Mickey’s Mouse Trap

Source: Courtesy of Simon Phillips

Mickey’s Mouse Trap

Steamboat Willie, the 1928 short film which was the first to feature Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, entered the public domain on January 1 and independent filmmakers are preparing genre versions of the beloved children’s characters.

These iterations of the world’s most celebrated cartoon mice are now available to anyone to interpret without fear of legal reprisal.

However creators will need to tread carefully. Disney’s army of lawyers will be monitoring the situation to ensure no third party work depicts post-1928 interpretations of Mickey and Minnie, who will remain closely guarded as world-renowned emblems of The Walt Disney Company.

On Monday filmmaker Jamie Bailey dropped the trailer to his upcoming comedy horror Mickey’s Mouse Trap, in which a masked killer dressed as Mickey Mouse torments a young amusement park employee on her 21st birthday.

Bailey said, “We just wanted to have fun with it all. 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 film is expected to be released in March and is currently without a sales agent.

Paul Whitney, Mark Popejoy, Alexander Gausman and Andrew Agopsowicz serve as producers and the co-producer is Filmcore’s Mem Ferda. Sophie McIntosh, Callum Sywyk, Allegra Nocita, Ben Harris, Damir Kovic, Mackenzie Mills, Nick Biskupek and Simon Phillips star.

According to reports Steven LaMorte is lining up a horror comedy in which an evil mouse stalks ferry passengers. LaMorte’s credits include a Grinch send-up.

Thousands of copyrighted works first published in 1928 will also be entering the public domain this year, including Peter Pan, and Tigger from the Winnie The Pooh stories.

Pooh is in the public domain and Premiere Entertainment Group launched sales last year on Winnie The Pooh: Blood And Honey, as well as Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare, which Jagged Edge Productions has scheduled for an early 2024 shoot.