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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Pluto - Hey, remember the last slide when I put Pluto in quotes because you could use the likeness but not the name? Well, now you can name the dog as well because this marks the moment the Disney dog was first called out as Pluto instead of Rover.

Tintin but worse - Speaking of things from the last slide. Tintin entered the public domain in 2026 but in 2027 you get, easily, the worst thing to ever come from Tintin, a comic series called "Tintin of the Congo" which has Tintin go to Africa to meet some of the most racist depictions I've seen. Hopefully, this one stays buried.

Dick Tracy - That's right, Gunshoes! The famous yellow-trenched Dick Tracy will become public domain. Here's the tricky part though. If you're going to do work with Dick Tracy and decide to add his colorful rouge's gallery (which is half the fun of the character) like Flattop, Mumbles, and the gang, you need to be careful because while Dick Tracy goes public domain in 2027, the copyright dates of the villains are a lot harder to track down. Maybe come up with some new ones.

Universal Studio's Depiction of Dracula and Frankenstein - Okay, first off, I hear the fedoras rustling of people that are going "Technically, it's Frankenstein's monster." But I'd like to remind you that the movie wasn't called "Bride of Frankenstein's Monster." So take that. Anywho, the Universal Studio's depiction (arguably the most famous version) of both these characters goes public domain. That's gonna be wild.

Babar - This one is tricky. Babar, commonly known as Babar the Elephant, known to me as "the most boring thing from my childhood" is going to be entering the public domain. But it will be the original French depiction and, I'll be real, I'm not entirely sure how that works. I've looked into it and I always see that it's important to note that the original French book is entering the public domain so I'm not sure exactly what sort of hidden traps are loaded in Babar's trunk.

Next slide we're looking into 2028 which is going to be filled of literary works hitting the public domain as well as a certain Pluto with pants.