An important piece of Walt Disney's history has turned up after being thought lost forever. Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, we've learned that a short animated film featuring Walt's creation Oswald the Lucky Rabbit has been discovered intact, in Osaka, Japan. It was one of several original Oswald cartoons that were thought to be lost forever. AÂ 16mm copy of the short, titled "Neck 'n' Neck," was in the possession of anime historian Yasushi Watanabe, now 84, who purchased it when he was in high school almost 70 years ago. Back then, he didn't quite realize the cartoon's significance.
A lifelong animation buff, Watanabe was reading the recently released bookÂ Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney CartoonsÂ by David Bossert. Once he realized one of the missing cartoons he was reading about was actually something he owned, he contacted the Walt Disney Archives, who confirmed its authenticity.Â Watanabe's copy is now being kept at Kobe Planet Film Archive, one of Japan's largest film archives.For those of you unaware of Oswald, he was created by Walt Disney and animator Ub Iwerks back in 1927 for a series of cartoon shorts that were originally distributed by Universal Studios. Then in 1928, Disney lost control of the character in a contract dispute, and went on to create Mickey Mouse that very same year. And the rest, as they say, is history. The Walt Disney company only got control back of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 2006, making him a proper part of the Disney animated family after nearly 80 years.What do you think about this lost piece of Disney history resurfacing after so long? Be sure to let us know down below in the comments.
Images: The Walt Disney Company