Well here’s something strange to start your day with. Cartoon Network is now staring down the barrel of a lawsuit that one of its properties, the internet-spawned Annoying Orange, has actually ripped off an old North Dakota public transportation ad campaign mascot, “The Talking Orange.”
H2M, a Fargo-based advertising agency, filed the lawsuit against Dane Boedigheimer and Spencer Grove on Monday in U.S. District Court in North Dakota. Boedigheimer and Grove are the two creators of the series “Annoying Orange.”
The commercials ran in North Dakota from 2005 to 2010, and features an orange that talks with superimposed lips.
“Defendants Dane Boedigheimer and Spencer Grove were raised, resided, educated, attended film school, were employed and first obtained access to ‘The Talking Orange’ in North Dakota and western Minnesota — the same area where Plaintiff H2M’s ‘The Talking Orange’ and its derivatives, were widely disseminated on cable television,” the suit states.
When you look at the facts, it is somewhat incriminating if the two did indeed grow up in the area where these ads were running. You can see the similarities between the two characters in the videos below:
The Talking Orange
The Annoying Orange
“Annoying Orange’ appears to be speaking with a ‘voice’ that is perfectly in sync with the movement of the actor’s mouth, lips, teeth and tongue,” according to the lawsuit.
I understand the impulse to sue here, though I’m not sure if its enough to actually stick to the creators. But I think the key piece here is that they ARE from North Dakota, and the character was created during the time the ads were running.