UPDATE: E! News reached out to Isabella Tanikumi for comment and received the following back from her attorney, William T. Anastasio, "In response to your query regarding Isabella Tanikumi's claim against Disney, she has requested that I email you the attached Complaint which was filed this past Monday in the Federal District Court. Ms. Tanikumi is a very private individual and does not wish to be interviewed at this time. As the case moves through the Courts I am sure more information will become available concerning her claims."
It had to happen eventually. Considering what a runaway hit Frozen has been, inspiring countless parodies and even a television adaptation before the film has even been out a full year yet, it's almost a shock that more lawsuits haven't been brought against it. Remember when J. K. Rowling and the Harry Potter book series got sued for copying Nancy Stouffer's The Legend of Rah and the Muggles? Frozen has already caused one couple to divorce, so getting sued for copyright infringement had to happen eventually. However, the lawsuit already sounds completely ridiculous even without further details of the case. According to TMZ, Isabella Tanikumi is suing Frozen for copying her autobiography — for a settlement of $250 million. Whaaaat?
Tanikumi claims that Frozen isn't actually an adaptation of the popular Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Instead, it's actually based on her book Yearnings of the Heart. The Amazon description of Yearnings of the Heart is as follows:
This is a compelling, introspective account of the life of Isabella Tanikumi, who takes her readers on a journey through various phases of her remarkable life - from her family’s survival during the devastating earthquake of 1970 in Huaraz, Peru, to the trials of overcoming heartbreaks of her youth. Conquering personal insecurities led to exploring the reaches of her intellect while facing the tragic, and untimely death of her beloved sister, Laura.
Despite language barriers and the consequent obstacles of fitting in, Tanikumi wittily narrates her struggles with her assimilation into American life and culture. Forging many enduring friendships most notably with Julie, who rescued her from the depths of grief. Tanikumi also interweaves a dialogue with her long lost love Eduardo. This novel tacitily and expressly addresses Eduardo as a salient recipient of her reflections. Ultimately, Tanikumi is able to share her gratitude and joy as well as her insatiable thirst for life.
Apparently, at some point in the book, Tanikumi describes her life growing up in the Andean mountains and it's that upon which Frozen is based. However, from the book description alone, it doesn't sound like Frozen has more in common with Yearnings than it does with "The Snow Queen". About the only thing they have in common is that there are mountains in both, and Anna and Elsa weren't even raised in those mountains.
There weren't any supplied copies of the filed lawsuit, which means we have no idea of what further justifications Tanikumi is using to prove that Disney is ripping her off. Right now she doesn't seem to have much of a claim for the $250 million that she is asking for. Sure, Frozen grossed much, much more than that at the box office, but without something more damning like matching dialogue or shot-for-shot scene stealing then it's unlikely that Frozen and Yearnings have anything to do with each other at all. Okay, bye.