Wait. No! No you can't do this. Let me go. Oh but MatPat, I definitely can. No! No please! I don't wantto watch a cinematic universe full of crappy Disney rip off horror movies! Well, TOO BAD!! This is the world we're living in now MatPat. And you only haveone person to blame for it. It’s… It’s you? You better believe it. Huh huh. Nooooooooooo.
Hello Internet! Welcome to Film Theory, the showthat wants you to maul that subscribe button like a rabid teddy bear that's looking for honey. So,have you guys seen this ridiculous Winnie the Pooh horror movie that just came out? Winniethe Pooh, Blood and Honey. Yeah. Some indie filmmakers have decided to take the lovablePooh Bear from the Hundred Acre Wood and put a unique spin on the idea, to say the least.Re-imagining the story for Children is a decidedly adult oriented slasher movie. Whilethe film has been absolutely eviscerated by both fans and critics, the sheer noveltyof the idea of the adorable Pooh Bear and his pals going on a murderous rampage hasearned a respectable $3.8 million so far off of a budget that was smaller than $100k.It is enough of a profit that the filmmakers.
Have already announced a sequel, as well assimilar horror adaptations for other Disney classics like Bambi, The Reckoningand Peter Pan's Neverland Nightmare, all of which will be part of a shared universebecause, of course, they will be. Now, there's probably another theory in here somewhere abouthow and why these low budget horror movies get made and how successful they are for the studios.But for today, I just wanted to ask the simple question of how exactly does this movie exist?Like legally, how did they get away with this thing? Well, Winnie the Pooh, Blood and Honeyexists because the Winnie the Pooh franchise no longer belongs only to Disney. It actually belongsto you. Yes you, sitting at home without your pants on, literally you. You see, back in thebeginning of 2022, Winnie the Pooh entered the.
Public domain here in the United States, meaningthat it's no longer protected by copyright. So now anyone can use these characters and storiesin practically any way they want. Writing their own sequels, having Pooh and the friends in theirown franchises outside the original work, adapting them into gratuitously violent horror movies.And Winnie the Pooh is not the only major work that's on its way to being owned by everyone. Yousee loyal theorists, the world of entertainment is about to get very interesting. Things are changingfast on all fronts with a lot of very precious and iconic stories and characters entering thepublic domain with way more coming out in the near future. Along with the lovable Pooh Bearevery single Sherlock Holmes story entered the public domain in 2023. Massive pillars ofpop culture like Superman and The Hobbit,.
They're set to enter in 2033. And if a decade istoo far away for you, the granddaddy of modern entertainment characters himself, Mickey Mouse, isset to enter the public domain in 2024. Yeah, next January. That has got to be real uncomfortablefor the company that looks at their IP and thinks: Well, hold on, your horses there friendos.There's a reason Walt's empire ain't too scared of Mickey's impending release into publicownership. During my research looking into how exactly these filmmakers got away with making thisoff brand horror Winnie the Pooh murder movie, I discovered a horrible truth aboutthe way these sorts of laws work. And spoiler alert, you will likely never be ableto use any of these iconic characters owned by corporations like Disney and WB and Universal. AndI realized all of that just because of this Winnie.
The Pooh slasher flick. Blood and Honey is farmore than a ridiculous attempt at making money for shock value. It's a peek into the terriblefuture for these characters as their corporate overlords try to keep their claws in their IP.And it all comes down to the scariest thing of all: legal loopholes.Oh bother. Grab your buckets of honey and machetes loyal theorists. It's time to carveour way into this mess. Before we get started, let me just call out. This theory is only goingto be looking into and explaining copyright law for the U.S. That's not to say that othercountries and their laws are unimportant. It's more to say that basically every countryon earth has different laws regarding this sort of thing. And if we tried to hash outevery single rule in every single country,.
Things would get very complex, very long and veryboring in a hurry. Additionally, sometimes I feel like this goes without saying, but we here atteam Theorists are not lawyers, this is not legal advice. We're just a bunch of nerds witha lot of free time on our hands and an obscene interest in who owns what in the entertainmentindustry. So to start things off, I feel like we need to be on the same page here. What even is acopyright anyway? I'm sure you've heard the term, but it's kind of a weird, nebulous idea that canbe slippery and difficult to get a real grip on. Basically, a copyright is protection grantedby law for original works that you make. It ensures that anything original that you write ormake belongs only to you. You don't even have to publish it. When you make something original it'syours automatically, no matter what. And it covers.
A lot of different mediums: books, poetry, movies,music, even computer software and architecture. That being said, a copyright doesn't protectfacts, ideas or systems. If you want an example of what I mean, let's just look at theTheorists channels. We don't own the idea or the format of a theory about games, film,TV, food, style, whatever. We can't copyright the concept of a theory. Anyone can make theirown theory videos here on YouTube and in fact, we outright encourage that. It is awesome tosee. But we do on a copyright over the stuff like our exact thumbnail, the scriptsthat we write, the videos that we edit, so anyone can go and make their own theories, theycan even make theories that spin off of our own, but they can't outright take our theories andre-upload them as is. To take a look back at.
