When Japanese researcher Yasushi Watanabe (84) bought an animation film decades ago as a high school student, it was far from realizing that Mickey Mouse had taken one of the survivors of Oswald's predecessor.
The cost of 500 yen (close to four euros at current prices) has been unearthed by the rare Walt Disney cartoon "Neck & # 39; Neck", which is now emerging. Oswald, the lucky rabbit (Oswald Lucky Rabbit), is a hero created by Disney before Mickey Mouse.
The discovery was reported by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, contacted by historian Yasushi Watanabe, 84, after reading the book "Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit: A Search for Lost Disney Cartoons" published by David a year ago. Bossert, Disney studios maker.
In the early years, the book featured 26 short films produced by Disney and starring Oswald. Watanabe accepted the possibility of buying one of these copies 60 years ago.
In the 1920s, Oswald was a tall figure with a small, round black nose created by Disney. Instead, he gave a movie called Mickey Mouse and his first film, Steamboat Willie, which was first viewed on November 18, 1928, 90 years ago.
Watanabe, the film purchased by "Mickey Manga Spider", takes about five minutes in the original version, and two minutes in the assembly screen of the small home projectors of the time. It tells the story of a policeman chasing Oswald and his girlfriend on a motorcycle. As they pass through triple roads, hills and valleys, the tensions of the characters and their vehicles tends to shrink and shrink, as if they were harmless, forming a repetitive technique in the films of the American producer and director.
In light of the possibility raised by Watanabe, the Japanese newspaper later contacted the author of the book and confirmed that "Mickey Manga Spider" is one of the missing films whose original name is "Neck and Neck." n "Neck").
Becky Cline, who heads the Walt Disney archive, told the Japanese newspaper, "We definitely know there is a copy of the lost film." "For many years, I'm happy to be able to play a role in this discovery as a Disney fan," said Watanabe, a Japanese researcher who specializes in the history of animated films.
The short film is currently being viewed in the Kobe Planet Film archive, a 50-second copy of the newly discovered animation in the Toy Film Museum in Kyoto.