A precursor to Disney's iconic Mickey Mouse has been discovered in Japan recently. A 1928 cartoon short film 'Neck n Neck', designed by Walt Disney featuring 'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit', who was apparently the inspiration behind one of the funniest cartoon character of all time, Mickey Mouse, has been found in Japan, as per media reports.
The 16 mm cartoon 'Neck n Neck' was unearthed by anime historian Yasushi Watanabe. Watanabe, who bought this piece of history 70 years ago, did not realize its significance till date. The 84-year-old historian bought it from a toy wholesale dealer in Osaka.
He got to know of its significance after he read 'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons' authored by David Bossert, an animator employed at Disney.
In an interview with a local daily, Watanabe said that he was excited to get a copy of this cartoon as he had been a fan of Disney cartoons for many years.
Watanabe's copy is now being kept at the Kobe Planet Film Archive, which is one of Japan's largest private film collections. The archive houses 16,000 titles.
The character of Oswald was created by Walt Disney and his partner Ub Iwerks back in 1927. They also created a series of other cartoons that featured the same character. It became one of the primary reasons behind the success of Walt Disney Studio.
But in 1928, Disney lost control of Oswald following a contractual dispute with his producer Charles Mintz, since the latter used the character for shows produced in Universal Studios. It is then that Walt decided to come up with the idea of Mickey Mouse.
Mickey Mouse is not only popular among children, but also the adults who have grown up watching the popular cartoon on their small screens. Mickey Mouse has lived a long, colourful life. With his more than 80 years of existence, he has gone through tremendous. From being a black and white, thinnier mouse who didn’t always wear gloves to being the Mickey Mouse we love and adore today, the cartoon has lived a legacy in the world of animation.
(With ANI inputs)