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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2028

While not the most interesting year in terms of famous characters, it's a really big year as far as famous literature that could be turned into films and the like so grab your bookmarks and let's get into it.

Goofy - Okay, so there's ONE famous character that absolutely goes public domain this year. But here's the catch, Goofy's ORIGINAL appearance goes public domain. Though, honestly, that might work for the hacks that like to turn public domain stuff into horror properties because holy hyuk is original Goofy looking like he walked right out of a ten-dollar Steam game. Check it out.

Universal Studio's depiction of "The Mummy" - The original Boris Karloff version of the mummy character goes public domain in 2028. This one might not be as exciting though because mummies are everywhere and you'd have to be REALLY specific to make it seem like you're using that specific one. Besides, if you're going to bring back a classic movie mummy, at least make it Bubba Ho-tep.

Brave New World - It's not even 2028 and we're already awash with a lot of things this book warned us about. But now that Elon Musk has reported that his first attempt to put a control chip in someone went fairly well, 2028 will probably be the perfect time for a Brave New World movie to come out.

Tintin but still bad - Yup, your boy Tintin's back again. This time with Tintin in America which sounds a lot tamer than his trip to the Congo until you realize when this book came out. Yup, this is Tintin in peril at the hands of some pretty awful depictions of Native Americans.

Conan the Barbarian (kinda) - Another tricky one. This is the year when Conan enters the public domain via his first appearance in a short story called "The Phoenix on the Sword." What makes this one particularly tricky is that this is a version of Conan that few people are familiar with. In fact, this version of Conan was actually just a rewrite of a Kull the Conqueror story with Conan taking over. So even if you do use it, it's not gonna be what people expect.

Freaks - Oh boy, I wanna believe people are going to let sleeping dogs lie with this one but I also know that there is absolutely no way someone isn't going to reattempt one of the most controversial films of all time. A movie that was well known for casting a slew of real circus performers that were everything from conjoined twins to bearded women to people with smaller heads. It features a surprisingly strong plot, a truly bizarre cast of characters, and, via the original version which is supposedly impossible to find now, one of the most violent cases of body horror I've ever seen in which the villain is mutilated until she resembled something on par with a human duck. A LOT of thought went into the villain's fate and the practical effects were a bit too good. But I'm sure whoever, inevitably, resurrects this thing will find something way worse.

There's a lot of trickiness happening in the years following but there are plenty of characters and properties in 2029 and beyond that you should probably know about. The last slide will show you some of the biggest things that are definitely going to make waves when they hit the public domain.