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Video screenshot via Disney

Disney fans were understandably pumped up at the arrival of the teaser-trailer for the live-action remake of nostalgic favorite Aladdin. Unlike the upcoming Mulan film, the Aladdin reboot is expected to follow closely to its predecessor’s plot.

Unfortunately, that’s where things get complicated between Walt Disney Studios and the creators of the 26-year-old animation.

Following the release of the early footage, Terry Rossio—one of the screenwriters of the 1992 film—took to Twitter to lament about how Disney had not accredited nor compensated him for recycling his work verbatim.

“[L]iterally the only words spoken in the new Aladdin trailer happens to be a rhyme that my writing partner and I wrote,” Rossio said. “And Disney offers zero compensation to us—or to any screenwriters on any of these live-action remakes—not even a t-shirt or a pass to the park.”

The teaser spotlights the ‘Cave of Wonders’ booming the words, “Only one may enter here, one whose worth lies far within… The diamond in the rough.”

Rossio, who wrote screenplays for numerous prominent movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, also recalled how the crew of the swashbuckler film series were not given a single reward when Shanghai Disneyland built a dedicated Pirates of the Caribbean district. In fact, their lifetime Disney park passes were revoked shortly before it opened.

“Right around when they opened Shanghai Disney, with an entire land devoted to Pirates of the Caribbean—at no compensation—they took away the lifetime pass.”

He added that he had tried to ask for compensation, even if it was a Disney park pass, but his attempts were futile.

As to why a large company like Disney could repurpose the animation’s content without paying royalties, Rossio explained that, “The studio owns the content on an animated film. When the films were made, no one foresaw a live-action remake so nothing was contracted.”

“…Animated films are not covered by the [Writers Guild of America], and [are] not subjected to any rules other than those specifically contracted.”

Rossio stressed that Disney had fulfilled its side of the contract, but “it’s more like a lack of recognition” that he was disappointed about.

“[It could be] a remake payment, a chance to view the film, inclusion onto the team, [or] a pass to the park—one cannot presume generosity, but lacking anything at all seems gauche.”

So strange that literally the only words spoken in the new Aladdin trailer happens to be a rhyme that my writing partner and I wrote, and Disney offers zero compensation to us (or to any screenwriters on any of these live-action re-makes) not even a t-shirt or a pass to the park.

— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) October 12, 2018

The studio owns the content on an animated feature. When the films were made, no one foresaw a live action remake so nothing was contracted. Disney has been approached many times for some kind of compensation fee (I asked for a Disney pass) but they answered no, zilch, nada.

— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) October 12, 2018

What's iron is that Disney *did* award myself and the other writers a lifetime pass. Right around when they opened Shanghai Disney, with an entire land devoted to Pirates of the Caribbean (at no compensation) they took away the lifetime pass.

— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) October 13, 2018

Animated films are not covered by the WGA, and not subject to any rules, other than those specifically contracted.

— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) October 12, 2018

WGA has attempted to address this in the past, though collective bargaining, but in the end so-called 'feature' issues are usually abandoned. They have do have a *current* program where they attempt to get new animation contracts covered by WGA MBA guidelines.

— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) October 13, 2018

[via Screen Rant, cover image via Disney] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/401930/Disney-Gets-Flak-By-Original-Aladdin-Writer-For-Using-His-Work-Without-Credit/

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