Winnie The Pooh Horror Director Has Warning For ‘Steamboat Willie’ Team


Nostalgia just got spookierNostalgia just got spookier

The last few years have been redefining for licensing, copyrights, and creative ventures, with several intellectual properties entering the public domain. Rhys Frake-Waterfield took advantage of these updates by writing and directing Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, and because of this experience, he has warnings for creatives looking to do the same with Steamboat Willie.

Released in 1928, Steamboat Willie is a short animated film by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, and is considered the official debut of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. The short’s copyright expired with the start of the new year and with Disney not reacquiring it, horror directors are eager to put a terrifying twist on the classic – unless Frake-Waterfield has anything to say about it.

‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’ director Rhys Frake-Waterfield has a warning for others

STEAMBOAT WILLIE, (first sound cartoon), Mickey Mouse, 1928, © Walt Disney / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Steamboat Willie has just entered the public domain and already directors are ready to use the idea as a basis for a horrifying spin on a childhood classic. The public domain refers to all creative works for which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply, so although Steamboat Willie is very synonymous with the famously protective Disney, it’s now up for anyone to use as they wish – in theory.

“[I] noticed some stuff [on a few of the Steamboat Willie projects that] they shouldn’t have done,” mused Frake-Waterfield. “We didn’t want to go near that character. [Some of these new projects are] sketchy. They think just because something’s fallen in the public domain you can just make up a version of it and then put it out to market and it’s completely fine.”

But there’s more to it than that, said Frake-Waterfield, who added, “I don’t know if any of them are going to, you know, try to make them good. That getting repeated all the time, it won’t have the same kind of hit.”

Is there going to be enough repeat that subsequent horror films won’t have the same effect? The numbers are leaning in that direction.

Get ready for thrillers and slashers based on ‘Steamboat Willie’ and much more

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and HoneyWinnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey / Jagged Edge Productions

Frake-Waterfield and his team are behind 2023’s Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, an independent slasher film that follows Pooh and Piglet, made into feral killers who terrorize Christopher Robin and a handful of university students in the Hundred Acre Wood. Winnie the Pooh was among dozens of other intellectual properties that became public domain as of 2022.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey received split reactions since its announcement, with Frake-Waterfield and his crew sometimes receiving death threats. The film has a score of 2.2/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and 16 out of 100 on Metacritic.

STEAMBOAT WILLIE, Mickey Mouse, 1928, ©Walt Disney/courtesy Everett Collection

With Steamboat Willie in the public domain, reimaginings are starting to emerge, with one of the most prominent being Mickey’s Mouse Trap, which will see a group of friends plagued by a killer dressed up as the famous mouse while at an amusement arcade. With quantities poised to skyrocket, Drake-Waterfield warns, “I personally believe the only way that this becomes sustainable for us making films is to really focus on doing a select few, the ones we think are best, and making them have a really high quality.”

Critics have been split on thrillers like this, with some outraged that childhood icons would be repurposed for something so dark, while horror aficionados disappointed they were not delivered something of better quality.

How do you feel about these twisted tales?

A terrifying reimagining of the merry mouseA terrifying reimagining of the merry mouse
A terrifying reimagining of the merry mouse / Wikipedia


Source link