fistful of Dollars because I’ve reviewed Yojimbo and Sanjuro on this blog. It does annoy me when people get away with blatantly copying things which is why I have really strong feelings against The Lion King and Inception when they stole from Kimba the White Lion and Paprika respectively for example.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t seen Life, so I couldn’t tell you anything, but I’ll take your word for it. Haha! That’s how I felt when I saw Inception when it first came out in theaters since I saw Paprika first years prior to that.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A great idea for the list! I didn’t know anything about Kayley from Quest for Camelot, never watched it and just googled the character. I would have thought it was Belle, hardly any difference or slight differences. Maybe it is Belle when she was 14-16 and in Beauty and the Beast, she is 18!

    Kida from Atlantis and Scar from The Lion King are both just jaw-dropping horrors of plagiarism. Whoever invented those characters must really have had no sense of…shame or respect for other people’s creative work. It was also interesting for me to learn about Nosferatu/Dracula details. I had no idea that Stoker people sued the film and actually won! That’s quite something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Kayley was one of the first characters that came to mind when I remembered a bunch of people saying how she’s such a Belle rip-off with her design (one such reviewer would be the Nostalgia Critic before I stopped watching his videos). Maybe they’re like animated reincarnations living in England and then France. Hahaha! I do wish that Kayley would’ve had a more original design, but those same people who criticized Kayley’s looks probably like some of the characters on this list. Just saying.

      I know, right?! When I’ve shown evidence about the Kimba/Lion King plagiarism case, people have always been shocked when I show a picture of Claw and they typically say “ZOMG, he looks like Scar!!”. My cell phone wallpaper a few years ago was actually some fan art of Claw beating up Scar and that certainly got a reaction from people. It still boggles my mind how people would think that example is coincidental at best even with the painfully obvious similarities and that’s not getting into the actual evidence of Disney totally knowing about that old-school anime. I agree that there was no shame or respect when Disney made Kida or Scar much less most other Atlantis or Lion King characters. I’m glad there’s someone like you who cares about these issues, too.

      The Nosferatu/Dracula issue was something I was a bit ashamed not knowing about the plagiarism with the German movie. The Stoker family did win that case nearly a century ago. Granted, Nosferatu still exists, but it is great that the Stokers did win that case which I feel like it’s a rare thing especially in these days.


      • Yes, I now always have this sinking feeling when people say that The Lion King is the greatest animation of all time. So many people on this planet would say just this – it’s unbelievable. It is like admiring someone’s greatness knowing or suspecting that is built through some minor crime or some gross immorality or through others’ hard work or something like that. I know my example is rather bad taste, but, hopefully, you get my point, something like this. And when people argue about it, the point is also often not so much about who stole from whom, but also the issue of just saying thanks or giving some basic credit to an original creator post-fact.

        And, yes, it is amazing the Stoker family won that case. Speaking of books’ rights infringement and plagiarism – there is a totally different and equally crazy world out there in that respect. One unbelievable and shocking example that comes to mind is the blatant re-writing (not even plagiarism, but pure re-writing – sometimes word-for-word) of Sarah A. Denzil’s thriller “Saving April” by now international best-seller A.J. Finn in his book “The Woman in the Window”. Naturally, Denzil was advised (by her so-called lawyers) NOT to start any court proceedings against Finn.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Same here. Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. I get what you’re saying with that comparison. You certainly know my frustration about the Kimba situation as much as the other things associated with The Lion King as a franchise. What has surprised me which I started to notice around late 2019 (note the year) was that even a few Disney fans who were aware of that controversy started to say that Disney should at minimum apologize and give credit to Osamu Tezuka when it comes to The Lion King. I also can’t wait to see if/when you’re going to review Kimba or making your own plagiarism article like you did with The Snowman/Frozen, The Christmas Toy/Toy Story, just to name a few.

