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Mickey Mouse horror trailer released as copyright ends

The trailer for a horror film featuring a killer dressed as Mickey Mouse has been released after Disney’s earliest versions of the cartoon character entered the public domain in the US.

The copyright on Disney’s 1928 short Steamboat Willie expired in the US on New Year’s Day, 95 years after it was released.

Creatives can now rework and use these earliest versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, seen in their first screen release, without it incurring a cost.

A trailer for slasher film Mickey’s Mouse Trap uses imagery from Steamboat Willie and the movie follows the movements of a group of young people who have thrown a surprise 21st birthday party for their friend, who is doing a late shift at an amusement arcade.

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A masked killer dressed as the children’s TV and film character decides to play a sinister game with the group of friends.

Director Jamie Bailey said of the film: “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.”

In the trailer, the group of friends are seen enjoying the amusement arcade before one of them says: “There’s blood all over the jungle gym.”

A clip from Steamboat Willie plays before the masked killer grabs one of the young women from behind.

Text shows on screen saying: “A place for fun. A place for friends. A place for hunting. The mouse is out.”

The caption under the trailer, released to YouTube, claims the movie is the “first-ever live-action Mickey Mouse comedy horror feature film”.

Steamboat Willie was directed by Walt Disney and his partner Ub Iwerks, and it captures the cartoon figure captaining a boat and making musical instruments out of other animals.

Last year, slasher film Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey was released after A A Milne’s original storybook about a bear who loves honey, released in 1926, entered the public domain in the US in January 2022.

Mickey’s Mouse Trap does not yet have a release date but it is expected to come out sometime in March.

Source: Press Association

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