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Steamboat Willie horror movie is Mickey Mouse meets Five Nights at Freddy’s – on a boat

 The Return of Steamboat Willie.
The Return of Steamboat Willie.

What once was a joyous black and white cartoon directed by Walt Disney, has turned into a bloody and jumpy horror flick about a slashing mouse on a boat. That's right, Steamboat Willie has been remade into a horror movie, and the first teaser is finally here.

The teaser opens with a happy little steamboat chugging away on a sunny spring day, but as the camera pans down into the water and up again, we see another vessel, which this time is dark, bloody, and ransacked. As the camera reveals the inside of the ship, we see body parts strewn around and a creepy old television playing a variation of the original Steamboat Willie cartoon, then in a classic Five Nights at Freddy’s pop-up style, a shadowy figure of a mouse emerges from the dark. Creepy. Watch the full teaser below.

From Fewture Studios, upcoming horror flick The Return of Steamboat Willie has no clear plotline at this point, apart from an ominous tagline in the video's description reading: "After 95 years of being locked away, Willie is free and he wants his Steamboat back."

From the teaser alone it seems as though the flick is a direct horror take on the original Steamboat Willie, an animated short film released in 1928 that first introduced audiences to Disney's very own Mickey Mouse. The cartoon follows little Mickey piloting a steamboat down an unknown river until he runs into Pete, the grumpy captain, and comical chaos ensues. Down the line, he meets Minnie Mouse and starts to make music with inanimate objects around him.

The Return of Steamboat Willie is the latest project taking advantage of this version of Mickey Mouse now being in the public domain after another Mickey-themed slasher flick titled Mickey’s Mouse Trap was announced earlier this year. That's not all, as more beloved animated characters enter the public domain, they are being turned into horror movie villains, including Cinderella, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Pinocchio. 

The Return of Steamboat Willie does not yet have a release date. For more check out our guide to upcoming horror movies heading your way in 2024 and beyond.