        It really was amazing. That doesn’t surprise me about books’ rights. I wasn’t aware of those books, but that situation sounds ridiculous!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually my The Lion King/Kimba article has been in development for years, and now I am not at all sure if or when I finish it. My main worry now is also, after speaking to you and seeing your website (which is great!) I won’t be able to do all the justice to it or can miss important details. The Kimba series is also quite a ground to cover.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I remember you talking about that article, but I didn’t know it’s been in development for that long. That is a giant undertaking with the original Kimba series being 52 episodes long and that’s not counting the two other TV series (Susume, Leo and The New Adventures of Kimba the White Lion), or the various movies associated with Tezuka’s work. Even I haven’t seen everything Kimba-related although I do want to check out the Symphonic Poem. Thanks for the compliment about how I covered that topic across different reviews and that’s not even counting my posts on The Lion’s Share or La Maison Noir. I’m sure you can do an article like this with your own words. If you want to use one or more of my posts as some references, then that would be cool. It’s like when I reviewed The Snowman, The Christmas Toy, and Above Then Beyond, I linked your articles to them while also doing my best to word things my own way.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The interesting thing about Lion King and Scar and all the copying is Disney isn’t new to copying or unoriginal ideas. I mean all the fairy tales they’ve done and even Aladdin are adaptations of stories they did not create that have existed for a long time. So why are they so reluctant to admit that with Lion King?
    It would have been better if they’d just said from the beginning that Lion King was an adaptation but then again I don’t think they were trying to be honest or fair to the original creators.
    It seems Western creators are comfortable ripping off anime and don’t want to admit it.
    Which brings me to your Atlantis point, it’s amazing how many films have copied from anime. I’ve been finding out recently about Ghost in a Shell and the Matrix… honestly without anime where would hollywood be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s certainly true. I have no issue with Disney adapting public domain stories or buying the rights to stories that aren’t (they did so with Peter Pan, 101 Dalmations, and Meet the Robinsons to name a few), but most of their Animated Canon isn’t original. Kimba still isn’t public domain yet. Perhaps since The Lion King was promoted as their first “original screenplay”, I can assume they wanted to keep that ruse up and are too prideful to admit they got most of their characters, some storylines, and even identical scenes from an old-school anime.

      I do wish they would’ve just mentioned Osamu Tezuka and Kimba the White Lion from the very beginning and not have to lie about it for several years now. They even tried to ban the Jungle Emperor Leo 1997 movie from North America which was even more heinous in hindsight. Sure, I know there are differences with both stories like who killed the main character’s dad, the human presence in the Kimba anime, or some different characters, but it’s so obvious the people at Disney watched it. I’m also annoyed with fans downplaying or denying the similarities between the two lion stories.

      THANK YOU, GIFT! I’ve covered other examples of anime much less Japanese works getting ripped off by Hollywood like how Paprika is literally the original Inception or how Battle Royale is the original ultraviolent Hunger Games for example. In the Wachowskis defense, at least they owned up to being inspired by Ghost In the Shell when they made The Matrix, but I can’t say the same for Disney ripping off Kimba and Nadia with The Lion King and Atlantis respectively. I swear Japan must be the go-to place for Hollywood to steal stories from.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know, right? Could you imagine the ramifications of that if Japanese creators sued Hollywood for ripping off their movies and anime? That would be epic and Hollywood will have to think twice about plagiarizing stories and characters.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. OMD!!
    So I like DC and Marvel and so I already knew about Darkseid and I knew about him before I found out about Thanos because honestly before the MCU all I cared about in Marvel was the xmen and spiderman (I hadn’t found out about Wakanda yet).
    To think they copied from DC so blatantly and I always wondered to myself why they were so similar. I have to say I prefer Darkseid and the whole New Gods world. I’m sad they’re not doing that movie anymore. I am glad that they did in Young Justice… at least somewhere DC is winning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s pretty cool. In a weird way, we’re alike in some way because most of the Marvel stuff I liked was X-Men and Spider-Man related due to the 90s cartoons when I was a kid. I still checked out a bit of DC mainly with Batman: The Animated Series and a little bit of Teen Titans back in the day. I never made the connections with Darkseid and Thanos back then, but then things made so much sense after Thanos started getting super popular due to the MCU. It would be cool if DC did that stuff with their movies much less promoting other characters in different movies (Black Orchid, John Stewart [Green Lantern], Mr. Terrific and The Question come to mind).

