Author Peter S. Beagle Wins Legal Battle Over Rights to The Last Unicorn
posted on by Adriana Hazra
Animation news website Cartoon Brew reported on March 26 that Peter S. Beagle, the author of the 1968 novel The Last Unicorn, won the legal battle over the rights to his intellectual property. The legal dispute was against his ex-manager Connor Cochran, whom Beagle accused of elder abuse, fraud, and slander. Beagle first filed the lawsuit in 2015.
The Superior Court of California ruled in Beagle's favor on four out of six cases that went to trial in 2019, but then Cochran filed for bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Court has approved the return of Beagle's body of work to an ownership group that includes the author. With the work under the ownership of the group, named SHP, Beagle will develop projects based on his works under the “Beagleverse” brand.
Rankin/Bass Productions' 1982 animated film The Last Unicorn adapts Peter S. Beagle's original novel of the same name. The film was animated by the Japanese animation studio Topcraft, which later worked with Hayao Miyazaki on the 1984 film adaptation of his Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind manga. Members of this team went on to form Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki in 1985.
Shout! Factory released the film digitally and on home video in 2013. Lionsgate released a "25th Anniversary Edition" DVD of the film in North America in 2007 followed by a Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo pack in 2011.
Source: Cartoon Brew (Alex Dudok De Wit)