A MEAN 🫣 Version of Our Favorite Disney Character Now Exists Thanks to Public Domain Laws

At the beginning of 2024, Mickey Mouse became public domain — or rather, one version of Mickey Mouse did.

Steamboat Willie at the Pixar Short Film Festival at EPCOT

The classic, black-and-white Steamboat Willie version of Mickey Mouse can now be used by ANYONE without permission from Disney, and it didn’t take long for horror movies, video games, and more to start using that version of Mickey for their own artistic licenses. However, the funniest use of public domain Mickey so far might be coming from John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight

Recently, John Oliver promoted the return of his show Last Week Tonight on February 8th with a photo of himself with someone in a Steamboat Willie Mickey costume with the headline “What are they gonna do, sue?”

Previously, Oliver has tested the limits of what he could do with Mickey Mouse on his show, with Mickey saying some pretty vulgar things. According to Deadline, Mickey’s last appearance on the series was on December 17th. It’s likely that Oliver is now going to have a LOT of fun at Mickey’s expense. In fact, Oliver references Mickey’s last appearance on the series, saying, “Did Disney ever sue us over that?” Then, Mickey replies, “Nope,” with Oliver countering, “So, should we take that as a green light that we could do whatever we want in the future?” Then, MEAN Mickey replies, “I don’t see why the f*** not.”

©Last Week Tonight

For those who are curious to see just WHAT Oliver has in store with Mickey, the show returns to MAX on February 18th, so mark those calendars. We’re sure it will be provocative (but also HILARIOUS).


Several other uses of public domain Willie are in progress, including a new merchandise collection from art collective MSCHF, a daily webcomic called Mousetrapped, SEVERAL horror movies, a video game, and more. We’re sure we’ll see more projects, though.

Stay tuned to DFB for more news!

When are you headed to Disney World next? Have you checked out our line of fun graphic tees to wear on your trip? We’ve designed some for the whole family – from infants to adults! Click here to check them out!

3 Ways Mickey Mouse Has Been Defiled Since Becoming Public Domain

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Have you seen a public domain use of Mickey Mouse anywhere? Tell us all about it in the comments!

The post A MEAN 🫣 Version of Our Favorite Disney Character Now Exists Thanks to Public Domain Laws first appeared on the disney food blog.