      Liked by 1 person

      • *gasp* if they ever feature The Question in a movie… I’ll lose my mind.
        He’s one of my favourite non main characters, him and Booster Gold

        Liked by 1 person

      • No way! I don’t know too many people who know about that character. The Question should get his own movie. Booster Gold is another underrated character especially in the DC universe. Booster Gold getting his own movie would be pretty cool.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha! Nice! DC does need to step their game up with promoting their other characters besides the DC Breakfast Club with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. It’s great knowing someone who knows about those characters, too. They certainly deserve their own movies.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. […] Top 7 Characters That Fans Are Reluctant to Call Blatant Ripoffs (Iridium Eye Reviews) — In the comments of my review of Perfect Blue, Ospreyshire brought up Darren Aronofsky’s borrowing without acknowledgement of elements from that movie in his own Black Swan, along with some other examples of such “borrowing”, which are all explored in this post on the subject. I knew about the Kimba the White Lion/Lion King connection, but some of these I had no idea about. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I missed this list originally, but I agree with a lot of picks on this list. Marvel and DC , I am kind of okay with because DC steals almost as much from Marvel as Marvel steals from them. If one makes an orginal character, the other side makes their copy.

    I often like the second version better, Like Deathstroke, Slade Wilson, a merc with swords and guns being turned into Death Pool, Wade Wilson…who is the same, except funny.
    I find Thanos more compelling as Darkseid as well as he often feels more morally grey.

    Dc stole lobo from Wolverine, a brute with wild hair, enhanced sense of smell for tracking powers and his main ability is rapid healing. He is a bit of an anti hero these days and lobo is spaniah for wolf

    Black Racer from DC is pretty much a Silver Surfer rip off, he is a common man who got contacted by a celestial force to become their harvester. ( In his case souls of gods rather than planets) as he flies around the skies on a pair of skis.

    They even acknowdlege they steal from each other in some of the marvel vs dc comics where they face their counterparts..

    Scar I knew would be number 1. While nowadays I think it is fairly proven that he is thievery. There are great videos that prove disney stole entire story boards ans scenes.
    Yet I think a factor that gives Disney deniability is how accesible Scar is. No matter where you are from, Scar has been dubbed in your language. Kimba was brought over in video stores after Lion Kings success, so to those who never open google, Kimba might feel like the rip off. Here, I thought Kimba was budget Lion King when I saw it in the video store, bootleg that looked cheaper.. not untill it was brought up later I realised I was fooled.

    I think Kimba often got really bad dubs as well, which contribute to Claw feeling different as well. I totally agree that the two orginals are carbon copies of one another, but if you see a bad dub first it might taint your perspective. Scar for all his flaws, I must admid exudes more charisma than Claw, if you add a bad dub to Claw, the character can seem very far removed from Scar, even though in Narative and design it so so obvious some people don’t look for that.

    I had a few friends back in the day who told me one day they did not know who to vote for and they named a far lefty and a populistic rigt winged guy as their choices with zero overlap. I asked how that happened and they told me, I am not interested in their story, only in their appeal. I was surprised that anyone would do that but I discovered a lot of people did. I think Scar/Claw is the same. Love versus Reason. People deny the obvious because they love something, and its love so it cant be reasoned with, and Disney knows this and exploits this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Better late than never. Thanks for checking out this list. How many of these examples were new to you? I’m certainly aware with other examples with Marvel and DC. You could reference Aquaman/Namor, Superman/Hyperion & Sentry, Catwoman/Black Cat and others.

      I get what you’re saying. Deadpool is more of a parody than a ripoff, so I don’t have an issue with that with Wade Wilson. Darkseid certainly is more straight-up evil and his name doesn’t help.

      I did hear that about Lobo and Wolverine which makes a ton of sense. Makes me wonder about his “bastiche” catchphrase with him being a pastiche of Wolverine. Technically, a wolverine refers to a mustelid instead of a wolf, but the name association is still there.

      I had never heard of Black Racer before. Thanks for informing me about him and the Silver Surfer connections. That is so funny how Marvel and DC admit it about various characters.

      Scar being my #1 pick was predictable even though some of my offline friends thought Simba was going to take that spot. Some of them did predict Scar though and they were the ones who knew a bit more about the Kimba anime. It’s obvious with the thievery, but there are still people who don’t know or worse deny that Disney would ever steal characters especially from an anime of all things. That is an interesting point with how ubiquitous The Lion King has been since it came out in 1994 and overshadowing Kimba as sad as it is. I know about some people who thought Kimba was the cheap ripoff until I told them or they did a basic Google search which shocked them. I do remember that story you mentioned about the Japanese singer you met who did a song about Kimba.

