A Lost Disney Film From 1928 Was Just Found

Senior Pop Culture Editor
lost disney film


“Steamboat Willie” is often incorrectly referred to as the first Disney short. It’s not even the first animated film with Mickey Mouse — the silent “Plane Crazy” was screen-tested for audiences a good six months before “Steamboat” (now with sound!) was released on Nov. 18, 1928. Besides, Walt Disney had been directing shorts since the early 1920s, from his “Laugh-O-Grams” series to the “Alice Comedies” of 1923 to 1927. From there, Disney and Ub Iwerks began working on films featuring the proto-Mickey, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

He’s the star of the “Sleigh Bells” that Demi Lovato didn’t allegedly rip off. The six-minute film (released July 23, 1928) was lost, “unseen since its original release,” according to BFI, but it was recently rediscovered by a researcher “browsing the online catalogue of the BFI National Archive’s holdings.”

BFI head curator Robin Baker said:

“What a joyful treat to discover a long-lost Walt Disney film in the BFI National Archive and to be able to show ‘Sleigh Bells’ to a whole new audience 87 years after it was made. The restoration of this film will introduce many audiences to Disney’s work in the silent period – it clearly demonstrates the vitality and imagination of his animation at a key point in his early career.”

“Sleigh Bells” will be screened in London as part of the “It’s a Disney Christmas: Seasonal Shorts” program.

Al Michaels will probably not be in attendance.

(Via BFI)

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