Stunt legend Evel Knievel’s son sues Disney over ‘Toy Story 4’ daredevil character

Graeme Massie
·2-min read
Evel Knievel's son sues Disney over 'Toy Story 4' daredevil character (AP1974)
Evel Knievel's son sues Disney over 'Toy Story 4' daredevil character (AP1974)

Stunt legend Evel Knievel’s son is headed for a courtroom collision with Disney after suing them over a daredevil character in Toy Story 4.

Kelly Knievel filed a trademark lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company and Pixar amid accusations Duke Caboom, voiced by Keanu Reeves, was illegally based on the late motorbike jumper.

The lawsuit filed in Las Vegas by K and K Promotions accuses the entertainment giant of intentionally basing the character on Knievel, although his name is never mentioned in the 2019 movie.

Kelly Knievel, who has runs K and K Promotions, has had the publicity rights to his father’s name since 1988 and says that Disney did not ask permission to use the likeness.

The lawsuit claims false endorsement and unjust enrichment and states that Knievel is seeking unspecified damages totalling more than $300,000.

"Evel Knievel did not thrill millions around the world, break his bones and spill his blood just so Disney could make a bunch of money," Kelly Knievel said in a statement.

Knievel made more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps over the course of his famed career, including the Snake River Jump in Idaho in 1974.

In 1975 he broke his pelvis in front of a crowd of 90,000 people at London’s Wembley stadium where he crashed as he tried to clear 13 single decker buses.

“I came in walking, I went out walking,” he said as he refused to be carried off on a stretcher.

Knievel died in 2007 at 69 in Florida of lung disease.

In a statement Disney branded the lawsuit meritless and that it would defend itself vigorously.

The lawsuit states that Duke Caboom is described by Disney Pixar as a 1970s motorcycle-riding toy based on “Canada’s greatest stuntman.”

And it adds that in the movie Caboom wears a white jumpsuit and helmet, similar to the outfit worn by Knievel at the height of his fame.

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