Ryan Reynolds' Mint Mobile releases parody ad as original Winnie the Pooh enters public domain
Actor purchased ownership stake in cellphone company in 2019
Ryan Reynolds' Mint Mobile is capitalizing on Winnie the Pooh's entry into the public domain with a new advertisement.
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"So, yesterday was public domain day. It's the day where classic works enter the public domain," the actor said in the ad posted Sunday. "And this year the original Winnie-the-Pooh becomes public domain. So I think you can see where this is going and I expect we'll be hearing from a certain mouse about this Pooh very, very soon."
The advertisement proceeds to focus on a book cover and show illustrations of the beloved bear's struggle with his phone bill while Reynolds narrates with a voice-over and is accompanied by light piano music.
"Here is Edward Bear reviewing his latest bill from Big Wireless. Bump, bump, bump, he slams the front of his head as hard as he can against the table as he realizes how much he’s being charged," Reynolds says as a drawing depicts the character slamming his head against a table. "It is, as far as he knows, the only way to have a cellphone, because he hasn’t yet switched to Mint Mobile. Anyhow, here he is getting worked over like so many people, and ready to be introduced to you. Winnie-the-Screwed."
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Reynolds goes on to say that Winnie the Screwed "just wants to keep some of his sweet, sweet, money" but that his "money jar gets emptier and emptier with every monthly bill."
"So I told Christopher Robin that anyone can get three free months of Mint Mobile now until Friday at midnight," he adds. "Unless my interpretation of copyright law is wrong."
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According to the Copyright Term Extension Act, also nicknamed the "The Mickey Mouse Protection Act," a company's copyright on a "work for hire" is 95 years from first publication or 120 years after its creation, whichever ends sooner.
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While the first Winnie the Pooh story published by author A.A. Milne in 1926 is free for anyone to use for inspiration for new projects, Disney will continue to maintain copyright protection over its own versions of the characters.
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The latest ad from Reynolds follows a December 2020 commercial for Match.com featuring the rerecording of Taylor Swift's 2008 hit song "Love Story; a June 2021 commercial highlighting Aviation Gin, another Reynolds company; and a Peloton commercial poking fun at the fate of Mr. Big, a character on "Sex and the City" and its HBO Max reboot, "And Just Like That," played by Chris Noth. Reynolds' Peloton advertisement has since been pulled following allegations of sexual misconduct against Noth.
Mint Mobile, founded in 2015, is based in Costa Mesa, California. Reynolds purchased an ownership stake in the company in 2019.