BREAKING NEWS OHA reports 376 new cases, 7 deaths Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Missing Disney film which predates Mickey Mouse resurfaces in Japan

A 1928 Disney animation, which predates the creation of Mickey Mouse, has been unearthed in Japan, according to Japanese media.

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 6:19 AM

A 1928 Disney animation, which predates the creation of Mickey Mouse, has been unearthed in Japan, according to Japanese media.

The Asahi Shimbun reports that the cartoon short, entitled "Neck n' Neck," was part of the collection of an anime history researcher, Yasushi Watanabe, who bought it in Osaka while still a high school student some 70 years ago.

At the time the film, which had been given the Japanese title "Mickey Manga Spide," or Mickey cartoon speedy, cost ¥500 ($4.40 at current exchange rates).

It features a character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who, in the two-minute consumer version owned by the researcher, is chased by a dog traffic cop while on a date. A longer version of five minutes was also produced.

The find came about after Watanabe read "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons," by former Disney animator David Bossert, which details the history of the character and notes that a number of the early animations had disappeared.

Despite his profession, prior to reading the book Watanabe was unaware of how rare -- and significant -- the film was.

Suspecting that his copy may be one of the missing films, Watanabe worked with the Asahi Shimbun to contact Bossert and the Walt Disney Archives, which confirmed that the film was indeed one of the missing works.

"As I've been a Disney fan for many years, I'm happy that I was able to play a role (in the discovery)," Watanabe said.

"We're absolutely delighted to learn that a copy of the lost film exists," Becky Cline, director of Walt Disney Archives, told the newspaper.

A shorter clip of the film was also unearthed in the Toy Film Museum in Kyoto as a result of Bossert's book, the Asahi Shimbun article reports.

Oswald was phased out by Disney after legal wrangling over the character's rights led to another company gaining control over the creation -- described in Disney archives as a "brazen theft" -- leading the famed cartoonist to devise another animal-based character -- Mickey Mouse -- in 1928.

November 18 marks the 90th anniversary of the premiere of "Steamboat Willie," the first public appearance of arguably the most famous cartoon character in the world, and the mainstay of what would become one of the world's largest entertainment companies.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21010

Reported Deaths: 355
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah484994
Washington304725
Marion288370
Umatilla225128
Clackamas152340
Malheur76814
Deschutes59610
Lane5793
Jackson4612
Yamhill45013
Lincoln4149
Union3942
Jefferson3554
Morrow3543
Polk31312
Linn27710
Klamath2012
Wasco1893
Hood River1840
Benton1696
Douglas1501
Josephine1142
Columbia940
Coos910
Clatsop850
Crook471
Baker380
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman160
Curry150
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 71°
Corvallis
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 69°
Roseburg
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 70°
North Bend
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 63°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events