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Animation Breakdown: Rare Disney shorts on Tuesday

The Cinefamily’s Animation Breakdown festival (co-sponsored by Cartoon Brew) – going on right now in L.A. at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax – has turned out to be a huge success. Sunday brings Animation Block Party’s Brunch with animators (including Adventure Time’s Tom Herpich premiering the new AT short Thank You, creator Steve Dildarian (The Life and Times of Tim), and a sneak peek of Titmouse’s new Disney show Motorcity), a screening of mind-blowing Polish animated children’s films, and clay-animation genius Bruce Bickford in person.

Tuesday night at 8pm I will be presenting a special program of rare Walt Disney silent films. Direct from The Museum of Modern Art, I’ll be showing brand-new 35mm restorations of previously “lost” Disney Laugh-O-Gram cartoons (his very first series of animated shorts, produced in Kansas City during 1922). These include Jack The Giant Killer, Goldie Locks and The Three Bears, The Four Musicians of Bremen and Little Red Riding Hood. In addition to these early updates/parodies of classic fairy tales, we also have Disney’s original Puss In Boots (1922) and several other 35mm rareties: two of Disney’s live action/animation “Alice Comedies”, one of the rarest “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” cartoons ever made, and live musical accompaniment to all the films.

Several of these shorts were thought lost for many years, and thanks to animation archaeologists David Gerstein and Cole Johnson, MoMA restored several of these cartoons they had long held in their archives, previously misidentified under alternate titles. For more background information on the discovery of these incredible finds, check David Gerstein’s blog; Tickets to the Laugh-O-Grams screening are available here. Disney fans – this is a must-see!

  • Why don’t these theaters/organizations ever pay to have David Gerstein or Cole Johnson accompany their discoveries?

    • I agree! I do what I can to pursuade these venues to show such discoveries (a hard enough task in itself) but financial realities don’t allow transportation and lodging to bring these important historians in.

      Perhaps you can convince some institution in Ithaca to book these films and bring David and Cole to speak. We’d all be grateful!

      • Would love to, Jerry, but I’m out of here by the end of the year. I can’t even convince anyone to do revival shows when I’m providing copies of everything and I’m here in town. Does not reflect well upon a community that supposedly prides itself in its rich cinema history.

  • Again, I have to ask: Is there any reason why these newly discovered and restored shorts haven’t made it to home video yet? Tons of people not being able to attend these festivals would love to see them. So what is holding up the home video relase… copyright problems?

  • kenneth

    It’s sad when the only news I can get this past week about Disney Animation is from 80 years ago. Lose Pixar, what ever happened to REAL Disney animation?

  • Mac

    I’d love to see those rare Disney cartoons, but I’m in the wrong country. Can I ask which Alice comedies and Oswald cartoon is being screened?

  • Matt

    So… just out of sheer curiosity (and possibly envy), is the Oswald short in question Poor Papa, by any chance?