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What Makes Mickey Move? (1934)


Our friend Charles Shopsin has unearthed yet another vintage article about animation in the 1930s from the pages of Modern Mechanix. This one from 1934, What Makes Mickey Mouse Move, is very simplistic and, despite a blurb that mentions “fifty highly trained artists” and photos of animators and technicians at work, the article itself credits Walt with drawing the figures and painting the backgrounds (though no mention is made of Walt providing the voice of Mickey).

  • I believe the camera stand in that illustration is the one on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in LA. It’s in a corner in the basement along with Lon Chaney’s makeup bag and the costume Chaplin wears in Modern Times.

  • Mmmmmm-BOY!! I adore good gossipp….especially when it ain’t …. and it’s 70+ years old!! Yummy! Thank YOO!

  • I thought Hanna Barbera invented limited animation!

  • The article is simplistic, but I’ve seen the same type of simple mistakes made by mainstream press writers who try to write about the animation process many times over the years, continuing to the present time.

    Sure , it’s inaccurate to portray Walt as actually drawing and painting the characters and backgrounds , but somewhere the writer screwed up and I doubt that information (misinformation) came from the studio itself . Indeed, the writer at one point says :

    “Walt Disney and his staff draw from 10,000 to 12,000 individual drawings for each cartoon movie. These are viewed on the screen in about seven minutes. That seems like a lot of work for only seven minutes.”

    Again, inaccurately portraying Walt as supplying drawings for the cartoons, but at least acknowledging the staff who do draw from 10,000 to 12,000 drawings per cartoon, and rightly noting : “that seems like a lot of work for only seven minutes” ! Yep.

    Simplistic inaccuracies or not I love this sort of thing. Thanks for the link Jerry.

  • Uncle Wayne, I hope I’m reading your sarcasm correctly because I honestly thought it was juvenile. “Leading the Animation Conversation” is not simply posting about what’s happening in the industry currently, but also about knowing and learning from our past. Posts like this are fascinating to me because I love to read about how our industry was written about 70+ years ago. I’m with David N. — thanks for the link, Jerry!