Mickey Mouse is entering the public domain for the first time in history (well, a version of him anyway) and just as Winnie the Pooh has been desecrated… so too will MM surely follow.
Disney is losing its copyright on the original version of its beloved cartoon character, other than the OG Minnie, who was first depicted in 1928's “Steamboat Willie” … directed by none other than walt the same. Starting January 1… they will be available to almost anyone.
That was the first time Mickey appeared on screen, and that black-and-white form of Mickey served as the archetypal model for all the other modern Mickeys we've seen since.
The Mouse House has had a tight grip on the rights to this old Mickey for years now, and they even pressured Congress to extend their exclusive ownership a little longer in 2004… which lawmakers granted at the time. However, his time has come to an end: 95 years.
The original version of Winnie the Pooh (from the storybook) was also released to the public a couple of years ago… and we've seen what happened to the beloved IP in the aftermath.
He was famous slasher horror movie, 'Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,' which was released, which saw the old bear reimagined as a mass-murdering psychopath, and also other twisted versions of the story… and something tells us Mickey might be next.
Interestingly, the filmmakers who made 'Blood and Honey' said they wouldn't actually touch Mickey and make him turn evil, but you have to imagine someone else will, and probably as soon as possible.
The more familiar versions of Mickey we all know are safe for quite a while longer, but all of these black and white ones are about to be unleashed on the masses. Buckle up, everyone.