Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Steamboat Willie!

On November 18, 1928, Steamboat Willie featuring Mickey Mouse debuted at New York’s 79th Street Theater. The film was one of the earliest cartoons to feature post -production sound. The title Steamboat Willie is a parody of the Buster Keaton film Steamboat Bill, Jr. Supposedly, Steamboat Willie was played ahead of a film called Gang War when it debuted at the 79th Street Theater. The Disney film was an instant success while Gang War has been lost to history. Anyone know anything about this film?
In the years since its debut, Steamboat Willie has met with some censorship requests due to scenes which show cruelty to animals. (Watch for yourself here and tell me what you think). In some scenes, Mickey Mouse swings a cat over his head and later plays a pig and her young like a xylophone. Despite these scenes, the film has been selected for preservation by the National Film Registry, which is a part of the Library of Congress.
Follow the link above to watch the film in its entirety. (The film has been the subject of major copyright disputes, and I don’t want to mess with Disney)

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