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.
Mickey Mouse first appeared in Steamboat Willie. This was the first cartoon to be released with synchronized sound. It was truly amazing and is a moment that will forever define the Walt Disney Company. Due to the mass success and Mickey’s lovable character, Disney made him their official Mascot.
In 2024 however, Figment will become the official Disney mascot, replacing Mickey Mouse. The Disney community and the world are shocked by this groundbreaking announcement. There is a lot to unpack on this significant change to the Walt Disney Company. So keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the ride as we dive into this breaking news.
Why is Mickey Mouse being Replaced as the Official Disney Mascot?
The decision to remove Mickey Mouse as Disney’s official mascot is primarily due to legal issues. The copyright protection on Mickey Mouse is set to expire in January 2024. This means that Mickey Mouse will exist in the public domain and anyone can use him. Disney will no longer have the same legal protection on their moused famous character (get it?).
With that being said, people can’t do anything they want with Mickey Mouse. There are still some legal protections around the most famous mouse in the world. However, Disney loses significant legal protection in January. This isn’t a new issue, however. Recently Winnie the Pooh entered the public domain and people didn’t hold back.
Winnie the Pooh has already been used multiple times commercially. Recently, he was used in a Mint Mobile commercial where he was ‘Winnie the Screwed’ because he paid too much for his mobile phone. You can see Ryan Reynolds is the feature of that video here. Disney knows things like this will happen the moment Mickey enters the public domain. Because of this, they’re going to move away from Mickey Mouse as their official mascot.
Why is Figment Becoming the New Mascot of Disney?
According to an official statement, “We did extensive research, to determine who the new Disney mascot would be. We also looked at sales to quantify the decision. Ultimately we were between Figment, Sonny Eclipse, and Tinker Bell. Figment however proved to be the top runner and we are excited to have him as our new mascot.”
As you can see, Disney evaluated many factors to ultimately choose Figment as their new mascot. It’s interesting to see that Sonny Eclipse and Tinker Bell were the two other options Disney was exploring. Sonny Eclipse is the biggest surprise as Disney pulled him from the park and turned his stage into a blood donation center for free Genie+, as we reported here.
We think Figment is a great choice. He represents all things Disney. From his joyful character to his bright colors, figment screams Disney. It’s no wonder the figment popcorn buckets drove people to stand in line for 6 hours. Disney fans are crazy for Figment and Disney sees that. They are also doing what they can to keep him relevant in the parks, which is why they are adding an ASMR experience to Journey into Imagination with Figment as we reported here.
What Does this Official Mascot Change Mean for Disney?
Figment will be the new mascot for everything Disney. Think about everywhere Mickey Mouse is and assume that will be replaced with Figment. There are so many traces of Mickey within the parks, on the merchandise, and in their TV shows and Movies. All of that branding will be changed to Figment from Mickey Mouse. As you saw above, we have the initial concept art for the new Partners Statue which will soon be Walt Disney and Figment, not Walt and Mickey.
One of the biggest surprises are the Hidden Mickeys. These are all going to turn into Hidden Figments over time. No longer will you be searching for the three-round circle all around Disney Parks. Soon you will be looking for Figment silhouettes. Disney will start rolling out Hidden Figments in late 2023 and phase out Hidden Mickeys altogether. Hidden Figments will be a mix of full Figment bodies as well as just Figment’s head and horns. You can see an example of a Hidden Figment above.
Even the famous “and you’re watching Disney Channel” will change from Mickey’s head to a Figment head with horns. In case you want to know about that Disney channel song that goes with that scene, check out this amazing document from Defunctland here. This is an incredible video and deserves a lot of credit. Ultimately, Mickey will be slowly phased out. He will not cease to exist, however, his importance in the company will drop off.
With all of this said, the change from Mickey Mouse to Figment as the official Disney mascot is a huge one. This announcement comes with mixed feelings. Many guests are sad to see Mickey Mouse leave the spotlight but excited about Figment. He’s truly a revolutionary character and we expect it to be well received.
What do you think of Disney changing their official mascot from Mickey Mouse to Figment? Let us know in the comments below!
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