Mickey Mouse gets horror treatment as copyright expires

A trailer for a horror film featuring beloved cartoon character Mickey Mouse, was released on January 1, the same day Disney’s copyright for the earliest known version of the character expired in the United States. 

The film titled ‘Mickey’s Mouse Trap’ features a killer dressed as Mickey Mouse wearing a mask which appears to be inspired by the 1928 Steamboat Willie version of the character.

United States copyright law determines that rights to characters can be held for 95 years. It means creators can now rework and use the earliest versions of Mickey and Minnie.

The new horror flick’s trailer features a few clips from the original Steamboat Willie played from a projector, which sets the stage for the horrors to come. A threatening message flashes on the screen: “A place for fun, a place for friends, a place for hunting. The mouse is out.”