p. 38 p. 39 p. 79 p. 80 p. 82 p. 85

Mickey became an international celebrity, but Walt, betrayed by a good friend, had a nervous breakdown. So he decided to have fun, just like his own creations.

In 1927 the firm of Walt and Roy Disney was being secretly undermined. The young partners suspected nothing. Then my father went to New York to see the distributor of his cartoon series, Oswald the Rabbit, and discovered that the distributor had him over a barrel.

Unless the Disneys took a cut in price, he said, he'd go into production himself. "Four of your top artists are ready to sign with me,” he revealed. He took the Rabbit too. There must have been something in the fine print of their contract that did that. “If those four guys will do this to me, they'tl do it to you,  too, when they get a chance,” Dad told him; and jumping ahead in this story for a moment, that’s just what they tried to do. They helped the smart operator who'd lured them away from Dad produce Oswald cartoons for a year. Then they tried to grab the Rabbit away from him. “But,” Dad tells me. “they didn’t get away with it. An old-timer in this business – he must be an old-timer since he’s been in cartoons longer than I have – slipped in and took charge of the Rabbit. I was on his side all through that in-fighting and I must say I gota kick out of it when he out-smarted the four artists who'd left me.”


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