Is Disney Losing its Mascot?


Photo Source: Walt Disney

Connor Flynn, Writer

Mickey Mouse is not only Disney’s lovable mascot but also one of the most recognizable cartoons on the planet. According to Fast Company, Mickey Mouse has a 97% recognition rate, higher than Santa Claus; it is fair to presume that the person reading this knows who this icon is. What if I told you he would no longer be Disney’s lovable mascot?

With 2024 rolling around, it marks the 96th anniversary of Mickey Mouse. It also marks the expiration date by law of Mickey Mouse’s copyright protection with Disney. The Copyright Law, chapter 3, states that a property can be owned for a certain amount of time before being put into the public domain. However, this copyright can be renewed a multitude of times. That isn’t useful for Disney since they used their last renewal in 2003.

Mickey is said to be replaced by a dragon named Figment. Figment is a purple dragon with a yellow t-shirt and horns. It is a sad downgrade from the infamous Mickey Mouse. Why he won’t get replaced by one of his cast members is beyond many, but others have different opinions on who should replace him.

Ten people were personally interviewed, and they had colorful thoughts about the topic. All of them had positive feelings toward Mickey Mouse. 8 of the people interviewed thought Mickey going into the public domain was good, just not for Disney. All believed it would lose Disney a chunk of money, and that it won’t be the same at Disney. When seeing Figment, the dragon, all had the same reaction of, “Are you joking?” and “What is that monstrosity?” Overall, the reaction to Figment was negative. When asked who the replacement should be, 6 of them thought it should be Goofy, three people thought it should be Donald, and one thought it should be a Star Wars or Marvel character.

Photo Source: Mouse Trap News









So, Mickey Mouse is going into the public. Only partially correct. The original Mickey Mouse from the cartoon “Steamboat Willie” is going into the public domain, but any changes that have happened in the future are not to be public quite yet. So any tiny variation of Mickey that has changed is put into effect. So, a version of Mickey is going into the public domain. But there are more loopholes. Mickey is also Trademarked, which lets Disney hold onto them for longer. So while Steamboat Willie’s Mickey is going, Disney is still having Mickey for a while.