Happy Public Domain Day! Well, the day after. But for the uninformed, on January 1st of every year, a select group of characters, novels, stories, movies, and TV shows enter the public domain, meaning they're available for you to riff on and adapt.
So, what hit the public domain in 2024?
Mickey Mouse in 'Steamboat Willie' and 'Plane Crazy'
Plane Crazy is a black and white silent Mickey Mouse animated short that was released in 1928. It. along with Steamboat Willie, have entered the public domain.
That means that the images of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as portrayed in these two cartoons, are also in the public domain.
Now, you can't use the modern designs of those characters, but you can use these older renderings any way you want.
Tigger in 'The House at Pooh Corner'
Pooh and Tigger
'The House at Pooh Corner'
While the pants-less Winnie the Pooh entered the public domain last year, Tigger follows him this year. But you can only use the Tigger from 'The House at Pooh Corner' so he doesn't look much like the modern cartoon.
It's the same rule as Mickey Mouse. In fact, you could make a really fun crossover of the characters.
Buster Keaton's The Cameraman
Buster Keaton's The Cameraman" (1928) is a silent film that stands as one of Keaton's greatest achievements and a classic in the genre of silent comedy.
Now, it;s in the public domain, so you can use it any way you want.
You could have your characters watching it in a short or feature, cut it up and make something new with it, and get as creative as you want.
Books and Plays
There's also a fair amount of books, plays, and films that may be prime for adaptations on this year's list.
Books and Plays
- D.H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
- Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera
- Virginia Woolf, Orlando
- Erich Maria Remarque,All Quiet on the Western Front
- W.E.B. Du Bois,Dark Princess
- Claude McKay,Home to Harlem
- A. A. Milne, illustrations by E. H. Shepard,House at Pooh Corner
- J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan; or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up
- Radclyffe Hall,The Well of Loneliness
- Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall
- Agatha Christie,The Mystery of the Blue Train
- Wanda Gág,Millions of Cats
- Robert Frost,West-Running Brook
- Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur,The Front Page
- Steamboat Willie and Plane Crazy (directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks)
- The Cameraman(directed by Edward Sedgwick and Buster Keaton)
- Lights of New York(directed by Bryan Foy)
- The Circus(directed by Charlie Chaplin)
- The Passion of Joan of Arc(directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer)
- The Singing Fool(directed by Lloyd Bacon)
- Speedy(directed by Ted Wilde)
- In Old Arizona
- The Man Who Laughs(directed by Paul Leni)
- Should Married Men Go Home?(directed by Leo McCarey and James Parrott)
- The Wind(directed by Victor Sjöström)
- The Wedding March(directed by Erich von Stroheim)
- The Crowd(directed by King Vidor)
- The Last Command(directed by Josef von Sternberg)
- Street Angel(directed by Frank Borzage)
Check out the whole list of what fell into the public domain at the public domain review website.
Let me know what titles you're most excited about in the comments.
- Watch 18 Animated Myths Come to Life and Inspire Your Project ›
- How This Sci-Fi Comedy Was Secretly Shot on a Cruise Ship ›
- Peter Dinklage Questions Disney's Intention for the Dwarves in the 'Snow White' Remake ›