Walt Disney’s Hungry Hobos, originally released in May 1928, has been found and will be put up for auction on December 14, 2011 at Bonhams in Los Angeles. The 5 minute 21 second film is one of a series Disney created for Universal Studios featuring Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, and had been lost until it was recently discovered in a social history film archive in Herefordshire, UK.
“When we checked this film we couldn’t quite believe our eyes,” stated Amanda Huntley of Huntley Film Archives. “For an archive, finding a lost masterpiece is incredible – you just don’t think it will happen to you. We are excited and delighted to offer this gem to animation aficionados and collectors.”
Hungry Hobos is expected to bring in $30,000-40,000 at auction. Money raised will go toward helping to restore films in the Huntley Film Archives’ extensive collection.
The Background of Hungry Hobos [Per Bonhams]:
“The character of Oswald was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks for a series of cartoons introduced in 1927. After the Alice Comedies were finished, Disney signed a contract with Universal Studios to produce a new series for George Winkler and Charles Mintz. The first production featuring Oswald, Poor Papa, was rejected by Universal as the production and look of Oswald was deemed unsatisfactory. The second, Trolley Troubles, with a younger-looking Oswald, effectively began the series and it became a great success, with Walt Disney overseeing some twenty six titles.
In 1928 Disney approached Mintz for a budget increase but Mintz countered with a demand for a cut, stating that he had already negotiated with most of Disney’s then employees to sign a revised contract. Disney refused Mintz’s demand and disassociated himself from the Oswald series. Iwerks and several others stuck with Disney and it was during this period that Disney and Iwerks produced the character of Mickey Mouse – a slightly altered Oswald – and the most iconic of Disney’s creations.”
Source: Bonhams – November 28, 2011