The folks over at Dread Central have given fans their first look at the trailer for Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, the upcoming horror movie featuring a silly old bear and his best piglet pal...who of course are on a killing spree. The film has had fans howling ever since its existence was revealed, which happened almost immediately after Winnie-the-Pooh fell into the public domain earlier this year. The earliest of A.A. Milne's stories about the beloved childhood characters are now free for anybody to use, or reimagine, as they see fit -- and filmmaker Rhys Frake-Waterfield sees it as a tale of terror.
The characters have been redesigned, with Piglet featuring tusks like a warthog and Pooh wearing a plaid shirt that evokes a lumberjack more than the red t-shirt recognizable from he Disney version of the character. Tigger, though, remains copyrighted, and will not appear. So we'll have to wait another couple of years for that inevitably bloody installment in the franchise.
You can see the trailer below.
Going in, we knew that things had not ended well for Eeyore. Now, we can see that one of the young people being hunted in the film is Christopher Robin, whose abandonment of Pooh and his friends in the 100-Acre Wood seemingly sets the stage for the massacre that follows.
While the characters themselves are public domain, anything added to them by the Disney movies would be owned by Disney and not up for public domain for a number of years. That means you have to be very conscious about confusing consumers. Waterfield isn't worried on that score.
"No one is going to mistake this [for Disney]," Waterfield said. "When you see the cover for this and you see the trailers and the stills and all that, there's no way anyone is going to think this is a child's version of it."
After a certain amount of time, which is different depending on national laws, classic works are considered no longer owned by any one person or entity, and instead become property of the larger culture, allowing them to be adapted, performed, repurposed, or reprinted without any additional cost.
"Due to differing copyright laws around the world, there is no one single public domain – and here we focus on three of the most prominent," the Public Domain Review explained. "Newly entering the public domain in 2022 will be: works by people who died in 1951, for countries with a copyright term of "life plus 70 years" (e.g. UK, Russia, most of EU and South America); works by people who died in 1971, for countries with a term of "life plus 50 years" (e.g. Canada, New Zealand, and most of Africa and Asia); and works published in 1926 (and all pre-1923 sound recordings), for the United States."