Film Scouts Reviews

"Walt Disney's Unseen Treasures"

by Leslie Rigoulot

September 3, 1996

"Walt Disney's Unseen Treasures" isn't quite ready for release. Scott MacQueen, the chief archivist, still narrates portions live and introduces each segment. But this compilation was nevertheless one of the most-clamored-for productions at the Telluride Film Festival.

A short that was made to be shown only at the 1932 Academy Awards dinner lampooned Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler and Frederick March. No one had seen it since that 1932 showing, and MacQueen even said there was no record of it having been made. A 1939 Nabisco/Mickey Mouse short has also remained unseen since made, probably because no one had heard of synergy then. Minnie burns the cookies she is baking for Mickey, and to make her feel better he runs out and buys a Nabisco assortment. Come to think of it, that one may yet show up on TV! "Pluto's Judgment Day" was found as unfinished tests in pencil that one of the artists had saved from a trash bin. It was matched with the actual cartoon for comparison and demonstrated more about animation than three books on the subject could cover. One of the oddest pieces was a test done by Salvador Dali and Disney on the prospect of working together. Two Dali faces on a typical Dali landscape converge and a ballerina emerges from the meeting place. Economic concerns kept the two from working together, although they remained friends.

Ward Kimball, one of Disney's eight original animators, was at the screening and gave his personal insights. On the "Ferdinand the Bull" short, Kimball was responsible for the picadors and matador entering the ring. Each is one of his fellow artists with Walt himself as the matador, followed by Ward Kimball as the matador's lowly sword carrier. Kimball was slighted when his eight months of work on the Seven Dwarfs soup scene was cut by Walt. But we got to see it in pencil drawings along with the deleted "Claire de Lune" segment from "Fantasia" which had even been color-completed. Kimball had his chance to get even when he was assigned the opening number for "Three Caballeros" and broke all the rules of animation. "I had characters exit left and return right. I had serapes floating in air; I had a gun that talked. And Walt loved it!" said the aging Kimball. It is unfortunate that Walt isn't around to make sure that MacQueen's and Kimball's comments aren't preserved along with the other treasures.

Back to 1996 Telluride Film Festival Reviews

Back to Walt Disney's Unseen Treasures

Back to the Press Room

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.