For students, by students.

The GH Falcon

The GH Falcon

The GH Falcon

Concerts are a fun way to interact with your favorite artists surrounded by friends and fans. Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash
Trips in the Triangle: Upcoming Concerts
Jason Huang, Staff Writer • April 12, 2024
Having a vacuum cleaner and trash bags helps complete cleaning with ease.
Felicity Falcon: Spring Cleaning
Felicity Falcon, Advice-Giver-in-Chief • April 12, 2024
As the 2023-24 school year wraps up, juniors prepare for college applications. Photo used with permission from Philippe Bout on Unsplash
Junior checklist for the college application season
Justin Jackson, Staff Writer • April 11, 2024
Played in the Hornets home arena, Charlotte played host to first and second-round matchups including UNC vs. Michigan State.
March Madness recap
Mason Dean and Mason ClineApril 11, 2024
Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
Spring sports: Start of season recap
Armaan Minhas, Staff Writer • March 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Concerts are a fun way to interact with your favorite artists surrounded by friends and fans. Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash
Trips in the Triangle: Upcoming Concerts
Jason Huang, Staff Writer • April 12, 2024
Having a vacuum cleaner and trash bags helps complete cleaning with ease.
Felicity Falcon: Spring Cleaning
Felicity Falcon, Advice-Giver-in-Chief • April 12, 2024
As the 2023-24 school year wraps up, juniors prepare for college applications. Photo used with permission from Philippe Bout on Unsplash
Junior checklist for the college application season
Justin Jackson, Staff Writer • April 11, 2024
Played in the Hornets home arena, Charlotte played host to first and second-round matchups including UNC vs. Michigan State.
March Madness recap
Mason Dean and Mason ClineApril 11, 2024
Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
Spring sports: Start of season recap
Armaan Minhas, Staff Writer • March 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Played in the Hornets home arena, Charlotte played host to first and second-round matchups including UNC vs. Michigan State.
March Madness recap
Mason Dean and Mason ClineApril 11, 2024
Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
Spring sports: Start of season recap
Armaan Minhas, Staff Writer • March 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events

Mickey Mouse from “Steamboat Willie” enters the public domain

A+viewer+enjoys+a+Steamboat+Willie+animation+short%2C+which+entered+the+public+domain+in+2024.+
Peggy Chen
A viewer enjoys a Steamboat Willie animation short, which entered the public domain in 2024.

The earliest version of the Mickey Mouse character that launched the Disney empire became free in the public domain on Jan. 1, 2024, after almost 100 years of being protected by copyright. Soon after, horror film producers quickly released a trailer for an upcoming slasher film entitled “Mickey’s Mouse Trap,” featuring a menacing mouse resembling the lovable character. 

Public domain means that the claim on the content was allowed to become void, making it free to use for all without permission or compensation. Most of the time creative works are under protection for the life of the creator plus several decades and for this cartoon that time had come.

During its time, Steamboat Willie was widely considered a revolutionary short film. Released in 1924, it introduced an early adaptation of the widely loved character Mickey Mouse. Notably, it was also the first animated film synched with sound to gain mass popularity, thus making non-sound-synched cartoons quickly become obsolete. 

Steamboat Willie has been associated with family-friendly, joyful, innocent movies for years. However, with the end of the copyright also came the end of Mickey’s childlike innocence. That Mickey Mouse from Steamboat Willie is adapted into a horror movie has angered many fans who don’t want to see their childhood characters used in such violent and dark films.

This is not the first time that a beloved childhood character has quickly entered the realm of horror films the moment its copyright ended. Last year, Winnie the Pooh was used in a slasher film as the copyright for the character ended and it entered the public domain. 

The Walt Disney Corporation had tried to fight the expiration of the Steamboat Willie patent for years. Regardless of their efforts, as of Jan. 1, 2024, the patent no longer protects the Steamboat Willie Mickey character. 

In addition to the trailer for the horror flick, a video game from Nightmare Forge has also been announced. The video game “Infestation 88” was also announced in a trailer released on Monday. In addition, Director Steven LaMorte has announced that he will begin work on a horror-comedy movie based on the Steamboat Willie character in which a sadistic mouse will torment ferry passengers. 

Mickey has entered the free domain, but that does not mean anyone can use anything, Mickey Mouse. The only piece that this applies to is the earliest version of Mickey and Minnie Mouse from the cartoon “Steamboat Willie.” This version was in black and white and missing numerous other iconic Mickey characteristics. The restrictions of what these characters can and can’t be used for remains ambigious. For instance, the color pallets could be protected under copyright, but that is not explicitly disclosed. Experts advise that companies and artists steer clear to avoid legal trouble with Disney’s expansive legal team. 

In coming years, more media enters the public domain as companies will continue to utilize these copyright-free characters.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The GH Falcon
$400
$800
Contributed
Our Goal

The staff of the GHFalcon would love a donation to help the journalism program at Green Hope continue to flourish. Many of our donations go to towards improving the materials that we deliver to you in electronic format. Thank you so much to those that are able to donate.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Mason Cline, Staff Writer
Mason is currently a junior at Green Hope High School and this is his first year on staff. He plays for the school’s varsity football team and hopes to study business at either NC State or UNC Wilmington. He spends his free time eating “good food”, especially sushi. As the youngest in a big family, Mason claims it was hard for him to figure out what he wanted to do. However, with a few English classes and a new found love for writing, joining the GH Falcon became an interest he could call his own. Nine times out of ten, if you ask Mason what he’s listening to, it’ll probably be a Travis Scott song.
Peggy Chen, News Editor
Peggy Chen is a junior at Green Hope High School, and this is her second year in the journalism program. She is thrilled to serve as the news editor and be able to report on the issues that she is passionate about. She is focused on covering climate, local policy, and food systems, but always loves a good investigative story. Outside the Falcon, she spends her time serving on the Los Angeles Times High School Advisory Board, playing tennis, and reading about space exploration. She is excited to make an impact through journalism at Green Hope!
Donate to The GH Falcon
$400
$800
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Green Hope Falcon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *