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Let film buffs beware: we must never forget the IMDb user who famously believed that Lord of the Rings had ripped off Harry Potter. We’re not suggesting for a minute that any of these films really are rip-offs of each other, whatever the conspiracy theorists might say. After all it’s a small world in showbiz, and we guess it’s not that strange when plot echoes occur. Human beings like finding patterns in the clouds, and the best stories are told over and over again. Coincidences happen.

Here are five movie pairings whose premises sound uncannily similar when you stop and think about it.

5. Avatar (2009) and Dances with Wolves (1990)

Meeting the natives (avatarnation.net)

Meeting the natives (avatarnation.net)

In both films the main male protagonist is an injured soldier (in Avatar the character Sully is a marine, but let’s not split hairs) and in each film he has been posted to the distant edge of civilisation. There, he attempts to learn the ways of the local tribes and in the process begins to “turn native”. Meeting a pretty woman helps, although the character of Stands with a Fist in ‘Dances with Wolves’ is not actually a native, but a settler who has been adopted by the tribe (again, let’s not split hairs!). In both films the tribes are depicted as living in harmony with nature, and it’s all very noble savage; in both films, naturally enough the tribes speak their own language. Both feature battles against the invading modern army; and the battles are led by the protagonist-turned-native because he clearly has a better chance of winning against the enemy, whose motivations the tribes-people are a tad too innocent to understand. Given all this, it’s really no surprise that Avatar has been renamed by some ‘Dances with Smurfs’.

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  • zateycu

    In the case of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises, it’s not really the plot that matches but a handful of similar characters. Also, I’ve always thought of Disney’s Pocahontas while watching Avatar. Check it out.

  • Juan

    True, but what about all the numerous teenage romantic novels? Lol…I know they are different, but couldn’t help it to put that in there

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