First ever Disney cartoon found

Movies Blog19 June 2012

The oldest known cartoon from the Disney archives has been unearthed as part of Disney's D23 fan celebration event.

The 85-year-old animation 'Harem Scarem' features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit - who starred in 26 cartoons for Universal in the 1920s and 30s and was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, Disney's long-time collaborator.

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The character was the predecessor of Mickey Mouse, and it's clear how he developed into Disney's most iconic animated character.

After things went sour with Universal, Disney archives director Becky Cline told Yahoo News that Disney was heartbroken: "Walt didn't understand that the contract he had signed gave Mintz ownership of the character. He was absolutely devastated. He wanted to do things his way."

In 2006, Disney regained rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit after rather randomly winning him back in negotiations for the contract of sportscaster Al Michaels.

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This year is Oswald's 85th anniversary, and Cline said: "Walt would be so excited about having Oswald back. And for a Disney fan, to get the character back in the fold, is really exciting. To see something they've never seen before…

"This is a prime example of the kind of thing that we're digging out of the vaults, going the extra mile to show the fans something new and unique.

"There's no new Walt Disney history to share unless we dig it out and discover it."

Now, this 85-year-old animation has been shown to the public for the first time, first to big Disney fans at D23, and now to the public on Yahoo!. What do you think?

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