DreamWorks Animation has licensed the movie rights to the troll doll from the Danish company Dam Things with the intention of turning the jewel-encrusted, afro-wearing toys into movie magic. Brother and sister duo Adam Wilson and Melanie Wilson LaBracio will write the screenplay.
The doll was originally created in 1959 by Danish fisherman Thomas Dam who carved the character for his daughter for the holidays. But a loophole in his copyright claim allowed numerous knock-offs in Europe and the United States to gain popularity. Dam later reclaimed ownership after a Congressional law restored his rights.
The announcement seems suspicious considering their cartoon rival, Pixar, recently released Toy Story 3 to overwhelmingly positive reviews and success which coincidentally (?) included Troll dolls.
This isn’t the first time DreamWorks Animation has produced seemingly similar material. 1998 saw the head-to-head battle of Pixar’s Bug’s Life versus DreamWorks’ Antz. Pixar’s Finding Nemo played just a year before Shark Tale. Not to mention DWA’s upcoming MegaMind, which bears a slanted resemblance to The Incredibles, or Boo U which sounds remarkably close to Monsters Inc.
DreamWorks may not be intentionally imitating Pixar, but the animation studio thrives when it creates something original like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, or How to Train Your Dragon.