Mickey Mouse comes as a horror film

“Mickey's Mouse Trap” features a killer dressed as Mickey Mouse stalking a group of friends at an amusement park, while an untitled horror comedy sees him torment unsuspecting boat passengers.

Copyright protection on the short black-and-white cartoon “Steamboat Willie” from 1928 expired on January 1. This leaves the door open for remakes, spin-offs and adaptations by other artists. In theory, anyone could now copy, reuse and adapt “Steamboat Willie” and “Plane Crazy” — another 1928 Disney cartoon — as well as the original characters that appear in them, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

“We just wanted to make fun of it all.”

But it won't be easy thanks to the Disney Group: the powerful company explained that it will “continue to protect the rights to modern versions of Mickey Mouse and other copyrighted works.”

In a trailer posted on YouTube, “Mickey's Mouse Trap” director Jamie Bailey said, “We wanted to have fun with this whole thing. “It's about Mickey Mouse killing people in Steamboat Willie. That's ridiculous. We went for it and had fun and I think it shows,” he said. The low-budget horror-comedy is expected to release in March.

Filmmaker Steven LaMorte — best known for his 2022 horror film “The Mean One” — is working on his own “twisted” version of Mickey. “'Steamboat Willie' has brought joy to generations, but beneath the happy surface lies the potential for pure, insane horror,” Lamorte explained. The production of the film is scheduled to begin in the spring.

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