Big, black ears, funny antics, and old-timey high-waisted shorts. Nope, the animated furry is not the world wide recognized Mickey Mouse, but another Disney creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Said to be a predecessor to the famous mouse, Oswald was featured in a 1928's animated film by Walt Disney that has, until now, thought to have been lost.
However, the British Film Institute (BFI) has recently uncovered this gem from their archives and will screen it just in time for Christmas. The six minute movie entitled, "Sleigh Bells" is thought to have been part of a collection that was donated to BFI in the 80's, but the reel was overlooked and unbeknownst to anyone, contained the last remaining copy of the movie.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was reportedly one of Walt Disney's favorite creations from 1927. He was a character that was loved by the public for his mischievous and rebellious ways, a spokesperson for BFI said.
The BFI and Walt Disney Animation Studios will restore the film to its original glory and screen it on Dec. 12 at the BFI Southbank as part of the Institute's Christmas program entitled, "It's a Disney Christmas: Seasonal Shorts."
Robin Baker, the head curator of BFI is thrilled to be making history with the showing of the movie for the first time since 1928.
"What a joyful treat to discover a long-lost Walt Disney film in the BFI National Archive and to be able to show Sleigh Bells to a whole new audience 87 years after it was made. The restoration of this film will introduce many audiences to Disney's work in the silent period - it clearly demonstrates the vitality and imagination of his animation at a key point in his early career," he said.
The current president of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Andrew Millstein is equally excited about reintroducing Oswald to the public after being lost for nearly a century.
"The Oswald shorts are an important part of our Studios' history, and we have been working with film archives and private collectors all around the world to research the missing titles."