Disney reportedly refused to allow a grieving father in England to place an etching of Spider-Man on the grave of his 4-year-old son — because, the media giant said, it wants to preserve the “innocence” and “magic” of the company’s characters.
Ollie Jones, whose family lives outside London in the county of Kent, died of a rare genetic disease and was given a Spider-Man sendoff. It featured a horse-drawn carriage decorated with red and blue balloons, British newspaper Metro reported.
His family’s last trip together had been to Disneyland so he could meet his beloved super-hero.
Ollie’s dad Lloyd Jones reportedly asked the local council for permission to decorate the boy’s gravestone with Spider-Man’s likeness. He was referred to copyright-owner Disney, which rejected the request.
“I felt sure they would allow it,” Metro quoted him as saying.
Lloyd said the movie giant is trying to “disassociate their characters with death” and thought the decision was “about money.”
He added: “That makes no sense to me – characters die in their films all the time. I think this is all about money.”
Lloyd’s brother Jason added, “This meant everything to us.”
A company rep wrote, “We follow a policy that began with Walt Disney himself that does not permit the use of characters on headstones, cemetery or other memorial markers or funeral urns.
“Although we cannot grant the family’s request, we would be pleased to commemorate your nephew with a hand-inked, hand-painted, personalized [action frame from the movie] that recognizes his love for Spider-Man, which will read: ‘For your — (nephew’s name).
“Thank you for letting us share in the magic of your life. Your friends at the Walt Disney Company.”
Ollie’s sister Laillah, 6, also suffers from leukodystrophy, the disease that killed the boy. It damages the brain, spinal cord and often peripheral nerves.