I just read this Yahoo! news article: French Court Frees 'Nemo' from Lawsuit
"Sunday March 14 9:56 PM ET
A court here has turned down an injunction against selling merchandise for the movie "Finding Nemo," ruling that there were no "serious similarities" between the Walt Disney Co./Pixar character and a clown fish drawn for a French children's book.
The case was brought by lawyer and part-time author Franck Le Calvez, who claims to have penned a book about a clown fish called Pierrot about nine years ago.
In the preliminary ruling, judge Louis-Marie Raingeard found that there was no possible confusion between the two characters. "
That sounded interesting, and I've heard enough stories to know that, sometimes, there really are unexplainable coincidences between one story and another, or one song and another. It happens.
Then, just out of curiosity, I Googled "Franck Le Calvez Pierrot," to see if I could find pictures of Pierrot and compare them to Nemo. Here's a good example of Pierrot. For comparison, here's Nemo. (scroll down)
Same fish? Well, they are both clownfish, yes. But the faces are significantly different, with Pierrot showing (on my monitor anyway) as a definite orange, while Nemo displays strongly red.
But they both live in anemones, you say! Well, yes. They're clownfish. Both stories start with the loss of one parent: in Nemo the mother dies; in Pierrot, it's the father. After that, in both stories, the child becomes lost, and after many adventures is reunited with his mother/father. Sounds "fishy*" eh?
Well, at first glance, yes. On the other hand, how many stories can we find about a child who loses a parent, is separated from the other, and (after many adventures) is reunited? Put it that way, and you can almost include the Home Alone movies! It's a fairly generic plot.
But wait, it gets better. I found links here, and here (scroll down to "commentaire par YM") that illustrate connections between The Lion King & the Japanese TV series Kimba The White Lion, as well as Atlantis & the Japanese TV series Nadia and The Secret of The Blue Stone.
Does this prove anything? Hard to say. But, given the wealth that Disney has gained from public-domain stories such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc., and given that company's severely unforgiving attitude to Intellectual Property infringements, I find this series of coincidences... Interesting... Heh.
*er, sorry about that. couldn't resist. mea culpa. :)