Long-lost Disney film featuring Mickey Mouse's ancestor discovered in Japan

Long-lost Disney film featuring Mickey Mouse's ancestor discovered in Japan

Long-lost Disney film featuring Mickey Mouse's ancestor discovered in Japan

As for Oswald, it was left in animation purgatory until Disney CEO Bob Iger bought back the rights in 2006.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, an anime historian in Japan has been in the possession of one of Disney's Oswald cartoons for nearly 70 years.

A lost Walt Disney film of a character who preceded Mickey Mouse was recently discovered in Japan. After speaking with Watanabe, the paper reached out to the Walt Disney Archives and confirmed that it was one of seven of the 26 Oswald cartoons that had been thought to be lost for good.

Yasushi Watanabe, 84, reportedly bought the 1928 film directed by Walt Disney himself for just $6 at a toy wholesaler in Osaka as a teenager.

The original runtime of "Neck "n" Neck" was five minutes, but it was cut down to two minutes for the 16mm release. "As I've been a Disney fan for many years, I'm happy that I was able to play a role", Watanabe tells Ito.

Title: The film was later identified as "Neck "n" Neck".

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This is not the first Oswald cartoon to resurface in recent years.

The cartoon, titled 'Empty Socks, ' was the first Christmas film made by the U.S. entertainment giant and was discovered during an inventory at the library's facility near the Arctic Circle.

Gavin J. Blair at The Hollywood Reporter reports that Oswald was the first recurring cartoon character created by Disney.

The discovery was reported by Japan's Asahi Shimbun daily, which Watanabe contacted after reading a book about the history of "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit", the character Disney created in the 1920s. Disney asked for a budget increase, but Mintz balked, countering for a decrease in the production budget instead. So now Disney once again owns Oswald and the rights to all his films, including the remaining ones that are yet to be found (Oswald also made a cameo in the 2013 Disney short Get a Horse!). Oswald continued on under the Universal banner, but eventually was twilighted.

Flashback: In 2015, a cartoon featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was shared for the first time in 87 years, BBC reported. Right after the meeting with Mintz in which he lost control of Oswald, Disney made a decision to come up with a new character that he would own himself - and that character was Mickey Mouse.

There was even a book published past year by author and Disney animator David Bossert, called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons, which detailed the history of the Oswald shorts and the ongoing hunt for the missing entries in the series.

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