Sunday, August 27, 2006

The OTHER Walt

Now that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit has been returned to his original owners, it's good to remember that there was another Walter in town making animation... Walter Lantz didn't rise to the same stratospheric heights as Mr. Disney, but he was around a whole lot longer, cranking out new shorts until 1972 (the Disney shorts unit, but contrast, closed in '58. And Warners Animation shut down in 1963.) George "Nick" Nicholas remembers the studio thusly:
In the late 1930s Walt Lantz had his studio on the Universal lot. One day one of the cartoonists came in early and brought a cow-pie from the back lot. He put it under an animation board on top of the light bulb. As the day progressed, the smell increased. What started out to be a gag, turned out to be a disaster. It took a couple of days to air the room out. Another morning, the girls coming in were met by goldfish swimming around in the drinking water bottle. After some wild reactions, one of the fellows came over to take them out. The bottle slipped out of his hands...leaving water, broken glass and flappping goldfish everywhere.


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