Winnie the Pooh, the name, the characters withinPooh, the art, the designs, the exact writings. All of them were protected by copyright.But the idea of a child being friends with a living teddy bear, a pig, rabbit doll, etc.,going on adventures out in the woods. That isn't protected by the copyright. How, then,did these indie filmmakers manage to get the rights to use Winnie the Pooh in this horrormovie that Disney definitely didn't authorize? Well, a copyright doesn't last forever, andwhen they expire, the works they protected enter the public domain, as I mentioned at thetop of the episode, that means that this work now belongs to the public and anyone cando anything they'd like with it. The first number put on copyright laws in the UnitedStates was from the Copyright Act of 1790,.
Which gave authors 14 years of protectionthe ability to apply for an additional 14 years after that. That period has sincebeen extended several times throughout the centuries, most recently in 1998 with theCopyright Term Extension Act. Currently, a copyright lasts for the entire lifetime of theauthor, plus an additional 70 years if the work was created by a person. If it was created by acorporation, the copyright lasts for either 120 years after its creation or 95 years afterits publication, whichever one comes first. Fun fact, that Copyright Term Extension Actfrom 1998 was actually nicknamed the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, because Disney was one ofthe primary companies lobbying hard to get that thing passed. I'm going to choose to believethat they offered everyone who voted in favor.
Of it a free trip to Disney World. So isDisney just going to roll into town and pay off the American government to extendthat copyright again like they did before? Well, no, probably not, and for a few reasons.First of all, with control of the U.S. House, Senate and White House split between parties,not a whole lot is getting done in Washington these days. Secondly, one of those major politicalparties ain't too big of a fan of the mouse these days. So if you think you're getting anyof them to back a bill that would directly benefit the company, better think again.Lastly, and probably most importantly, it's not 1998 anymore. The times they arechanging. Back then, when the internet was young, information sometimes took a while totravel. People couldn't easily look up.
The entire world's worth of information witha Wikipedia search. Corporations like Disney putting all this pressure on Congress to extendthe copyright? That could be done under the table. But now, if Disney tried anything shady likethat, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and TikTok would be all over them in a heartbeat. We're talkingabout a company that used to sue daycare centers for having unauthorized murals of Mickey andfriends in the eighties. But nowadays, in 2020, when an elementary school screened an illegalcopy of The Lion King as part of a fundraiser, Disney tried to fine them for it only forthe Internet to blow up in a righteous fury, forcing the mouse to apologize and CEO Bob Igerto personally donate to that fundraiser instead. The power dynamic has shifted. So if Disney eitherwon't or can't extend the copyright again. Is that.
It? Are we going to be seeing horror movie knockoffs of Mickey's and Donald Duck's and Goofy’s popping up everywhere next year, just like we didwith Winnie the Pooh? Is everyone going to own iconic characters like Mickey Mouse and Superman?Well, not exactly. See when a work enters the public domain, that doesn't mean that every iteration ofeverything in that work also enters along with it. It's only the content in that original work as itexisted in that original work. So looking at Pooh Bear, the only stuff that's entered the publicdomain right now are the depictions of Pooh, Piglet, Christopher Robin, and all of theirfriends from the very original 1926 book by A.A. Milne as they existed in that 1926 book.And there's some pretty significant stuff missing from that work. One big one? Pooh’sred shirt. It wasn't added to the character.
Until 1932 for an RCA picture record, a fullsix years after the character debuted. That means you won't be clear to use a cutelittle red shirt on your public domain Pooh Bear murder movie until January 1st, 2028.This is actually why the Poo in Blood and Honey has a red flannel shirt with overalls insteadof a red shirt that's three sizes too small. In fact, if you watched the movie, you might havenoticed one of our fuzzy friends missing from the hundred acre wood. While Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore,Rabbit and Owl all make an appearance. Tigger was nowhere to be found. Because he didn't debutuntil 1928 in the book, The House at Pooh Corner, so he won't be in the public domain until January1st, 2024, just in time for the sequel to Blood and Honey. It wouldn't even surprise me.Winnie the Pooh 2 The Bloody Bouncing Buddy..
And This goes for everything elsethat we've talked about so far. Sure, when stuff like The Hobbit hits public domain,you can use Bilbo and Gandalf and Smaug and Middle-Earth in the official Hobbit fan fictionthat you've been chipping away at or anything else you want to write, for that matter.But you can't reference any of the stuff from Lord of the Rings or use any of that iconicMiddle-Earth art beyond what was published in 1937. For Superman: You can include the characterin your stories, his origins from Krypton, as well as his dual life as Clark Kent. But theonly powers that he can have are super strength, being faster than a speeding train, and theability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. All of the stuff that he had when he debuted in1938. No flight, no heat vision, no ice breath,.
