As Disney’s 1928 short Steamboat Willie entered the public domain, the trailer for the new horror comedy featuring Mickey Mouse has officially dropped.
The new feature, titled Mickey’s Mouse Trap, reads:“It’s Alex’s 21st birthday, but she’s stuck at the amusement arcade on a late shift so her friends decide to surprise her, but a masked killer dressed as Mickey Mouse decides to play a game of his own with them which she must survive.”
The trailer resembles what seems to be a person in a Mickey Mouse costume with a hockey jersey without letters. The mystery figure also is seen stalking others inside an arcade, very similar to last year’s horror movie Five Nights at Freddy’s.
The movie gave many fans a Scream nostalgia on the film, including one character predicting that another is going to get killed since he says, “I’ll be right back.”
“Well, he’s dead. … If he was in a horror movie, you’d never say, I’ll be right back, because then you … don’t,” he explains.
The trailer also features the words: “A place for fun, a place for friends, a place for hunting. The mouse is out.”
The movie featuring the famous character is directed by Jamie Bailey, who stated, “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 stars Sophie McIntosh, Callum Sywyk, Allegra Nocita, Ben Harris, Damir Kovic, Mackenzie Mills, Nick Biskupek and Simon Phillips and was produced by Paul Whitney, Mark Popejoy, Alexander Gausman and Andrew Agopsowicz, with Filmcore’s Mem Ferda co-producing.
The film does not yet have a release date, but producers are aiming for March. It’s unclear if there is a distributor on board or what platform the producers are aiming for.
Mickey’s Mouse Trap follows last year’s horror film Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, which was made possible after A.A. Milne’s original Winnie the Pooh entered the public domain two years ago. Pooh’s friend Tigger also enters the public domain this year.
The first versions of the iconic cartoon character, seen in Steamboat Willie and a silent version of Plane Crazy, enter the public domain in the US on January 1st, 2024.
As of now, the public domain version of the character doesn’t include significant design changes made in later works, like Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey from Fantasia in 1940.
Since Mickey Mouse is also a registered Disney trademark, you cannot produce a work that falsely represents itself as a Disney production or a piece of official merchandise.
The public domain is the final destination of any copyrighted work — it’s part of a compromise that acknowledges the benefits of letting artists and thinkers control and profit from their work in the short term while freely building on each other’s ideas in the long term, a balance Disney itself relied upon when making fairy-tale adaptations like Snow White and Cinderella.