On Feb. 10, 2023, Mouse Trap News published "breaking news" that Mickey Mouse would be replaced as the official mascot of the Walt Disney Company because its copyright is expiring next year:
BREAKING: Mickey Mouse Out as Official Disney Mascot
Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in 1928. No one would have guessed the impact Mickey would have nearly 100 years later. He continues to be a dominant figure for the Walt Disney Company and the face of Disney.
However, we have some breaking Disney news. In 2024, Figment will replace Mickey Mouse as the official Disney mascot.
Mouse Trap News also posted a TikTok video about the "news" that has over 7.3 million views, as of this writing. Figment is the mascot for EPCOT's Imagination Pavilion. While the purple dragon may be getting its own movie, it hasn't replaced Mickey. Moreover, Mouse Trap News isn't a real news site. It says on its about page that every story on its website is fake:
"Mouse Trap News is the world's best satire site. We write fake stories about Disney Parks stuff. From Disney Park announcements to Disney Hotel and resort news to made-up Disney partnerships, you can be assured that anything you read here is not true, real, or accurate, but it is fun."
Mouse Trap News says the same thing on its social media accounts. Its TikTok bio says "‼️Real Disney News That is 100% FAKE‼️"
If it was really breaking news, other publications would have been quick to report it. That was not the case. The only places that have written about it are those debunking the satire, often describing it as a "TikTok hoax."
It is true that early versions of Mickey Mouse, like the animated cartoon "Steamboat Willie," will enter the public domain on Jan. 1, 2024. There is no indication Disney will stop using the character as a mascot.
"Ever since Mickey Mouse's first appearance in the 1928 short film Steamboat Willie, people have associated the character with Disney's stories, experiences, and authentic products," the company said in a statement to Observer earlier this month. "That will not change when the copyright in the Steamboat Willie film expires."
For further reading, we previously reported on other fictional content from Mouse Trap News, such as stories that said Disney would be lowering the drinking age to 18, demolishing Cinderella Castle and had filed a patent for a rollercoaster that jumps off the track.
For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.