No X-ray vision. You know, all those things thatmake Superman a Super Man. Mickey Mouse might be the character that's actually changed the mosthere though. The original Mickey from Steamboat Willie was exclusively black and white, he hada long tail, His eyes were just small pupils, he was a troublemaking boat pilot. Everythingwe associate with Mickey today, the red pants, the modern smiley face, the friendlypersonality, the edgy leather hoodie, all of that came later. And anyone trying touse that stuff starting next January, when Steamboat Willie enters the public domain, they'resticking their fingers into a legal mouse trap. But even with all that aside, things areentering the public domain. It might just be slower than everyone expects. Over thenext decade or so we'll still be able to use.
Some version of iconic characters like Winniethe Pooh and Gandalf and Superman and Mickey Mouse himself in all of our own stuff, justwith a few limitations. And eventually we'll be able to use all of the iconic parts of thesecharacters and their stories for ourselves, right? Well, in theory. IN COPYRIGHT THEORY! Yes,eventually. But you best hold onto your horses before we get too excited there, friendos. Yousee, there's another side to this legal coin that I don't see anyone addressing. While the copyrightthat these companies hold for these older books and cartoons and comics are expiring soon.Their trademarks aren't. And likely never will. Wait, I hear you asking, what's the differencebetween copyright and trademark? Well, trademarks and copyrights are very similar things. Enoughso that I wouldn't be surprised if you got them.
Confused. But they have very different purposes.While the copyright is meant to protect someone's original creative work, like I explained above.A trademark is meant to protect their brand. They're designed to help a consumer identifythe origin of a product or service so they know exactly what they're spending their money on.Think of it like a seal of quality. For instance, if you see that iconic Disney logo on something,the one that looks like a signature with the D that kind of looks like a G. You know,immediately that this is a product that's created and approved by the Walt DisneyCompany. That isn't just some knockoff. But the big twist here for trademarks is thatthey don't expire. As long as someone is using their trademarks, submits the proper paperwork torenew them and defend the trademark against anyone.
Trying to use them, then they keep that trademarkforever. And trademarks can cover a huge variety of things, including names, words, phrases,logos, symbols, designs, but also things that you wouldn't expect, like colors, smells, sounds.And you best believe that companies are trying to take advantage of that as much as they can.If you look up the word Superman on the United States Patent and Trademark Office database,you'll be given a ton of results showing that DC Comics owns the trademark for Supermanspelled this way and just about everything you can imagine. Most of it makes sense, likecomic magazines, books concerning memorabilia, motion pictures and television programs, toydoll figures, etc. But they also grabbed it for things like lunchboxes, toothbrushes,towels and blankets, advertising and candy..
Remember, that means that they're the only oneswho can release comics and books and movies and toys just labeled as Superman. So if you want touse Superman in the title of your product after it enters the public domain, you're going to have toget real creative with how you use Superman in the title of pretty much anything that you make ever.Maybe get your hyphens ready and witness the rise of Super-Man. But see, now that just looks weird.Something else you'd probably never be able to use? the recognizable iconography of Superman,specifically his S shield crest on his chest, and the Superman logo. Both of those things aretrademarked by DC and you can bet that they are defending them vigorously. Because those arekey parts of the Superman IP that they outright own and that connects the brand to DC.When you see the shield, DC wants you to.
Know that this is the official DC product. Soyeah, once Superman enters the public domain, you might be able to use Superman in your story.But if you have to be that careful about the name, logo and crest of the character inany of the products and marketing, is it even worth using him at that point?The same goes for all the other heavy hitters that I've been talking about today. Middle EarthEnterprises and their parent company owns the trademark for basically any combination of thewords “The” and “Hobbit” that you can think of, covering everything from toys to tea tocardboard cut outs and drinking steins. So sure, once The Hobbit hits public domain,maybe Dungeons & Dragons can call their halflings hobbits again without getting sued.But good luck to anyone wanting to start up.
Their afternoon tea company themed around andnamed after Hobbits. Likewise, Disney owns the trademark for Winnie the Pooh regarding basicallyeverything that you can imagine, as well as some things you probably can't imagine, like glovesand hosiery. That one is so oddly specific. So anyone wanting to use Pooh in their public domainhorror film is going to have to get creative and or specific with their names and portrayals.And you see, that's exactly what happened with blood and honey. There is a trademarkregistered for the logo of “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey” specifically for the productionand distribution of film and television and for T-shirts. Because you got to get that merch gameon, baby. I'm assuming that the people behind this film wanted to make sure that there wouldn'tbe any knockoff merch available in Hot Topic..
