Mickey Mouse is a popular, beloved cartoon character featuring a friendly mouse. This friendly mouse debuted in the animated short film “Steamboat Willie.” Released on November 18, 1928, this mouse was a household favorite and has been for 95+ years, becoming an iconic symbol and mascot of Walt Disney.

Recently, a trailer for a Mickey Mouse slasher film was released, featuring a masked killer dressed as Mickey Mouse. The release was on January 1, the day that Disney’s copyright on the earliest versions of the cartoon character expired in the U.S.

“We wanted the polar opposite of what exists,” the movie’s producer said. This marked the official beginning of secondary works such as ‘Serial Killer Mickey Mouse; and ‘Mickey Mouse Horror Game,’ etc.

These developments in the mouse have left many with mixed opinions. Real Research saw this as an opportunity to survey the matter to gauge public opinion on “Mickey Mouse is a serial killer.”


  • 42.25% were most familiar with the 1928 version of Mickey Mouse
  • 22.1% felt the original character in internationally popular characters should be preserved
  • Disney’s trademarks will be infringed if the creative work is commercialized, according to 29.68%

To start with, the survey revealed that 100% were aware of the iconic symbol and mascot of Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse.

Furthermore, in the survey on “Mickey Mouse is a serial killer,” respondents were asked which of the Mickey Mouse images they were familiar with. Respondents were aware of the following versions of Mickey Mouse: The 1928 Mickey Mouse (42.25%), the 1932 Mickey Mouse (33.35%), the 1990 Mickey Mouse (12.28%), the 1955 Mickey Mouse (5.15%), and the 1940 Mickey Mouse (4.22%).

Fig 1: Respondents on which version of Mickey Mouse they were most familiar with

Adaptation of Mickey Mouse Into Several Works

Since ‘Steamboat Willie’, several secondary works, such as the recent ‘Serial Killer Mickey Mouse’ or the ‘Mickey Mouse Horror Game’, have emerged. These recent evolutions gave way to the “Mickey Mouse is a serial killer” wave.

Respondents to the “Mickey Mouse is a serial killer” survey were asked how they felt about the adaptation of internationally popular characters such as Mickey Mouse into new creative works. 22.1% felt that the original character should be preserved, whereas 21.78% opined that “overly explicit or provocative work should be avoided.” Whereas 17.4% of others suggested that creativity can serve as inspiration from original characters. Finally, 17.22% felt creators should be free to create as they please. 21.5%, however, were unsure.

Fig 2: Respondents on whether popular characters should be adapted to new creations

With newer adaptations, however, come the implications of legal issues such as copyright infringement. Despite Mickey Mouse-related derivative works becoming increasingly common, the trademark rights remain with Disney, regardless of the copyright expiration.

Fig 3: Respondents on newer adaptations and possible copyright infringements

In the next poll of the survey, “Mickey Mouse is a serial killer”, respondents were given scenarios from which they were asked to choose which would be included as an infringement on Disney’s trademark.

29.68% said that a legal dispute with Disney will arise if the creative work is commercialized. A further 28.48% felt that production suspensions would be requested for similar products that could be confused with the original work.

A further 22.35% said that there wouldn’t be any issues with production or distribution, and 19.48% felt that big-budget fan art creators would be asked to stop working.


Survey TitleOriginal Character Must Be Preserved”–22.1%, Referencing ‘Serial Killer Mickey Mouse’
DurationJanuary 5 – January 12, 2024
Number of Participants6,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.