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16th Nov 2018

A rare ‘lost’ Disney cartoon has been discovered in Japan

Wil Jones

A collector bought the 70 year old film for £3

A 70-year-old Disney cartoon which had been long considered ‘lost’ has been discovered in Japan.

Entitled Neck & Neck, the two minute short features Oswald The Lucky Rabbit – the character Walt Disney first had success with, before he created Mickey Mouse.

The film was discovered by 84-year-old Yasushi Watanabe. He’d actually had the film since he was a teenager. He’d bought it from a toy collector for just ¥500 (£3.45).

He only recently discovered that he was sitting on a piece of film history that was long thought lost after reading the book Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons, written by Disney animator David Bossert, which came out last year.

The 16 mm reel was labeled Mickey Manga Spide  – which translates as Mickey Cartoon Speedy.

Another missing Oswald cartoon was found by the BFI in 2015.

Here is an example of another Oswald short:

Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, and they made 27 cartoons starring him between 1927 and 1928. He was Disney’s first big successful character, but they lost the rights to the character after a dispute with Universal.

After that, Walt went on to create a new character called Mickey Mouse. It worked out pretty well for him, all things considered.