2017's John Lewis Christmas ad - featuring Moz The Monster - definitely inspired a few to shed tears when it came out last week ?


But one man, author and cartoonist Chris Riddell, is crying a river. Because he claims that John Lewis stole the idea for the lovably large monster from his 1986 chldren's book, Mr Underbed.

He also, in a damning video posted to Twitter, pointed out that a fair few plot points are strikingly similar.

Letting the video speak for itself, Chris wrote beside it: "John Lewis helps themselves to my picture book."

The clip first shows that Mr Underbed and Moz The Monster look almost the same: big, blue, friendly, with a prominent reddish nose and 2 protruding fangs (in slightly different positions).

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A little boy named Jim is the main character in the children's book, while the boy featured in the advert is allegedly named Joe.

In the book, Mr Underbed shakes the mattress much to a fearful Jim's delight, as does Moz with Joe in the ad. They soon become fast friends. And both monsters are terribly loud snorers.

Of course, there are a few differences between the book and the advert, as some have pointed out.

There are a few smaller monster characters introduced in Mr Underbed, and as the little boy tries to find somewhere else to sleep. The book doesn't show Jim falling asleep in the daytime, either.

Several commentators online have also suggested that the idea of a big monster under the bed is nothing new, but that's something Chris has considered.

Speaking to The Guardian, he added:

"The idea of a monster under the bed is by no means new but the ad does seem to bear a close resemblance to my creation – a big blue unthreatening monster who rocks the bed and snores loudly.

"Needless to say, I think Mr Underbed is a lot more appealing than Moz, but of course, I’m biased."

John Lewis has yet to responded to the backlash with a statement, denying claims of plaigarism:

"The story of a big hairy monster under the bed which keeps a child from sleeping is a universal tale which has been told many times over many years.

"Ours is a Christmas story of friendship and fun between Joe and Moz The Monster, in which Joe receives a night light which helps him get a good night's sleep.

"The main thrust of our story is utterly different to Chris Riddell's."

We're really hoping this is all an awful coincidence ? especially since Chris has said he's not going to pursue legal action. Still, we'd love to know what you think...

Have your say

Did John Lewis plaigarise Mr Underbed? Or do you think the idea is generic enough that it could be coincidental? (Remember this guy from Sesame Street? Not worlds apart)...

We're not sure, so tell us your thoughts on Facebook, or in the comments below.

Images/Video: Twitter/Chris Riddell, John Lewis

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