A long-lost cartoon produced by Walt Disney and featuring a character that led to the creation of Mickey Mouse was confirmed in Japan decades after it was bought by a high school student.
The film, whose original title was “Neck ’n’ Neck,” was released in 1928, starring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Anime history researcher Yasushi Watanabe, 84, who lives in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, bought the film at a toy wholesalers’ area in Osaka city when he was in high school. It carried a 500-yen price tag and a Japanese title, “Mickey Manga Spide” (Mickey cartoon speedy).
For decades, Watanabe did not realize the historical value of the film in his possession.
“As I’ve been a Disney fan for many years, I’m happy that I was able to play a role (in the discovery),” he said.
The original “Neck ’n’ Neck” is five minutes long. But it was shortened to two minutes for home movie projectors and sold to the public in the form of a 16-mm film.
In the two-minute version, a dog policeman on a motorbike chases Oswald and his girlfriend who are on a date in a car.
When the speeding car and motorbike hit contoured valleys and a steep mountain road, the characters and the vehicles stretch and shrink, a convention commonly used in Disney works over the years.
Watanabe recently read “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons,” a U.S. book published last year. It was written by David Bossert, 58, who for many years was involved in producing animation movies at the U.S. Disney Studios.
The book said the whereabouts of seven of 26 short films featuring Oswald that were produced by Walt Disney were unknown.
Watanabe believed the two-minute “Mickey Manga Spide” film might be one of the missing short films.
To confirm, he asked The Asahi Shimbun to contact Bossert and the Walt Disney Archives of the United States. They confirmed that the film was “Neck ’n’ Neck,” one of the seven lost cartoons.
“We’re absolutely delighted to learn that a copy of the lost film exists,” Becky Cline, director of Walt Disney Archives, said.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.