There was a time I could tell you anything and everything about The Walt Disney company, their films, their business practices, and anything you cared to know about their characters. Sadly, too much boozing and being beatdown by upper middle management have forced most of those ideas and facts from my simple mind. I remember reading somewhere long ago about the 1928 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short, Hungry Hobos, but I had forgotten all about it. Seems The Walt Disney Animation Studios forgot about the animated piece, too, but fortunately, the lost print has been found and restored.
The film was found in a private collection in England in 2011, and was quickly acquired by Disney that then spent the year digitally restoring the print. Hungry Hobos debuted at the Telluride Film Festival last week (Sept. 2, 2012 to be exact) as part of the lead up to film historian Serge Bromberg’s presentation.
“We are very grateful to Disney for letting us debut this newly restored Oswald short in Telluride,” said Bromberg. “The film has some wonderful gags, and provides an excellent look at the early work of Walt Disney before he created Mickey Mouse. We salute Disney’s efforts to preserve its cinematic past, while moving forward with such exciting new efforts as ‘Paperman.’”
Prior to 2006, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was owned by NBC Universal (there’s a fascinating story about that), but traded Al Michaels (famous for his play-by-play on ABC’s Monday Night Football) in order to get Oswald back into the hands of Disney. How that went down also has to be a fascinating tale…
I’m sure Hungry Hobos will make its way to the cable, DVD, or digital download arena soon, but for now, you can see Oswald’s adventures in Disney’s Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2 video games.