Definition February 2024 - Web


W hen the clock struck midnight on 1 January 2024, Disney’s copyright on Steamboat Willie – the earliest incarnation of Mickey Mouse – expired. Shortly after, a trailer for comedy- horror Mickey’s Mouse Trap dropped. A twisted take on a childhood favourite, it transforms the cartoon hero into a bloodthirsty killer, terrorising a group of teens at an amusement arcade. Following in the footsteps of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey – released after AA Milne’s beloved bear hit the public domain in 2022 – Mickey’s Mouse Trap could signal the first of many off- brand escapades for the cheery rodent, not to mention an almighty headache for the Disney PR team. For indie filmmaker Jamie Bailey, who serves as director and cinematographer, the opportunity to turn Mickey, or more accurately Steamboat Willie, into a murderous menace was just too good to pass up. “The horror market is really interesting because you don’t need a big Hollywood star to be in it: the genre itself is the star. So injecting a childhood character that we all know and love was just irresistible,” he grins. “Obviously, you can have a lot of fun with it, so that’s exactly how we approached it.” Slated for release in March this year, the movie trailer has flooded global press and social media, unleashing the kind of viral frenzy most filmmakers can only dream of. It’s fair to say reactions haven’t been unanimously positive, but Bailey’s embracing the firestorm: “I love it! Any publicity is good publicity and

WORDS Nicola Foley

Mickey Mouse goes feral in a controversial new slasher movie. We speak to director Jamie Bailey to get the lowdown



Powered by