Only The Real Deal… Knock off merch. But younotice anything else funky about this registration as compared to that mountain of Disney ownedtrademarks? The registration for Blood and Honey is super specific, claiming, quote, the colors redand light orange and the quote, blood red, orange lettering of the title of motion picture. They'reonly trademarking the logo and its color palette. Nothing generic like the entire phraseWinnie the Pooh across all children's media or whatever. What's more, notice anyother differences in the names? I mean, sure, the Blood and Honey Mark has that subtitle,but unlike all of the Disney marks, it also has dashes between Winnie-The-Pooh. That makesit just different enough, just stylized enough to help them stand out from anything Disney related.Honestly, if the purpose of trademarks is to help.
Customers identify the origin of a product,the fact that Blood and Honey is so stupidly violent and so obviously not somethingDisney would authorize probably protected these filmmakers more than anything else.Now, normally I think that this is where we could wrap things up. We've done thewhole, “Hey, this thing you think you know, actually isn't that way and there's this otherthing that'll change your perspective on it” Schtick. But there is an extra twist here loyaltheorists. A fact I uncovered that transforms this conversation about the quirks of copyright lawinto a conspiracy about these megacorporations twisting the rules to benefit them. And it allcomes back to the Mouse. Literally. Throughout this entire theory, we've touched on howMickey Mouse is about to enter the public.
Domain, how Disney's delayed the inevitable fordecades, how they won't be able to do it again. And all of that is still true. Likewise,everything we've said about Superman and The Hobbit and Winnie the Pooh also applieshere. Disney owns a ton of trademarks around Mickey Mouse, which makes a lot of sense.He's an integral part of their brand, so much so that they've started incorporating himinto all sorts of branding within their company. But you see what I just said right there. Thatright there is the genius 4-D chess 1 billion IQ move that these companies are starting to make.These companies understand how trademarks work and they're starting to weaponize them in an effort toshut down public domain as we know it today. When I started looking into all this for the theory,the fact that Disney appeared to not be fighting.
To keep their golden goose protected by the lawhonestly shocked me more than anything else. Mickey Mouse is Disney and they want everyone elseto think so too. So what have they done? Well, in 2007, they redesigned their logofor their flagship animation company, Walt Disney Animation Studios. These are thepeople who make stuff like Frozen, Encanto, Tangled, all the Disney fairy tale heavy hitters.And what was that redesigned logo? The literal frames of animation from the most iconicpart of Steamboat Willie, whistle and all. That logo? You betcha it's trademarked. Disneyfound a way to get true permanent control over the most important parts of the first releaseof their most popular character. All of it while playing within the bounds of the law.So sure, when Steamboat, Willie and Mickey.
Sail down the river into the public domain inJanuary of next year, maybe you can navigate your way through all of this legal minefield.Maybe you could figure out a way to use Mickey as he first appeared here in Steamboat Williewithout using the exact iconic frames from this trademark logo while transforming it all enoughto be distinct from Disney's brand. Maybe you could have yourself a black and white moviewith a mischievous, monochromatic mouse set on a boat whistling as he gets up to no good.You know, when you put it that way, it actually sounds a whole lot like the perfect setup fora horror movie. And thus everything circles back around to Blood and Honey. I wasn't kiddingat the top of this theory when I said that the true horror of this movie was the copyright lawssurrounding it. Because I believe that this horror.
Remake of Winnie the Pooh is setting the precedentfor how we're going to see many of these beloved characters interpreted by other artists as theyenter the public domain, especially for characters like Pooh and Mickey and Superman. Seriously,these guys are going to look so different from what we're used to seeing that they might aswell all be low budget b-horror movies. Or, you know, you could just take your ideas andturn them into original IP so that way you can own those things for yourself. Then again, lookingat the box office performance for Blood and Honey. Yeah, no one's going to do that.Feed me the nostalgia berries. But hey! If you want even more insightinto shady legal shenanigans, you should go check out our brand new Style Theory talkingabout the strange world of clothing copyright..
If a company has been accused of stealing acopyrighted clothing design multiple times over, how are they still in business? How arethey still able to get away with it? Link to that video is onscreen right now. Icould not believe some of the stuff I learned from that one. I hope you enjoythat video. And as always, my friends, I'll see you next week. Until then, remember, it'sall just a theory A FILM THEORY! aaaaaaaaaand cut.
3 thoughts on “Film Design: Here is Disney’s WORST Pains! (Winnie the Pooh)”
1:47 how did he know
Why don’t you in fact blueprint the intro tune anymore???
Dear movie Belief i’ve a ask and a view.When i’m scrolling trough shorts some cases there arbers justice leaque or family guy or breaking heinous, as i search for it it don't breeze into beautiful exhaust so it’s miles illegal