"Disney stole my work," says artist

A close up of one of the enchanted Tiki drummers
(Image credit: R. Zavala via Flickr)

We all know and love Disney, right? With its famous movies, shows and theme parks, it's gathered a committed and beloved fan base. However, the company has recently found itself in hot water after being accused of stealing a sculpture design from an independent artist. 

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Disney World theme park in Florida, a number of purchasable sculptures have been made to celebrate the park's beginnings. One of which is a sculpture of the Enchanted Tiki Room's drummer. The Tiki drummer is an animatronic figure that features in the Enchanted Tiki Room, which has been a staple of the park since it first opened. But, Disney has been accused of copying the 3D Tiki design created by artist Andrew Martin. 

If you'd like to have a go at creating some 3D models, then make sure you check out our roundup of the best 3D modelling software


♬ original sound - Andrew Martin - Sculptor

Martin shared the story of his artwork being used over on TikTok and Instagram. In the video, which has racked up millions of views, the artist explains how he designed the Tiki drummer based on Disney artist Rolly Crump's work. 

Martin created the design back in 2018, but after posting the design on social media, people started asking to buy the figures. The artist decided to release the 3D model on Thingaverse so people could make one for themselves. 

When you put the Disney model and Martin's model next to each other, there are definitely some significant similarities between the two (see below), like the position of certain notches and dents to make the design look aged. 

The comparison between the two Tiki drummer figures

The model on the left is the Disney sculpture and the model on the right it Andrew Martin's 3D design (Image credit: Andrew Martin)

It's safe to say that there are certain similarities between the two designs, but we can't say for definite that Disney has taken Martin's 3D model. Martin has since updated users on social media about the design, as it's mysteriously been taken off the Disney World online store. But as the artist points out, we aren't sure if Disney itself took the sculpture down, or if it just sold out. 

If you want to have a go at creating your very own Tiki Drummer (minus the controversy) then why not check out our Vertex event, where you can learn more about 3D modelling and design? Or if you're feeling inspired by all this Disney talk and fancy having a weekend binge-watching all your favourites, then head to our guide on how to sign up to Disney Plus and catch up on all the classics. 

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Amelia Bamsey
Staff Writer

Amelia is Creative Bloq’s Staff Writer. After completing a degree in Popular Music and a Master’s in Song Writing, Amelia began designing posters, logos, album covers and websites for musicians. She now enjoys covering a range of topics on Creative Bloq, including posters, optical illusions, logos (she's a particular fan of logo Easter eggs), gaming and illustration. In her free time, she relishes in the likes of art (especially the Pre-Raphaelites), photography and literature. Amelia prides herself on her unorthodox creative methods, her Animal Crossing island and her extensive music library.