Rebecca Bernard
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Pixar’s ‘Onward’ In Hot Water Over Van Art

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WOW! Sooo, do y’all think Pixar Disney stole the Vanicorn for their movie #onward ???? Hmmmmm. Not Cool!! LIKE AND REPOST IF YOU AGREE #supportsmallartists #supportsmallbusiness @customvannermagazine @rollingheavymagazine #vanicorn #customvanners #vannin #ladytattooers

A post shared by Sweet cicely Daniher (@sweettransam) on

Pixar’s upcoming animated film Onward is all about fantastical creatures living in their own world that just happens to look a lot like ours (think Zootopia but more enchanted). However, it seems as if one of the key parts of the movie’s promotions — a magical van driven by a character voiced by Chris Pratt — didn’t come straight from the minds of the artists at the animation giant, but from San Francisco artist Sweet Cecily Daniher. She’s suing them to get proper credit and to stop them from stealing from artists in the future.

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For those of us that don’t live in San Francisco, Daniher’s 1972 Chevrolet G10 van is quite famous in the area. Named Vanicorn, the vehicle is covered in a glorious painting of a unicorn rearing, with a uniquely shaped diamond window towards the back of the vehicle. This van is quite the local celebrity, with fans posting pictures when they see it out and about. The Onward van looks pretty similar. It’s not an exact copy, with a crescent moon window instead of a diamond and a pegasus instead of a unicorn, but when the two vehicles are put side by side, it’s very obvious that Pixar took the spirit of the art and added it to their movie.

As if copying van artwork isn’t bad enough, details have emerged from Daniher that make the whole situation seem way more like a diabolical villain’s plot. Pixar actually reached out to Daniher in 2018 to rent her van at an employee event at its main offices. It was reportedly to add atmosphere for a music festival, and Daniher agreed to let them rent her vehicle. According to Business Insider, Daniher didn’t leave anything to chance — the rental contract specifically said that the van could not appear in “visual representation” for any purpose outside of the event it was used for.


So far, the producer of Onward has made contact with Daniher to try and smooth things over, but that’s not enough. Daniher was looking for an injunction to stop merchandise, trailers, ads, and the film itself from coming out before the matter is settled, but the film is in theaters now with no interference from the court system.

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Needless to say, we’re on Team Daniher. We’ll be watching closely to see if this popular artist with the hometown crowd behind her can take down part of one of the biggest entertainment companies on Earth.