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Old July 4 2013, 08:53 PM   #52
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Location: Washington State
Re: Roger Dean sues over movie Avatar

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
It's not just a few similarities that any two artists could have arrived at randomly. There are:
Pardon my ditching the quote box...

- Floating mountains and islands
Floating mountains are islands by definition.

- Floating mountains with waterfalls
One tends to find more waterfalls on mountains than on plains.

- Twisted moss covered natural bridges
Moss tends to happen near waterfalls...

- Giant city sized and normal sized lopsided trees with wide foliage
They both look like bonsai trees blown up to large sizes to moi...

- Smaller blue dragons with bifurcated wings
That both look a whole lot like dragonflies...

- Larger orange dragons with bifurcated wings

Sorta like orange dragonflies...

- Groups of multiple massive rock arches looping over each other
I'll give you that the rock arches look identical... but I'm really not comfortable with saying a rock shape that simple can be copyrighted.

- Weird horse-like creatures
This goes back thousands of years also...

- Groups of large stepped waterfalls
Many naturally occurring waterfalls are grouped together.

- Misty jungles
As opposed to arid, desert ones?

- Large pointy stalagmite-like mountains (non-floating)
... Which look pretty much exactly like the ones in China...

... You get the idea: most of these similarities could absolutely have been arrived at naturally with a prompt to design a "spacey, lush alien jungle with flying mountains and vaguely insect-like dragons."

Avatar was indeed inspired by Dean's work, which was itself deeply, deeply generic. If Dean had drawn, say, waterfalls of orange water, under green skies with the occasional black-and-white rainbow, surrounded by jungles of cactus-looking plants, and Avatar had ripped that off, I might be more sympathetic. Ditto if Avatar's blue dragon had had humanoid hands and legs as in Dean's drawing, instead of looking like, uh, dragons.

And I'm still waiting to hear from a neutral expert source (i.e., someone who doesn't have a history of suing Cameron himself) that Dean came up with anything significantly different from what other fantasy artists of his time or before had come up with. Just because Dean did lots of this stuff before Cameron doesn't mean he didn't rip off his peers/older pulp magazine illustrations in turn.
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