p. 45

IT was in 1932 that Mickey Mouse won for Walt Disney the "Special" award of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, an honour which until then had been given only twice before — to Charlie Chaplin for The Circus and to the pioneers of sound films. Mickey, it is said, was inspired by a mouse that used to sit on Walt Disney’s drawing board when he was a commercial artist in Kansas City.

Mickey was not Walt Disney’s first cartoon creation. He was preceded by "Alice" and "Oswald the Rabbit," but Mickey was his most successful and favourite child. Yet nobody wanted Mickey at first, and Walt and his brother Roy, who helped him in those early days, as he helps him now, distributed the prints of Walt’s cartoons themselves, as no distributor would handle them. Their faith in Mickey was justified by his ever-increasing success.

Then came the "Silly Symphonies," the delightful colour cartoons, the first of which. Flowers and Trees, won Walt Disney an Academy certificate in the same year that Mickey won the award for him. Since then scarcely a year has passed without Walt Disney gaining an award, gold plaque or certificate in connection with one or other of the Disney cartoons.

Not all those that have won awards are pictured here, but the best-known ones are included as well as the quaint, beloved characters who have accompanied Mickey Mouse on his adventures, or become stars in their own right. They illustrate the range of Disney’s quest for subjects for the Silly Symphonies, in fable and fairy tale, in topical and homely humour. The study that precedes each production, the precision and first-class draughtsmanship with which it is expressed prove that such inspired fun is not achieved without hard labour as well.

[img]1933 — "Three Little Pigs."[/img]
[img]1934 — "The Tortoise and the Hare."[/img]
[img]1935 — "Three Orphan Kittens."[/img]
[img]1936 — "The Country Cousin."[/img]
[img]1939 — "The Ugly Duckling."[/img]
[img]1942 — "Der Fuehrer's[/img]
[img]1938 — "Ferdinand the Bull."[/img]

[img]And here is the inimitable Mickey Mouse himself — in his juvenile days. Mickey has changed with the passing years — this young Mickey has thinner legs, a shorter nose, longer tail and smaller ears than to-day's Mickey.[/img]

In addition to those seen here, Disney has also won awards for the following films :
1932 — Flowers and Trees.
1937 — The Old Mill.
1940 — An award for the best song — "When You Wish Upon a Star," sung in Pinocchio.
1941 — A Mickey Mouse film. Lend a Paw, and a special award for Fantasia.

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