Why 2022 is an IMPORTANT year for Winnie-the-Pooh and Bambi

The new year brings some major changes to Disney parks. From upcoming attractions to new technologies, there is always something new around. 2022 marked the end of Disney’s Magical Express, the beginning of a new one Star Wars history and a new era of Disney World holidays. But there are some other changes taking place outside of the Disney parks that we need to discuss!

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January 1 was Public Domain Day, which means that a large number of copyrights since 1926 have expired and are now classified as public domain. Why does this matter? Some famous stories we know and love now can be published, edited, and interpreted by EVERYONE without paying a license fee.

Let’s talk about copyright

In the past, we’ve talked about what will happen in 2024 when Disney’s ownership of Mickey Mouse expires. Disney has been pushing for the protection of Mickey Mouse for decades, extending corporate copyright protection to 95 years with the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act.”

Willie Steamboat © Disney

Meanwhile, however, some other classic stories have just reached an important point in time. As of January 1, 2022, two beloved stories are already open to the public for creative use, included the original versions of Bambi i Winnie-the-Pooh. Please note that we are only talking about the ORIGINAL versions of these stories, not the Disney movies!

Click here for more information on what will happen when Disney no longer owns Mickey Mouse


It is important to note that Disney did not create the original story for Bambi o Winnie-the-Pooh. In fact, Disney acquired the rights to AA Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh books in 1961, more than three decades after its original publication. The only version of Winnie-the-Pooh and playable friends are the original versions created by AA Milne. That means Disney version of these characters is still protected. In other words, the 1926 story of AA Milne Winnie-the-Pooh it is the only version that is now in the public domain.

The original Winnie-the-Pooh and Bambi stories are now in the public domain

Besides, Tigger did not appear until a later story published in 1928, that is, it will enter the public domain in 2024. The original Winnie-the-Pooh The story featured only Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Owl and Christopher Robin. According to reports, only these eight characters are now in the public domain.

The new adventures of Winnie the Pooh © Disney

An article published by USA Today states that the Winnie-the-Pooh The story contains one of Disney’s most valuable character sets. The franchise has reportedly won the Walt Disney Company more than $ 80 billion in total.


The original Bambi history, titled Bambi, A life in the woods was written by Austro-Hungarian author Felix Salten. This 1926 story is also in the public domain, that is only Salten’s version Bambi is available for public use.

Bambi and Thumper! © Disney

Disney used the story of Salten as inspiration for its 1942 film adaptation, which we all know. Bambi. Again, only the original version of Bambi is considered public domain. The 1942 Disney version of Bambi is still protected and owned by Disney.

What does it mean?

Although the original stories of Winnie-the-Pooh i Bambi they are now in the public domain, there are still some restrictions on what people can and cannot do with these characters.

Bambi and Thumper at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

of Disney Winnie-the-Pooh the characters are trademarked by the Walt Disney Company, as they are Bambi characters. Anyone who wants to create original or modified works with Bambi or Pooh can ONLY use the characters from the original 1926 story. Disney also owns both the original version of Tigger and its variation of its character; its copyright does not expire until 2024.

Silly old bear

Trademark laws are completely different from copyright laws and protect Disney characters from being copied. Technically, Disney has the potential to try to spread Winnie-the-Pooh i Those of Bambi copyright, although experts believe Disney would not succeed. It will be interesting to see how things unfold in 2024, as Mickey Mouse is one of the first major original characters created by Walt Disney to enter the public domain. Be sure to stay tuned for any future news.

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What do you think of this important development? Let us know in the comments!

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