While the blogosphere and Disney enthusiasts go crazy over the contents of a photo of a box tweeted by filmmaker Brad Bird, giving clues into his next project for the house of the Mouse, perhaps the real excitement these days is coming from a lost folder discovered in the Disney archives.
The folder, which has not seen the light of day for nearly 75 years, contains a forgotten piece of artwork featuring Mickey Mouse. The sketch from 1938 was for a never completed cartoon entitled “Mickey’s Toothache.” Drawn by artist Ferdinand Horvath, the drawing shows a swollen-faced Mickey running from a pliers-and-saw-carrying dentist, Peg-Leg Pete, and a dentist chair. The sketch from the never-produced short came ten years after Mickey and Pete debuted on the silver screen along with Minnie Mouse in “Steamboat Willie.”
Disney Archives Director Betsy Cline says the re-discovered treasure is significant in the transformation of Mickey from a popular cartoon character to an American icon. The find also highlights the contributions of sketch animator Horvath who was a self-taught artist. Born in 1891, Horvath spent time in a Russian concentration camp where he taught himself to draw before immigrating to America in 1921. He was employed at the Disney Studios from 1934 through 1944 working on as many as 80 animated shorts and contributing to the production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
According to jimhillmedia.com, Horvath worked on a number of unreleased projects for Disney including “Mickey and the Sea Serpent,” “Mickey’s Barber Shop,” and “Mickey in Pygmy Land.”
Might the “Mickey’s Toothache” discovery finally make its way into a new Disney animated short? Cline tells Yahoo News that “It’s possible.” As for now Disney fans will have to view images of the newly discovered treasure on the Internet or at one of the upcoming D23 Disney Fanniversary events being staged around the country in cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. For more information on the celebrations you can go to d23.disney.com.