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Disney Has Allegedly Stolen a Fan’s Artwork

It’s natural for a Disney fan to express their love of Disney through creative mediums, just for fun — but when Canadian artist Andrew Martin designed and made a fan art sculpture of a Tiki drummer from the Disney World Enchanted Tiki Room, the original artist was shocked to find a disturbingly similar sculpture for sale at Disney stores!

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Andrew Martin (@monstercaesar)

Andrew Martin had initially designed and sculpted the tiki sculpture fan art as “a tip bucket for a Tiki drink night at a local bar”. “I wanted to make a full size one that when people put money in, there’d be a sensor and it would start drumming and playing music,” the artist said in an interview with Mashable. “It was way too ambitious for the amount of time I had to actually do it, so it never actually came to fruition.”

 
 
Sculptor Andrew Martin's sculpture in front of Disney's
A comparison of the two items: the fan art sculpture by original artist Andrew Martin and the sculpture that was allegedly designed by a Disney product designer, and that Andrew Martin says is an exact copy of his original artwork being sold without his permission. Credit: Andrew Martin / Mashable

“About three weeks ago a friend of mine, through Instagram, was like, ‘Hey, Disney’s selling this music box. This looks a lot like your version.’ And he sent me an image of it,” Martin told Mashable. “I’m like, ‘that does look a lot like mine,’ and then did a one-to-one comparison of mine just to make sure. And it’s 100 percent the one I did.”

Andrew Martin has tried reaching out to the Walt Disney Company many times, seeking compensation or an explanation regarding the allegedly exact copy of his work that is being sold without his permission, and shared the situation with hundreds and hundreds of people on TikTok and Instagram. He also found the Disney product designer who allegedly designed the Tiki drummer, and (according to Andrew Martin) the designer’s social media accounts are no longer active.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Andrew Martin (@monstercaesar)

The 50th-anniversary music box has been removed from the online Disney store, but it is still sold in some Disney stores. Martin has started selling “art worth stealing” merchandise in Disney’s iconic font while he continues to try contacting Disney or the alleged original designer (and continues to spread awareness about the alleged plagiarism).

“I’m very much a Disney fan,” the designer and fan art creator added in the interview. But these issues with plagiarism, copyright, and an alleged lack of compensation or consent have definitely affected his perception of Disney! “If, or when, I do go back to Disneyland, it’s going to be a little bit less easy to appreciate what I used to like about it,” the artist concluded.

About Sharon

Sharon is from New England. She's a writer, animal lover, and, of course, a Disney Fanatic! Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures.