The original Mickey Mouse will appear in at least two horror movies, now that the Disney copyright has expired.

The original Mickey Mouse will appear in at least two horror movies, now that the Disney copyright has expired.

As the copyright for Mickey Mouse expires, it is inevitable that a horror film will follow.

As the copyright for Mickey Mouse expires, it is inevitable that horror films will emerge.

Los Angeles — The earliest iteration of Mickey Mouse is on a rampage, barely two days in the public domain.

Disney’s copyright has been removed.

On Monday, two horror movies have been centered around the well-known character from “Steamboat Willie”. Shortly after the 1928 animation became available for public use, a teaser for “Mickey’s Mouse Trap” was posted on YouTube. A second unnamed film was also announced on Tuesday.

Mickey Mouse Horror Movies

The provided video image from Disney features the iconic character Mickey Mouse in the 1928 animated film “Steamboat Willie.”

Disney via AP

The animated short “Steamboat Willie” was the debut of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, it was their third collaboration featuring the iconic duo, but the first to be officially released. In this film, Mickey appears as a slightly more menacing character, with a closer resemblance to a rat than a mouse. He commands a steamboat and uses other animals as makeshift musical instruments.

In 2022, the work became available for public use. Just one year after, it was accumulating a high number of casualties in the low-budget film “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.”

The preview for “Mickey’s Mouse Trap,” helmed by Jamie Bailey, features a person wearing a comically tiny Mickey mask causing chaos for a group of youths at an arcade.


MM Trap LTD has shared an image of a scene from the movie “Mickey’s Mouse Trap.” As of January 1, 2024, the famous character Mickey Mouse from “Steamboat Willie” has entered the public domain due to the expiration of its 95-year copyright. This has resulted in at least two horror films, one of which is “Mickey’s Mouse Trap,” being centered around the iconic character.

MM Trap Limited through Associated Press

“The trailer flashes the text, ‘A place for fun. A place for friends. A place for hunting.’ The message also states, ‘The mouse is out.'”

“We simply wanted to enjoy the experience. I mean, it’s like Mickey Mouse from ‘Steamboat Willie’ killing people,” stated director Jamie Bailey in a report referenced by industry publications. “It’s absurd. We embraced it and had a great time producing it, and I believe it’s evident.”

A specific date for release has not been determined.

The next film is directed by Steven LaMorte, who previously helmed a satirical horror version of “The Grinch.” However, since the movie is not in the public domain, it is titled “The Mean One.”

“The logline for the unnamed film, as posted on LaMorte’s Instagram, follows the story of a late-night boat ride that transforms into a perilous battle for survival in the urban landscape of New York City, all thanks to a mischievous mouse turned monstrous.”

According to a statement referenced by industry publications, “‘Steamboat Willie’ has brought happiness to many generations, but hidden behind its cheerful façade is a potential for unbridled terror.” The film is still in pre-production.

After 95 years, the copyright for Mickey and Minnie has expired, meaning that the public is only permitted to use their original designs, and not the more recognizable ones.

Disney stated that they will continue to safeguard their rights for newer versions of Mickey Mouse and other copyrighted works, as these characters are about to enter the public domain.

LaMorte informed Variety that the team behind his film is collaborating with a legal team to avoid any conflict with Disney. They have decided to refer to their animated character as Steamboat Willie instead of Mickey Mouse.

He stated that we are taking appropriate measures to ensure that there is no uncertainty or misunderstanding about our actions.