Thursday, December 07, 2006

Early Walt Disney

A classic animator in the early days of cinema was Walt Disney, originally an advertising cartoonist who initially experimented with combining animated and live-action films. The very first films he made, around 1920, were short cartoons called Newman Laugh-O-Grams. His first successful silent cartoons (from 1923-1927) were dozens of shorts called Alice Comedies (or Alice in Cartoonland) that debuted in 1924 with Alice's Day at Sea (1924).

Disney's Alice cartoons placed a live-action title character into an animated Wonderland world. Oswald the Rabbit was Disney's first successful animal star in a 26-cartoon series distributed by Universal beginning in 1927. Oswald appeared in a number of cartoon shorts, such as: Trolley Troubles (1927) and Poor Papa (1927). Disney produced about two dozen of the silent, black and white Oswald cartoons from 1927-1928 until giving up the character to Walter Lantz and moving onto Mickey Mouse (looking like Oswald with his ears cut off) in 1928.

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