Forgotten Disney Film Rediscovered

January 4, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. archive / ˈɑr kaɪv / (n.) – place where documents, records, or other items are stored
Example: Meggy checked the library’s archive for newspapers from 1915.

2. browse / braʊz / (v.) – to look through something
Example: I browsed the bookstore’s collection of romantic novels.

3. dispute / dɪˈspyut / (n.) – disagreement or difference in opinion
Example: The director had a dispute with the scriptwriter about how to shoot the scene.

4. stark / stɑrk / (adj.) – obvious or evident
Example: There is a stark contrast between Mia’s personality and her brother’s.

5. curator / kyʊˈreɪ tər / (n.) – someone who manages a museum, gallery, or a sort of collection
Example: The curator can tell you more about today’s exhibit.


Read the text below.
After more than eight decades, a long-lost Walt Disney animated film was finally shown to the public.

The British Film Institute (BFI) National Archive, one of the largest film collections in the world, made the screening of a forgotten short film called Sleigh Bells possible. This short film, which was created in 1927, was donated to BFI’s archive in the early 80s.

For 87 years, nobody realized that BFI’s copy of Sleigh Bells was the only surviving copy. The film was found early last year by an American researcher browsing the BFI archive for lost Disney titles.

The short film is about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a cartoon character created for Universal Studios by Ub Iwerks, in coordination with Walt Disney. After a contractual dispute with Universal, Iwerks and Disney agreed to create Mickey Mouse, a mouse that resembled Oswald.

Stark similarities between Oswald and Mickey Mouse made the former a slightly familiar character. A spokesperson from the BFI said that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was known for being mischievous and rebellious.

Robin Baker, BFI National Archive’s head curator, said that the rediscovery and screening of a long-lost Walt Disney film has given great pleasure to the organization. According to him, the film could provide an insight to this generation’s audiences about Walt Disney’s early creations.

Walt Disney Animation Studios president Andrew Millstein believes that aside from Sleigh Bells, there could be other lost Disney films that are waiting to be discovered in the archive.

The six-minute animation film premiered on December 12, 2015 at the BFI Southbank in London.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What kind of insights do you think viewers will have after watching the long-lost film?
·         Would you be interested in watching old Disney films that might be discovered in the future? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         In your country, how are cultural contributions like film or literature preserved?
·         What piece of culture from the present would you like to share with people in the future?

January 4, 2016