      I did hear that about the Canadian dub of the 60s show as well as the later TV series. The Jungle Emperor Leo ’97 dub was actually good even if it was weird knowing that Dan Green and Veronica Taylor were the adult versions of Leo/Kimba and Kitty/Lyra. However, Claw isn’t in that movie. The original Kimba dub does have it’s issues which I won’t deny. Of course, Jeremy Irons certainly has his own fans and Scar is the first character people think of when people hear his name. Just don’t get me started about the Scar fangirls [cringe]. It also annoys me how that character gets a free pass for being a shameless clone when it comes to Disney fans.

      That explains so much politics or not. Disney knows how to appeal to emotion a lot more than logic or reason. It also reminds me of that quote with people exalting a lie over a thousand truths if it exalts them. Great comment, Pinkie. I’m glad we’re able to have this conversation.


      • I was aware of the YMS video thanks to other bloggers. I NEVER said both stories were identical in this and other posts I’ve made involving Kimba/JEL. There are identical characters (Timon and Pumbaa are original though), scenes, and a few plot points, but not 100 alike. If Kimba came out after The Lion King, people would brand that anime as a budget Japanese ripoff no matter what.

        I checked out the DeviantArt link. The arguments about Frozen ripping off The Lion King are so shallow, so I’ll give the writer credit there. I didn’t realize people were calling out Frozen for stealing from The Lion King, but that’s just silly. Even then, Frozen’s teaser trailer stole from a short film called The Snowman where the creators sued them and Disney was forced into a settlement with them. With that said, there were some faulty arguments. That strawman about Kimba fans only using pictures to prove a point is just shallow. It’s not just about the pictures or scenes. Roy E. Disney addressed the Sarabi character as “Kimba’s mother” in the 1993 Prodigy transcript. Disney even tried to do a cease & desist lawsuit in Canada during the Fantasia Film Festival in 1998 when Jungle Emperor Leo was going to make it’s North American debut. Notice how that’s also the same year that The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride would debut. I’m not saying that’s the main reason, but I do find it plausible. Even if the stories aren’t identical, characters can still infringe copyrights. That person also overgeneralized the similarities of the scenes. Why would they still use the same animals if they weren’t copying anything? I noticed how little that person talked about the Claw/Scar parallels given how insane and inarguable the similarities are between both villains.

        Also, that notion that Osamu Tezuka ripped off Bambi is fallacious. How can he rip it off when he got the rights to make a manga adaptation? No one is going to confuse Kimba with Bambi since they use different animals. The Lion King can’t say that. If I really want to go there when it comes to Bambi, Disney didn’t make that story since it’s an adaptation like a majority of their other works. Not only that, but there was a copyright dispute with Twin Books (the distributor of the Bambi novel) against the Walt Disney Company for screwing over the royalties for the author’s surviving family members. I won’t go into too much detail, but I’ll leave a link to that issue below. This person is clearly biased towards The Lion King and left out the other issues about that plagiarism controversy. Yes, I’m aware that Makoto Tezuka (Osamu’s son) didn’t want to sue Disney even with some Tezuka Pro employees wanting to do so, but refusing due to their lack of funds to take on the House of Mouse. Whoever wrote this didn’t look at the other angles of both the Kimba situation as well as trying to use Bambi as an argument of saying how Kimba “ripped it off”.,_a_Life_in_the_Woods


      • I’m not saying that Kimba the White Lion is terrible nor everything that plagiarizes and steals from another thing is awful, I just wanted to let you know that some things use similar concepts and plots and characters from already existing things such as the Simpsons and Family Guy, I still like Kimba the White Lion and The Lion King equally, but I was just letting you that some media steals and plagiarizes from other media, and it’s not that bad unless you use the exact same story, then it’s an issue.

        Also, sorry for not replying on my Josh account, I’m still Josh, I’m just using another account since I can’t seem to remember my password to my previous account.


      • Thanks for clarifying that earlier because I thought you were a Lion King stan willing to trash Kimba at all costs. Yes, I’m aware that certain stories could have some similar concepts. No need to patronize me here.

        I’m actually surprised that you or anyone would like Kimba and TLK equally. Out of curiosity, what made you like both animated works that much on the same level? It’s rare for people to like both and even I was surprised that some people would like both of them until talking to a couple of people or seeing Yesterworld and Saberspark’s videos about the Kimba/TLK controversy.

