Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Indie Horror Films Emerge as Mickey Mouse Enters Public Domain

Just a day after Disney's copyright on Mickey Mouse expired, the iconic character is set to take a horrifying turn in two new indie horror films. The move comes as 'Steamboat Willie,' the first-ever Disney movie featuring Mickey, entered the public domain in the US, 95 years after its initial release.

In defiance of Disney's warnings to protect its beloved character, independent filmmakers wasted no time in announcing their unofficial remakes and adaptations.

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One spine-chilling project, titled 'Mickey’s Mouse Trap,' reveals a masked killer dressed as Mickey haunting a group of young friends in an amusement arcade. Another untitled horror-comedy promises a sadistic mouse tormenting unsuspecting ferry passengers.

Director Jamie Bailey, behind 'Mickey’s Mouse Trap,' expressed the team's intent to have fun with the concept in a YouTube trailer, stating, "I mean, it’s Steamboat Willie’s Mickey Mouse murdering people. It’s ridiculous. We ran with it and had fun doing it, and I think it shows." The low-budget horror-comedy is anticipated to hit screens in March.

Filmmaker Steven LaMorte, renowned for 'The Mean One' inspired by The Grinch, is also embarking on his "twisted take" on Mickey. He commented, “‘Steamboat Willie’ has brought joy to generations, but beneath that cheerful exterior lies a potential for pure, unhinged terror.” Production for this untitled film is scheduled to commence in the upcoming spring.

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However, industry analysts suggest Disney will closely monitor these ventures and might take legal action if boundaries are crossed. While the earliest black-and-white version of Mickey is in the public domain, trademark protections remain intact. Any film or product that could mislead consumers into thinking it was made by Disney may face legal repercussions.

Disney, in a statement, asserted, “We will, of course, continue to protect our rights in the more modern versions of Mickey Mouse and other works that remain subject to copyright, and we will work to safeguard against consumer confusion caused by unauthorized uses of Mickey and our other iconic characters.”

Despite potential legal concerns, LaMorte remains unfazed, stating, "We are doing our due diligence to make sure there’s no question or confusion of what we’re up to. This is our version of a public domain character," in an interview with Variety.

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Zainab Malik
Zainab Malik
Zainab's journey in the realm of entertainment journalism has allowed her to interview some of Pakistan's most prominent personalities, offering readers an exclusive peek into the lives of their favorite celebrities. Her dedication to authenticity and unbiased reporting has garnered her a loyal following.With a degree in Journalism and years of experience in the industry, Zainab has become a trusted source for her readers, delivering engaging content that bridges the gap between celebrity happenings and the pulse of everyday life. Her writing style is characterized by a perfect blend of wit, insight, and a touch of cultural flair.
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