Tuesday, September 04, 2012

New/Old Short

So the Mouse restores and projects his immediate predecessor.

Walt Disney Animation Studios debuted a newly restored digital print of the once-thought-lost 1928 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit animated short “Hungry Hobos” at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, according to Dave Bossert, producer/creative director and head of special projects for WDAS. ...

And where did the lost short come from?

... The only known copy of Hungry Hobos starring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was found at the Huntley Film Archives in Herefordshire, where it had probably languished for decades. ...

"This was made in 1928 and has been in our collection for decades. We specialise in social history films and not animation," [said Amanda Huntley.]

"But my colleague took the film from the shelf and Googled it – I don't really know why." ...

So the short is whisked away to a Los Angeles auction house, where an "anonymous bidder" named the Disney Co. snaps it up ... and restores it.

My question: Is this short under copyright, or not? Because once a copyright lapses, it's tough to put the public domain object back under the (c) again. (Of course, the Mouse will likely find a way to copyright "this version" ... and since the Telluride specimen is the only version, I guess it could be under copyright, yes?

6 comments:

Mark Mayerson said...

By adding a soundtrack, Disney will be able to copyright that version of the film. They may also have the right to copyright the digitally cleaned up version. In addition, they own the trademark to Oswald, so unless somebody can get access to the original print, Disney may own the only versions available to the public.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

There's no doubt about that Mark!

I do recall last year when the short made news because of that single copy in a British archive and a pal of mine freaked out completely at the irrational way they've made it out to be that "lost" in our lives that that's why it went so high on auction (and it didn't surprise me that Disney would get it, though they should've just simply gave them the print directly (with or without payment).

And this was a 16mm print I'm told as well.
http://cartoonsonfilm.blogspot.com/2011/11/sorry-oswald-youre-unlucky-exploited.html

Charles K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mesterius said...

My question: When will the general public be able to purchase and/or see this short? Festivals is nice, and it's great that Disney restored the film, but it deserves to be distributed more widely, preferably online and/or on home video.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Much in the same way some of us want to see "Lorenzo" again, but that may never happen even if it was streamed legitimately somewhere.

Trésors Disney said...

here is a site about Disney animated shorts, creators & rarities : Secrets of productions, unmade Disney, original documents... : http://facebook.com/tresorsdisney

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