        What I hate is the double standard about copying and plagiarizing. The same Disney fans who will circle the wagons for The Lion King and argue that the series didn’t steal from Kimba despite having more or less the same animals are the same ones who bash Shark Tale for “ripping off” Finding Nemo just because the Pixar movie existed first. The same people who crap on Aunt Figg looking way too much like Ursula (to be fair, that Tom and Jerry movie was trash) will believe that NO ONE at Disney saw Claw when they made Scar. As I said earlier in the comments and even in this post, things can be plagiarized or at the very least infringing on copyrights despite not having the same story. My example of Nosferatu blatantly stealing from Bram Stoker’s Dracula book is one of those examples as the Stoker family sued the filmmakers and won. Disney also had to settle when some smaller animators sued Mickey Mouse for plagiarizing their Snowman short with Frozen’s teaser trailer with Olaf and Sven. Another example involves an actual court case where the creators of H. R. Pufnstuf sued McDonald’s for stealing from their title character to make Mayor McCheese and won against the Golden Arches.

        Basically, the argument boils down to Disney getting away with everything because it’s Disney and they can supposedly do no wrong and the fans make all the excuses in the world while other companies get bashed for doing the same thing or less. I’m annoyed with how Disney gets a free pass for copying others, screwing other people, or doing straight up heinous things.

        No problem about the whole account issue. I understand and I figured you were the same person anyway, Josh.


    • To each their own. I was surprised about Toy Story and The Incredibles since those were more recent discoveries for me. It was very disappointing with those movies in particular. The Lion King is something I used to love, but I despise as an adult and it’s not just because of the whole Kimba issue which I’ll respond to in your other comment. Disney trademarked the phrase “Hakuna Matata” which is blatant and shameless cultural appropriation against Swahili-speaking cultures. You know the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”? Guess what? That song was plagiarized from the South African song “Mbube” by the late singer Solomon Linda. That situation actually went to court and was covered in the Netflix documentary The Lion’s Share which I also reviewed. While I certainly wasn’t a fan of the depictions of some of the Africans in some of the Kimba series I didn’t review or what little I’ve read of the manga, at least Tezuka Productions apologized for that and had a far more positive Black character in Jungle Emperor Leo (1997). Has Disney owned up to the racist implications of the hyenas? They have yet to do that. No, just because James Earl Jones was Mufasa doesn’t give Disney a free ride and that’s not getting into the parallels of the elephant graveyard and actual genocides like the Namibian Genocide or the Congolese Genocide to name a few. Were you aware of some of these issues?


      • As in my opinion as to why I don’t like The Lion King anymore? If so, then it’s good you respect that. The Kimba issue is certainly annoying with Disney lying about not knowing that anime, but I was way more offended by the “Hakuna Matata” trademark, the Mbube/Lion Sleeps Tonight plagiarism case, the anti-Black and anti-Latinx coding of the hyenas, or how eerily the parallels between those genocides I mentioned with the elephant graveyard. I also forgot to mention that Disney hired Rob Lowe to play Simba in The Lion Guard despite the fact that he slept with an underage girl earlier in his career. Do you excuse the malicious things Disney has done involving The Lion King much less their existence as a company?

        It’s good that you’re aware that not all of their works are original. Don’t misconstrue me here. They adapted a ton of public domain works and bought the rights to certain pre-existing stories that weren’t public domain at the time such as Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, Meet the Robinson, etc. I have no issue with those things on principle. However, their adaptations greatly outnumber their original screenplays in the Animated Canon, and it is infuriating that they wouldn’t acknowledge Osamu Tezuka or Hideaki Anno when it comes to the Nadia/Atlantis issue. You also like Kimba? I wouldn’t have guessed with how you approached me on my blog.


  9. […] This Georgian documentary is now a three-time entry in my year-end list for most-viewed posts? I’m still trying to wrap my head around that fact. The Trader (Sovdagari) does have the advantage of being a Netflix Original, but it certainly didn’t get the mainstream attention of Tiger King or more recently Squid Game then or now. I guess some people want to know more about the Georgian film scene and they just happened to stumble across my blog. It’s also good that people also like my documentary and live-action film reviews since a lot of my most-viewed stuff typically involve anime which we’ll get to more of that later. Maybe I should look into more Georgian movies to see some fictional work as well as other documentaries from the country often mistaken for that state in America.6: Top 7 Characters That Fans Are Reluctant to Call Blatant Ripoffs […]


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