Saturday, 1 May 2010

What do I know ? More on Mickey : -

Regular LAM reader Brian Pendreigh sent me a lovely email today , adding more information about the whole Steamboat Willie v. Plane Crazy controversy. He writes,
"I know that Steamboat Willie is generally accepted among QMs as the first Mickey Mouse cartoon and of course all good quizzers know better and know that Plane Crazy was first (and a few may even know Gallopin' Gaucho was second).

But how do we know? And what do we mean first? Wikipedia certainly backs the idea that Plane Crazy was first, but also notes that Disney regards Steamboat Willie as Mickey's debut, which begs the question Why?

I dug out my encylcopaedic official history of the Disney studios, which contains a lot of detail on the history of Mickey, as you would expect. And yes, Plane Crazy was made first. But... Disney couldn't find a distributor for what was a prototype animated character in a silent short - at a time when everyone was buzzing about the arrival of the talkies. It did get what is described as a "preview" screening at an unnamed cinema on Sunset Blvd on May 15 1928. He did however get backing for Steamboat Willie which served as the first sound cartoon and effectively launched the series when it screened at the Colony Theater in NYC on November 18 1928.

The rule of thumb on dating films - as you will know - is that they are allocated the date of first public exhibition, not the date of production (with a few exceptions, such as Performance, where there is a major discrepancy). If you count that May preview, then it is Plane Crazy, but certainly these days a preview would not normally count. And on that basis Steamboat Willie would therefore qualify as the first Mickey Mouse cartoon. Plane Crazy and Gallopin' Goucho subsequently had sound added."

So therefore I apologise to the setter of the quiz on Tuesday night - and if you're reading this, I really did enjoy it - since it seems that at best , Plane Crazy AND Steamboat Willie are acceptable answers, and there is a case for accepting just Steamboat Willie .


Good quiz again on Thursday night. Here was an interesting question -
Who was the only manager to win the European Cup ( when it was the European Cup, and before it became the Champion's League ) 3 times ?

Now, I say an interesting question rather than an interesting answer, since I'm not a football expert, but even I knew that Bob Paisely won it 3 times with Liverpool in 1977, 1978 and 1981. what I didn't know, though, was that he was the only manager to do it three times, and that's interesting to me, especially since you think of Real Madrid winning it on the trot all those times in the late 50s.

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