A little known British author is taking the creator of hit film Chicken Run to court - claiming the movie was based on his book.

Steven Spielberg's DREAMWORKS studio produced the enormously successful animation about a group of chickens who try to escape their wicked farmer, and the story was brought to life by Wallace And Gromit animators Nick Park and Peter Lord.

However, ALAN DAVIDSON claims his children's book ESCAPE FROM COLD DITCH - about a chicken who leads a mass escape from a farm in England - was "bodily appropriated" for the film, which did not credit him or his work.

Davidson is also claiming millions of dollars in damages from DreamWorks for the film - which made $216 million (GBP135 million) in box office takings alone.

Court papers state, "Escape and Chicken Run are both about a group of chickens that plan and, with the aid of an outsider chicken, execute a mass escape from a chicken farm, in the tradition of and with reference to Second World War prisoner of war escape stories.

"Each story is also a satire on inhumane farming and human greed. They also share numerous story events and sequences and similar dialogue."

DreamWorks claim to have no knowledge of the legal action taken by Davidson.

26/06/2003 13:53