On New Year’s Day, a slasher film trailer premiered, showcasing a masked killer dressed as none other than Mickey Mouse. Also ringing in 2024 was a new horror video game starring everyone’s favorite cartoon rodent, covered in blood spatter.
Of course, this is no coincidence. On New Year’s Day, Steamboat Willie, a 1928 short film featuring the earliest non-speaking versions of Mickey and Minnie, officially entered the public domain in the US. This means anyone can use those versions of the cartoon mice versions freely, without permission or cost.
Those wanting to capitalize on the legal loophole have wasted no time in exploiting the new regulations, as evidenced by the release of a Mickey Mouse slasher film trailer on the very same day.
In the horror comedy Mickey’s Mouse Trap, a young woman gets a surprise birthday bash at an amusement arcade. But things take a twisted turn as she and her pals encounter a knife-wielding intruder dressed as Mickey Mouse. Guess Mickey couldn’t resist a slice of the birthday cake…The trailer proudly declares, “A place for fun, a place for friends, a place for hunting. The mouse is out.”
The movie appears to be striving for a similar atmosphere as last year’s popular horror sensation, Five Nights at Freddy’s. The film currently lacks a release date. It’s uncertain if a distributor is on board or which platform the producers are targeting.
Of course, this isn’t the first time a beloved children’s character was transmuted into a low-budget slasher film. Mickey’s Mouse Trap follows in the bloody paw prints of last year’s horror film Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey. This movie became possible when A.A. Milne’s original Winnie the Pooh entered the public domain two years ago.
Mickey Mouse Isn’t Just Getting the Slasher Movie Treatment…
However, it’s not just horror movies exploiting Micky Mouse’s public domain status. The game studio, Nightmare Forge Games, also dropped a trailer for Infestation 88.
The trailer kicks off with a man who is heard nervously stammering: “I thought it was just rodents, but there’s something else in here.” A massive Mickey, covered in blood spatter, suddenly appears on the screen, as mice scuttle around him.
According to the game description, players assume the role of exterminators. Their mission is to deal with”mysterious infestations caused by twisted versions of classic characters and urban legends”.
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