INCEPTION rips off Uncle Scrooge

Was the plot of Christopher Nolan’s Inception inspired by a Don Rosa Uncle Scrooge comic book story? In the story, created for the European market in 2002 and published in the US in the May 2004 issue of Uncle Scrooge (#329), Scrooge’s totem is a 25-pound bar of solid gold. His “limbo” is an endless desert where each grain of sand is actually a microscopic gold coin. Both stories have characters use a machine to enter someone’s dream – and entering someone’s dream to steal a secret. The similarities don’t end there. You can read the full comic here.

(Thanks, Joe Dante, via IWatchStuff)


  • Ted

    AAAAAAAAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!!!!

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    C’mon, people have been playing around with this kind of dream invasion concept since before Freud. I could probably make a case that “Inception” was modeled after Bugs Bunny’s “The Big Snooze” (1946) where Bugs gets into Elmer Fudd’s dream to get him to change his mind about quitting.

  • Mark

    Here’s a link to a pdf of the file (found on WWTDD)

    http://www.mediafire.com/?dsa5ru3rsxdanud

  • http://www.fernandopventura.blogspot.com Fernando Ventura

    I hope that Disney sue for plagiarism the screenwriter, the director and the producer and give a portion of the money to Don Rosa.

    • Stephan

      Sigh.

      • http://jcullen.blogspot.com NHOJ

        I second that ‘sigh.’

      • http://www.fernandopventura.blogspot.com Fernando Ventura

        Do you really think I was serious about that? Disney would never give a portion of the money to Don Rosa!

  • http://www.onanimation.com Daniel Caylor

    People are really reaching here. This is pure coincidence.

  • fishmorgjp

    Everyone should see this, because Don Rosa cooked up a great story, here!

  • RS

    love how he keeps swearing at donald haha.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Wow, they even start off almost the same.

  • http://thadkomorowski.com Thad

    Somebody better let Don Rosa pen a screenplay after this.

  • http://www.fernandopventura.blogspot.com Fernando Ventura

    http://coa.inducks.org/s.php?c=I+TL+1643-C

    This one is also about dreams, but here the duckburguian’s dreams were materialized on real life by Gyro’s machine.

  • http://austinpthings.blogspot.com Austin Papageorge

    Well, Christopher Nolan had been writing and rewriting the screenplay for Inception since 2000, so the idea that this was “ripped off” is kind of fuzzy.

    • http://www.animehell.org tohoscope

      It’s obvious that Don Rosa entered Christopher Nolan’s dreams in 2000 and stole the idea.

      Seriously, I wonder what Don Rosa has to say about all of this.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Ummm, “Great Minds Thing Alike?” :-)

  • http://bensvideogamereviews.blogspot.com/ Ben

    There was also a Spongebob Squarepants episode where he enters his friends dreams and alters them. Eventually, they all wake up and realize what he did and they were not happy.

    So, yeah, the idea has been around. Still, thank you very much for linking to that Scrooge comic. Don Rosa did a great job with the story, and it makes me want to start collecting the books again!

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    Does Edith Piaf music feature prominently? Or as another blogger said “If the combination to Scrooge’s vault door is 528-491 you may have solved a massive mystery here!”

  • Brad

    What’s funny is, if you read “The Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion,” Rosa’s commentary on this story says he wrote it after getting a letter from a fan who suggested it. Rosa was taken with the idea because it allowed for “time travel” without a lot of setup.

    After the story had been printed, Rosa was watching TV one night and saw Angelina Jolie in “The Cube.” He figured out that the movie would’ve come out just before the fan’s letter. He chose to believe it was a coincidence.

    The idea is pretty general and I don’t think anyone has anything to worry about.

  • Brad

    If you read The Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion, you’ll see Rosa’s commentary about how he inadvertently ripped off “The Cube” with Angelina Jolie.

  • http://kellytindall.blogspot.com Kelly Tindall

    I love Don Rosa! Too bad he’s unofficially retired, he writes fantastic adventure stories. If you’re gonna steal, steal from a master.

  • Was my face red

    That’s a great Rosa story, but come on people! Every so often there’s a flap on here because someone has ‘stolen’ someone elses idea and they oughtta sue!
    I bet those posts are from people who have never created anything in their lives.

    There aren’t an infinite number of stories. Every year we riff through all the variation of the ones we have again and again. We influence. We’re inspired. Lots of people think up the same stuff but what really matters is what they do with those ideas next.

    Great strip. So-so film. And Lewis Carroll got their first!

  • John A

    There was a movie made in the eighties called “Dreamscape” that also had characters entering each others dreams.

  • NC

    Dang some of you guys need to learn to ease up and take a joke. Thanks Jerry for using Inception to introduce Don Rosa into my life. I’ve never heard of him, and I’m big fan of European comics, so that’s a double win in my book.

  • http://www.thehungryreader.com Krepta

    The Cube? Don’t you mean The Cell?

    Anyway, it seems like one of those things where you can match a bunch of stuff up but it’s really just a big coincidence. Like how I used to believe that the movie “Willow” was actually a Legend of Zelda movie with all the names changed– Young Link was Willow, Adult Link was Madmartigan, etc.

  • Marc Baker

    Now I’m wondering if Nolan ever read ‘Uncle Scrooge’ comics, or watched ‘DuckTales’ in his life. Come to think of it, he should directed a new (animated) ‘DuckTales’ movie that could be as big as ‘Inception’, or ‘The Dark Knight’. Now there’s a winner right there!

  • Russell H

    Satoshi Kon’s 2006 anime feature, PAPRIKA, also uses the plot device of a machine that enables people to view, record and enter the dreams of others.

  • Russell H

    And let us not forget the classic “invading another’s dreams” cartoon, Bob Clampett’s 1946 Warner Bros. valediction, THE BIG SNOOZE.

  • Ashley May

    What is it with people in this day and age who think once an idea has been done it’s DONE?

    “Had some different takes on this concept? Maybe some new avenues to explore? Too bad! Should have thought about that before someone envisioned the initial premise!”

    Really, ideas can create other ideas and barring that coincidences DO occur. Seems the people lacking imagination are the ones who can’t comprehend this.

  • MadsC

    It’s a great and fun story, Don Rosa is awesome :)

    Will someone explain to me when this appear in the story:

    “Scrooge’s totem is a 25-pound bar of solid gold. His “limbo” is an endless desert where each grain of sand is actually a microscopic gold coin”

  • Sam Sleiman

    This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Remember that infamous boulder scene from RAIDERS? That was inspired by an UNCLE SCROOGE comic as well. Here’s some more info: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2007/12/13/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-133/

  • Marc Baker

    Now that you mentioned it, Warner Bros. should’ve attached ‘The Big Snooze’ in front of ‘Inception’.

  • EHH

    I read the comic. It doesn’t have the “multiple layers of dreams” thing that Inception had. Also, Donald was trying to save Scrooge, not to implant an idea in his head. The similarities here are superficial and, let’s face it, the “entering into other people’s dream” plot is nothing new.

  • Julz Oliveros

    There is another animated movie whose plot is quite similar to Inception, which is the anime Paprika. The elevator of memories/dreams were present in both movies. Although Paprika did end with the dreams spilling over into reality.

  • kul65

    Actually, according to Rosa´s comments in the Swedish “Hall of Fame” series, that one comic is the only time he ever used an idea sent to him by a fan (Whom he thanked of course). Maybe it was Nolan? :P