The San Francisco Chronicle reports that famed rock poster and album cover artist/cartoonist Stanley Mouse (a.k.a. Stanley Miller) is suing Disney Enterprises and Pixar for supposedly ripping off his original character design in creating the walking eyeball, Mike, for the CG megahit Monsters, Inc.
Mouse claims that the Mike character resembles something he drew for a movie treatment in 1998. That treatment, for a proposed film project titled Excuse My Dust, reportedly had animated monsters working for the Monster Corporation of America in Monster City.
The lawsuit also asserts that Mouse was visited by a storyartist from Pixar in 2000. If true, that could compromise the animation studio’s and Disney’s claim that there is no connection between the film and Mouse’s work.
Disney and Pixar deny any copyright infringement. Mouse has demanded a jury trial and unspecified damages. No court date has yet been set.