The character of Scrat has become one of the most recognizable Ice Age characters. Today we invite you to look behind the scenes of the creation of this character that has become iconic over time because unbeknownst to the public, a legal battle was taking place in the background even when new films saw the light of day Movie theater.
Scrat in the Ice Age movies
Scrat has been a fan-favorite character since the release of Ice Age on March 2, 2002. The squirrel has always wreaked havoc, but the studio behind the film, Blue Sky, had no idea just how much havoc the character really caused in reality. The company that currently owns the Ice Age franchise, Disney, just lost the rights to Scrat following a trademark dispute.
Several people have claimed ownership of Scrat over the years, but the strongest claim has been made by Ivy Silberstein. The artist apparently suggested a character called “Sqrat” to Twentieth Century Fox in 1999. The idea came from observing a cross between a squirrel and a rat that Ivy Silberstein allegedly crossed in a park. And because of that claim, our favorite squirrel will no longer appear in the Ice Age movies.
A complaint that just had an impact
In 2002, Ivy Silberstein sued Twentieth Century Fox for copyright infringement. The company was acquired by Disney in 2019. However, the judge ruled that Ivy Silberstein and Twentieth Century Fox owned equal rights to the Scrat character in 2003. Despite losing her lawsuit against the company, the artist refused to give up so easily. Ivy Silberstein therefore launched a campaign to regain full ownership of the character that lasted until this year, and the latter eventually received compensation after nearly two decades of legal wrangling.
No #Scrat in #Disney #IceAge 6
Thank you @WaltDisneyCo @abigaildisney for respecting my brands and characters #Sqrat I created on May 19, 1999. 20 years ago March 12, 2002 The first ice age was published, it was a 20 year fight! I HAVE WON! https://t.co/kqanxC0YkI https://t.co/ptM6UgfqJ7 pic.twitter.com/MHq39xOBex
January 28, 2022
The artist therefore explained on Twitter:
No Scrat in Ice Age 6. Thank you Disney for respecting my tags and Sqrat I created on May 19, 1999. It’s been 20 years since March 2, 2002 – when the first film premiered. It was a fight! I have won !
Disney spoke to Ivy Silberstein shortly after its acquisition by Twentieth Century Fox to see if she was willing to strike a deal for the rights to Scrat. The artist stood firm against Disney, forcing the company to back down. While this decision is unfortunate for all Ice Age Scrat fans, it bodes well for the many writers and artists currently battling major corporations for the rights to their creations.
And if you want to find 20 cult films that will be 20 years old in 2022 (list that includes Ice Age), you can consult our previous article on the subject.