"We just wanted to have fun with it." A trailer for a new Mickey Mouse horror movie has been released, less than 24 hours after a Disney copyright for the character has ended

A murderer dressed as Mickey Mouse from the new film Mickey's Mouse Trap
(Image credit: Bailey Phillips)

Less than 24 hours after a Disney copyright for an early version of Mickey Mouse entered the public domain, a trailer for a brand new horror movie starring a twisted, reimagined take on the iconic cartoon character has been released. 

Mickey's Mouse Trap, a 2024 slasher in which a murderous fellow dressed as the Steamboat Willie version of Mickey slices and dices his way around some unsuspecting victims, has taken advantage of a legal ruling that enables anyone to use a previously copyrighted version of a character after a set amount of time has passed.

In this case, it was the version of Mickey Mouse seen in Disney's famous 1928 animated short Steamboat Willie, one of the very earliest appearances of the character. Disney's copyright on Steamboat Willie Mickey ended on January 1 this year, meaning that the character's IP is now free to use for any creators for whatever purposes they see fit. The trailer for Mickey's Mouse Trap emerged later that very day.

"We just wanted to have fun with it," says the film's director, Jamie Bailey, as reported by the BBC.  "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 MOUSE IS OUT," reads the ominous caption in the trailer, which depicts the Mickey-masked assassin terrorising a group of youngsters in what appears to be an arcade. A disclaimer setting out the studio's right to use Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse is included alongside the trailer, reading:

"DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT NOT A DISNEY FILM OR PRODUCTION. IT IS NOT TO AFFILIATED OR ENDORSED BY DISNEY IN ANY WAY. This film makes use of Public domain Steam Boat Willie Mickey Mouse only. Steamboat Willie's Mickey Mouse entered public domain on January 1st 2024. No copyright infringement of later versions of Mickey Mouse or trademark infringements."

Watch the trailer for Mickey's Mouse Trap for yourself below.

In 2022, a similar situation resulted in a much-publicised horror movie based on Winnie-The-Pooh being released, after the IP for A.A. Milne's iconic, lovable bear also entered the public domain. Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood And Honey was released the following year and received a critical panning, though no one could fault the film's creators for jumping on an unusual opportunity. 

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.