31 iconic characters and properties will hit the public domain in the next few years

First, it was Winnie the Pooh, then Mickey Mouse. Many beloved characters are hitting public domain in the next decade and it's about to get absolutely bananas when you see who's up for fair usage.

Disney100 Mickey Mouse statue at Epcot. Image courtesy Rob Schwarz Jr.
Disney100 Mickey Mouse statue at Epcot. Image courtesy Rob Schwarz Jr. /
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2025

2025 is going to be a fun year. While there aren't a TON of interesting things that are going into the public domain this year, the ones that hit us are going to be pretty damn big.

Buck Rodgers - Yup. The space ace himself enters the public domain next year and I feel like people are going to be tripping over themselves to do an edgy retelling as a Netflix animated series (I'm calling it).

Captain Easy - It would be (captain) easy for you to say you have no clue who this is, but Captain Easy has a TON of material. A chivalrous southern with a need for adventure his comic landed him everywhere from mysterious jungles to private detective work, even enlisting for a while in World War 2. Given the massive wealth of stories this character went through you have, at least, three seasons of material waiting for someone to swoop on.

Popeye the Sailor - That's right. We are one year away from anyone being able to do whatever they want with a near unintelligible, half blind sailor that becomes Hulk strong and ready to fight whenever he eats spinach.

Hallelujah - Not the song or the word, but rather the film. Hallelujah is famous for being the first film with an all-Black cast. And while its story is remarkably trite, even for its time, and it has some insane character names like Hot Shot, Chick, and...Spunk, I can still see someone remaking this for the historical clout the film holds.

Mickey Mouse's Early Voice - Mickey may have entered the public domain this year but that was the silent boi. 2025 marks the PD release of the Karnival Kid, the first time Mickey spoke.

On the next page we're going to be digging into the nightmare hellscape that is what 2026 is going to give us.