An artist claims he turned down 'a lot of money' from Fox lawyers during a decades-long legal battle over the 'Ice Age' character Scrat
Ivy Supersonichas claimed for two decades that her work was the origin of the Scratcharacter in " Ice Age."
- She took
Foxto court in 2002, alleging copyright infringement.
For over 20 years, Ivy Silberstein (who goes by Ivy Supersonic), has claimed her work was the origin of the Scrat character in the "Ice Age" franchise and that it was stolen from her.
She even took Fox, the studio that released the "Ice Age"
During a two-month investigation by Insider into the legal battle Supersonic has had with Fox (and now its parent company
We also found that the artist who drew Sqrat for Supersonic alleged in court that Fox's lawyers tried to pay him off.
Silberstein, who is known best for creating the giant pink hat Pamela Anderson wore at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, claims that while walking around New York City's Madison Square Park in May of 1999, she saw a rodent cross her path that looked to be a mix between a squirrel and a rat. She put the words together, came up with Sqrat, and thought that would be a great cartoon character.
A month later, she filed an intent-to-use trademark application for Sqrat, and a friend, Peter Levine, created an initial concept sketch for the character.
For the next few years, she pitched the Sqrat character to practically anyone she met and even found interest two times to make Sqrat into a show, but both projects fell through.
In 2001, she was told about the "Ice Age" project and that a half squirrel/half rat character named Scrat was in it. She took Fox to court a month before "Ice Age" hit theaters in 2002.
The artist said Fox offered 'a lot of money' for Sqrat
According to court documents from the copyright infringement case, in the midst of the legal battle, Levine said Fox lawyers offered him and his business partner "a lot of money" if they would give their rights to Supersonic's Sqrat over to the studio. He said they passed on the offer.
"I would welcome receiving a large sum of money, but I cannot sit back and let Fox get away with this deceitful tactic," Levine said in his 2002 declaration. (Disney, which owns Fox, declined to comment for this story.)
Fox and Blue Sky Studios, the animation house behind "Ice Age," claimed in court that the original Scrat character drawing was created by the illustrator Peter de Sève and that a Blue Sky Studios model maker John Dodelson came up with the name "Scrat" in late 1999, while crafting a clay model of the rodent. (Dodelson told Insider he originally spelled it like Supersonic: Sqrat.)
But that origin story Fox gave in court conflicts with a 2009 interview with the "Ice Age" screenwriter Michael J. Wilson, who said that his daughter Flora, three at the time, created Scrat.
"She came up with a character in 'Ice Age' that is a combination of a squirrel and a rat," Wilson said. "She called him Scrat."Despite all of this, in a summary judgment on the case, Judge Richard J. Holwell concluded that Fox's Scrat "evolved and developed in an incremental fashion" that wasn't influenced by Supersonic's Sqrat. He granted Fox the copyright to Scrat with a C and Supersonic the copyright to Sqrat with a Q.
In 2020, a year after Disney bought Fox, the studio reached a settlement with Supersonic regarding her trademark of Sqrat.
While Supersonic signed an agreement not to disclose the details of the settlement, she said she didn't receive any monetary compensation. She has since made some money selling Sqrat T-shirts and merchandise through pop-up shops, though she declined to share how much.
Meanwhile, Disney has announced its releasing a series of Scrat short animated films on Disney+ in April titled "Ice Age: Scrat Tales."
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