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The Wildcat Roar

100 Years of Disney

Cinderellas+Castle
Cinderella’s Castle

With the Walt Disney Company’s 100th birthday on October 16th, the Walt Disney World Resorts are celebrating with special decorations, festivities, events, and shows. The iconic Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom is being fully remastered with a special paint job and a golden facade. The streaming service, Disney Plus, has been customized with a special logo and a commemorative section including several classic Disney films for people to enjoy. The platform will also be the home for multiple new releases of special shows, short films, and movies.

 

To celebrate the anniversary, Disney World Resorts in Orlando are being renovated as well. Recently, the company made the somewhat controversial decision to demolish the beloved Primeval Whirl roller coaster in the Animal Kingdom park. The remainder of the DinoLand area is rumored to be transforming into an area themed after the movies Zootopia and Moana. In the Magic Kingdom park, the Tron Lightcycle Power Run roller coaster recently opened in Tomorrowland. Additionally, it has finally been announced that Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park will reopen after a lengthy closure in effect since March of 2023.

 

Along with the anniversary, however, another complication has emerged. The copyright to Mickey Mouse has expired. More specifically, his design from the 1928 short film Steamboat Willie. The character was supposed to become public domain in 1984, but a revision to copyright law was made. This revision put the new law in place, that copyrighted assets would not enter public domain until 50 years after the death of their creator. 

 

With Winnie the Pooh having entered public domain in early 2022, and Mickey now entering public domain as well, Disney has been facing multiple issues as they push to renew more copyrights. Even with the copyright expiring, Disney still possesses the trademark rights to the character. With this change, issues have also emerged with the iconic intro used in nearly every Disney film, showing Mickey from Steamboat Willie captaining a ship. This iconic intro has inspired many scenes and satirical spin-offs in numerous other movies and TV shows, and has become an icon of sorts for the company.

 

The legal complications with the expiration of Mickey’s copyright have ensured that Disney’s 100th anniversary may not be a pleasant one. However, it also means we’ll be getting special programs and shows on Disney+ Either way, something interesting is bound to happen, and if you’re a Disney fan, you won’t want to miss it!

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About the Contributor
Frankie Schmid, Staff Writer
Frankie Schmid is a Junior and photographer in the NHS photojournalism team. He has 3 pet goats, enjoys playing video games, and researching in his free time.

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