If you did a double take when you first read this headline, you’re not mistaken. This news is very, very real, and actually a pleasant surprise. Perfectly coinciding with the Christmas season, a very obscure 1927 Disney cartoon titled “Empty Socks” starring Oswald The Lucky Rabbit has been discovered in Norway, near the Arctic Circle.
The cartoon reel was recovered from a library facility in Moi i Rana, Norway, during its digitization drive. The film, coincidentally, is a Christmas themed cartoon first commissioned by Walt Disney for Universal Pictures. It was recovered in two reels that “were not clearly labelled”, sources at the National Library say. The original short film was 5 and a half minutes long, but the found footage has 30 to 60 seconds missing from the film’s middle.
This particular film belonged to an individual, then was sent to the collection at the Norwegian Film Institute, whose archive is managed by Norway’s National Library. According to the National Library, a digital copy has been sent to The Walt Disney Company. The only previously available footage of this short is a 25-second long clip, and is present at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is one of Walt Disney’s earliest creations. Jointly created with Ub Iwerks for Universal, Oswald starred in a series of shorts, way before Mickey Mouse and the gang came along.
No word when, or if, we’ll ever get a chance to see this little treasure, but it certainly is the perfect Christmas present for the world of animation.
Picture courtesy: The Huffington Post