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In 2011, international auction house Bonhams sold a rare 16mm print of a lost silent-era Oswald The Lucky Rabbit cartoon, Hungry Hobos (1928). The buyer was never disclosed at the time, but the Walt Disney Company has since obtained the film, restored the print to pristine condition, and is ready to present it again after an 85 year absence.

The film will get its first truly public screening Saturday June 8th with a new score composed and conducted by Mark Watters. It will be accompanying Buster Keaton’s 1923 feature, Our Hospitality.

Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was the star of Walt Disney’s cartoons for release through Universal Pictures in 1927-28. Contact disputes with producer Charles Mintz led a reluctant Disney to depart from Universal and Oswald, create Mickey Mouse… and the rest is history.

In 2006, Robert Iger negotiated a deal with NBC/Universal, trading the services of sportscaster Al Michaels for intellectual property rights to Disney’s Oswald. The studio has since tracked down 14 of the original 26 Disney cartoons. Thirteen of the shorts appeared on the DVD set Walt Disney Treasures - The Adventures of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit released in 2007.

The company has since licensed vintage images of the lucky rabbit on T-shirts and other theme park collectibles, as well using Oswald to co-star in the video games Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2.

Disney’s digital restoration of Hungry Hobos was first screened last September 2nd at the Telluride Film Festival. It was not announced publicly that it would show at that industry gathering, nor noted in their program book. The screening at Royce Hall is the first screening announced and open to the public – and the first with a full musical score.  

For more information click here.

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