Copyright Expired: Mickey Mouse Classic "Steamboat Willie" Becomes a Horror Movie

"Steamboat Willie" was released in 1928

by Jonas Reichel on January 2, 2024

Sheer horror: 96 years after the release of the Disney classic "Steamboat Willie", the very first version of Mickey Mouse is now a public domain. The result: two new horror movies are to be made starring the icon.

We were already introduced to a bloody version of a cuddly bear and his friends last year with "Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey". Although the low-budget film fell short of expectations in most respects, a number of horror producers seem to have taken a liking to the idea of taking on formerly innocent Disney characters.

Now the first ever version of Mickey Mouse, who made his debut in the short film "Steamboat Willie" released in 1928, is also being targeted. Steven LaMorte - who has already directed a parody of the Grinch called "The Mean One" - will be responsible for an as yet untitled movie adaptation. In an interview with Variety, LaMorte outed himself as a big fan and disclosed his plans for the character, saying that:

"Steamboat Willie has brought joy to generations, but beneath that cheerful exterior lies a potential for pure, unhinged terror."

Besides the movie by LaMorte, another version entitled "Mickey's Mouse Trap" is to be released in March, with a trailer that has been released just in time for the new year.

Disney, however, does not seem at all satisfied with these recent events and has announced that it will continue protecting the rights to the modern versions of its characters. This is somewhat understandable, as planned movie adaptations such as "Bambi: The Reckoning", "Peter Pan's: Neverland Nightmare" and the sequel "Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2", which is scheduled for release on February 14, are likely to be anything but family-friendly.

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