Mickey Mouse slasher horror announced after character enters public domain

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By stefan armitage

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Filmmakers have wasted no time capitalizing on Mickey Mouse's entry into the public domain, with the announcement of the upcoming horror film titled Mickey's Mouse Trap.

The announcement came just as the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2024. As of that date, Mickey's debut cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became part of the public domain - opening the door for filmmakers to use the classic black-and-white version of the beloved character.

While modern iterations of Mickey Mouse remain protected by copyright, the vintage portrayal seen in Steamboat Willie is now available for creative reinterpretation outside the Disney umbrella.

The beloved and groundbreaking 1928 silent masterpiece - directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks - also featured the debut of Minnie Mouse, who is also now in the public domain, Forbes reports.

Check out the new horror trailer below:

Jennifer Jenkins, the director of the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain, emphasized the significance of this development, telling Variety: "This is a big one. It's generating so much excitement in the copyright community — it's finally happening."

The announcement of Mickey's Mouse Trap came as a surprise on the very day the copyright for Steamboat Willie lifted, accompanied by the release of the movie's first trailer and poster.

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Steamboat Willie was one of the most revolutionary cartoons of all time. Credit: LMPC / Getty

The film's premise revolves around a 21st birthday celebration for a character named Alex at an amusement arcade, where her friends plan to surprise her. However, their festivities take a sinister turn when a masked killer, dressed as Mickey Mouse, embarks on a deadly game they must survive.

Directed by Jamie Bailey, the film is produced by Bailey Phillips Production and features a cast including Sophie MacIntosh, Callum Sywyk, Allegra Nocita, Ben Harris, Mirelle Gagne, Mackenzie Mills, James Laurin, Kayleigh Styles, Jesse Nasmith, Madeline Kelman, Dair Kovic, Nick Biskupek, and Simon Phillips.

The killer's appearance in the movie clearly draws inspiration from the classic black-and-white Mickey Mouse. The film's imagery, as depicted on the poster, signals a stark departure from the family-friendly atmosphere of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse."

"I mean it's Steamboat Willie's Mickey Mouse murdering people. It's ridiculous," film director Jamie Bailey said, per BBC News. "We ran with it and had fun doing it and I think it shows."

This unconventional take on the beloved character is unlikely to sit well with Disney, but it's not surprising, given the success of similar projects.

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You've never seen Mickey Mouse like this. Credit: Into Frame Productions

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey entered development shortly after the original Winnie the Pooh book entered the public domain in January 2022. The film portrayed Pooh Bear as a sadistic murderer, generating significant publicity before its release.

Despite scathing reviews and a 3% Rotten Tomatoes score, the movie was a financial success and raked in over $5.2 million at the box office on a budget of approximately $100,000.

Fans of the horror genre can anticipate additional parodies, including films from the Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey team targeting Peter Pan and Bambi. It wouldn't be surprising if filmmakers set their sights on the classic Mickey Mouse from Steamboat Willie as well -- despite Mickey's Mouse Trap appears to be leading the charge.

As of now, no official release date has been announced for Mickey's Mouse Trap, but it's sure to keep fans of the unexpected and eerie eagerly awaiting its debut.

While the original versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse will enter the public domain, later iterations of these cherished characters, who have graced numerous Disney films and TV shows, will remain under copyright protection.

Disney has also stressed to AP that Mickey Mouse will "continue to play a leading role as a global ambassador for the Walt Disney Company".

Featured image credit: Into Frame Productions/Mickey's Mouse Trap

Mickey Mouse slasher horror announced after character enters public domain

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Filmmakers have wasted no time capitalizing on Mickey Mouse's entry into the public domain, with the announcement of the upcoming horror film titled Mickey's Mouse Trap.

The announcement came just as the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2024. As of that date, Mickey's debut cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became part of the public domain - opening the door for filmmakers to use the classic black-and-white version of the beloved character.

While modern iterations of Mickey Mouse remain protected by copyright, the vintage portrayal seen in Steamboat Willie is now available for creative reinterpretation outside the Disney umbrella.

The beloved and groundbreaking 1928 silent masterpiece - directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks - also featured the debut of Minnie Mouse, who is also now in the public domain, Forbes reports.

Check out the new horror trailer below:

Jennifer Jenkins, the director of the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain, emphasized the significance of this development, telling Variety: "This is a big one. It's generating so much excitement in the copyright community — it's finally happening."

The announcement of Mickey's Mouse Trap came as a surprise on the very day the copyright for Steamboat Willie lifted, accompanied by the release of the movie's first trailer and poster.

size-full wp-image-1263241544
Steamboat Willie was one of the most revolutionary cartoons of all time. Credit: LMPC / Getty

The film's premise revolves around a 21st birthday celebration for a character named Alex at an amusement arcade, where her friends plan to surprise her. However, their festivities take a sinister turn when a masked killer, dressed as Mickey Mouse, embarks on a deadly game they must survive.

Directed by Jamie Bailey, the film is produced by Bailey Phillips Production and features a cast including Sophie MacIntosh, Callum Sywyk, Allegra Nocita, Ben Harris, Mirelle Gagne, Mackenzie Mills, James Laurin, Kayleigh Styles, Jesse Nasmith, Madeline Kelman, Dair Kovic, Nick Biskupek, and Simon Phillips.

The killer's appearance in the movie clearly draws inspiration from the classic black-and-white Mickey Mouse. The film's imagery, as depicted on the poster, signals a stark departure from the family-friendly atmosphere of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse."

"I mean it's Steamboat Willie's Mickey Mouse murdering people. It's ridiculous," film director Jamie Bailey said, per BBC News. "We ran with it and had fun doing it and I think it shows."

This unconventional take on the beloved character is unlikely to sit well with Disney, but it's not surprising, given the success of similar projects.

size-large wp-image-1263242364
You've never seen Mickey Mouse like this. Credit: Into Frame Productions

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey entered development shortly after the original Winnie the Pooh book entered the public domain in January 2022. The film portrayed Pooh Bear as a sadistic murderer, generating significant publicity before its release.

Despite scathing reviews and a 3% Rotten Tomatoes score, the movie was a financial success and raked in over $5.2 million at the box office on a budget of approximately $100,000.

Fans of the horror genre can anticipate additional parodies, including films from the Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey team targeting Peter Pan and Bambi. It wouldn't be surprising if filmmakers set their sights on the classic Mickey Mouse from Steamboat Willie as well -- despite Mickey's Mouse Trap appears to be leading the charge.

As of now, no official release date has been announced for Mickey's Mouse Trap, but it's sure to keep fans of the unexpected and eerie eagerly awaiting its debut.

While the original versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse will enter the public domain, later iterations of these cherished characters, who have graced numerous Disney films and TV shows, will remain under copyright protection.

Disney has also stressed to AP that Mickey Mouse will "continue to play a leading role as a global ambassador for the Walt Disney Company".

Featured image credit: Into Frame Productions/Mickey's Mouse Trap