I had an idea for a book like "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" but based on a popular children’s movie. If the artwork is my own, would there be any possible copyright issues?

  • 2
    What do you mean by "a book like 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear'"? In what ways would they be similar? And what do you mean by "based on a popular children's movie"? As in, using the actual characters from said movie?
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


I had an idea for a book like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (by Eric Carle)...

Ideas cannot be copyrighted.

The book and its sequels use predictable, repetitive text which is a common in pre-reading children's books. This link has other popular examples.

I assume your idea uses a variation on the structure of one thing leading to another, and not the exact phrase from Brown Bear.

but based on a popular children’s movie

That's a problem.

The story, characters, and fictional locations from this movie are probably still under copyright (unless it was made before the early 1920s).

Trademarks may be established for the most recognizable elements including character designs, imitative art styles, catchphrases, especially where these elements have already been licensed for marketing tie-ins and representation in other media including children's books.

Furthermore, any 'popular children's movie' has well-established intellectual property (IP) that extends to character-likenesses and costume style – visual elements that may appear in your artwork to suggest the film.

Of course this is not legal advice.

From your very brief description 'based on a popular children's movie', your book could be claimed to trade on the brand and the recognition of the film. It would not be 'just' copyright that you are liable for.

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