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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2029 and Beyond

So, there's a ton of stuff in the future that will be entering the public domain. The 1920s were the start of branded serial characters and the like but the 1930s was when the entertainment industry started straight up hemorrhaging famous characters. Below is a list of some of the biggest ones in the not-to-distant future.

Donald Duck (2029) - The final of the big Disney characters, the pantsless duck will be hitting the public domain that year. And while I usually remind you that this is the final form version of the character, it's pretty important to point out that Donald will be one of the trickiest as he's undergone the least amount of changes since his first appearance. Though, if you wanna finally give the kid some pants I wouldn't be upset. Cover that Donald Dumpy.

A Slew of Looney Tunes - Porky Pig (2030), Daffy Duck (2032), Bugs Bunny (2035) - Don't worry, I was also stunned to find out that Bugs Bunny debuted last of the three. But many of the Warner Bros most famous Space Jammers are going to enter the public domain in their original forms. And while I've been scoffing at people turning public domain stuff into horror properties faster than you can say "American McGee", if you've ever seen some of the earliest Daffy Duck cartoons, good lord is that ready-to-go horror fodder.

DC and their Big Three - Superman (2033), Batman (2034), Captain Marvel (Shazam) (2034), Catwoman (2035), Joker (2035), Wonder Woman (2036) - The 2030s are going to be a wellspring of nonsense as some of DC's biggest characters enter the public domain during that decade. Most of these are going to be some fairly bad fan films but my biggest worry is when an incel grabs that sweet sweet Joker script in 2035. You thought Joker was bad WITH DC's blessing? Just you wait.

Captain America (2036) - Steve is up for an absolute rogering in 2036 when anyone can do whatever they want with the character. I want to believe that this will be a good solid film about World War 2 but I also heavily fear it's going to be a politically charged bucket of nonsense.

The Hobbit (2033) - I'm going to be really torn on this one. I always liked the ideas behind this story but I could never get into the book or the films. The books were just a slog and the movies had to follow the books too closely. But if someone could loosely make a Hobbit-inspired book? The possibilities are endless.