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Old 18 January 2010, 10:27 PM
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Disney Disney's suicide mouse

Comment: So do any of you remember those Mickey Mouse cartoons from the 1930s? The ones that were just put out on DVD a few years ago? Well, I hear there is one that was unreleased to even the most avid classic disney fans. According to sources, it's nothing special. It's just a continuous loop (like flinstones) of mickey walking past 6 buildings that goes on for two or three minutes before fading out. Unlike the cutesy tunes put in though, the song on this cartoon was not a song at all, just a constant banging on a piano as if the keys for a minute and a half before going to white noise for the remainder of the film. It wasn't the jolly old Mickey we've come to love either, Mickey wasn't dancing, not even smiling, just kind of walking as if you or I were walking, with a normal facial expression, but for some reason his head tilted side to side as he kept this dismal look. Up until a year or two ago, everyone believed that after it cut to black and that was it. When Leonard Maltin was reviewing the cartoon to be put in the complete series, he decided it was too junk to be on the DVD, but wanted to have a digital copy due to the fact that it was a creation of Walt. When he had a digitized version up on his computer to look at the file, he noticed something.

The cartoon was 9 minutes and 4 seconds long.

"After it cut to black, it stayed like that until the 6th minute, before going back into Mickey walking. The sound was different this time. It was a murmur. It wasn't a language, but more like a gurgled cry. As the noise got more indistinguishable and loud over the next minute, the picture began to get weird. The sidewalk started to go in directions that seemed impossible based on the physics of Mickeys walking. And the dismal face of the mouse was slowly curling into a smirk. On the 7th minute, the murmur turned into a bloodcurdling scream (the kind of scream painful to hear) and the picture was getting more obscure. Colors were happening that shouldn't have been possible at the time. Mickey face began to fall apart. his eyes rolled on the bottom of his chin like two marbles in a fishbowl, and his curled smile was pointing upward on the left side of his face. The buildings became rubble floating in midair and the sidewalk was still impossibly navigating in warped directions, a few seeming inconcievable with what we, as humans, know about direction. Mr. Maltin got disturbed and left the room, sending an employee to finish the video and take notes of everything happening up until the last second, and afterward immediately store the disc of the cartoon into the vault. This distorted screaming lasted until 8 minutes and a few seconds in, and then it abruptly cuts to the mickey mouse face at the credits of the end of every video with what sounded like a broken music box playing in the backround. This happened for about 30 seconds. From a security guard working under me who was making rounds outside of that room, I was told that after the last frame, the employee stumbled out of the room with pale skin saying "Real suffering is not known" 7 times before speedily taking the guards pistol and offing himself on the spot. The thing I could get out of Leonard Maltin was that the last frame was a piece of russian text that roughly said "the sights of hell bring its viewers back in". As far as I know, no one else has seen it (...untill now).

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  #2  
Old 18 January 2010, 10:48 PM
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It appears to be someone's art school animation project, with a poorly drawn Mickey moving more herky-jerky than in Steamboat Willy, and an even worse drawn repetitive cite scape rotating behind. On and on! What a bore.
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Old 18 January 2010, 10:52 PM
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It was pretty boring, but really odd... the sound was what made it wierd
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Old 18 January 2010, 11:18 PM
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Okay, that was weird. Without sound, I'd rank it as just dumb. With, it's royally weird.
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  #5  
Old 18 January 2010, 11:24 PM
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When does the interesting bit happen, again...?

Surely the whole reason that films were "silent" was that there wasn't a way to do a proper, synched up soundtrack in those days? Either there were live musicians playing a score, or there was a separate soundtrack recording that approximately matched the action. Why would there be a soundtrack with this film?

(Did they even have electric pianos back then? Apparently they did. I have learned another thing tonight, as well as the fact that Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore.)

The written description is terrible too.

(eta) Having got as far as half way - during the "fade to black with white noise" part - it seems clear that the person who made it didn't have a clue how real film (as opposed to videotape) worked. Unless I'm missing something myself, the idea of "old-fashioned" that they were presumably going for must be thirty- or forty-odd years too advanced.

(eta again) Having got to the end, it wasn't even really worth commenting on. Definitely somebody after attention...

Last edited by Richard W; 18 January 2010 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 18 January 2010, 11:41 PM
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I didn't see much in the way of color, but at any rate, some pretty superb color was possible by the mid-1920's, it just wasn't used very often, because the cameras that were needed to film it were huge and clunky, so they pretty much had to stay in one place for a scene, and some films would have a few color scenes as a special effect. But the color was possible. A lot of directors considered it inartistic, though.

Disney wouldn't have had any problem using it, because the camera movement wouldn't have been a problem. I suppose he didn't, to keep costs down. As long as people didn't expect color, no reason to spend monsy on it.

Leonard Maltin would know that, which makes the whole story suspect. The person who wrote it, and made the comment about the color clearly didn't get the story directly from Leonard Maltin, nor was present at the viewing, when, one presumes, Maltin would have set him straight about color in film.
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Old 18 January 2010, 11:51 PM
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This is from Walt's surrealist period -- it's actually a sequence taken from Disney's Un Souris Andalou (1931). After prompting riots during its New York premiere, this Mickey Mouse cartoon was quickly withdrawn from distribution, and all extant prints and negatives were thought to have been destroyed by the mid-1940s.
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Old 19 January 2010, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Surely the whole reason that films were "silent" was that there wasn't a way to do a proper, synched up soundtrack in those days? Either there were live musicians playing a score, or there was a separate soundtrack recording that approximately matched the action. Why would there be a soundtrack with this film?
Well, synchronized soundtracks existed since the early 1920's in short subjects, The Jazz Singer (1927) is the first full-length film with recorded synchronized dialogue, and Steamboat Willie (1928) had a soundtrack and dialogue (by Walt Disney!).

Quote:
Audiences at the time of Steamboat Willie's release were reportedly impressed by the use of sound for comedic purposes. Sound films or "talkies" were still considered innovative. The first feature-length movie with dialogue sequences, The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson, was released on October 6, 1927. Within a year of its success, most United States movie theaters had installed sound film equipment. Walt Disney apparently intended to take advantage of this new trend and, arguably, managed to succeed. Most other cartoon studios were still producing silent products and so were unable to effectively act as competition to Disney. As a result Mickey would soon become the most prominent animated character of the time. Walt Disney soon worked on adding sound to both Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho (which had originally been silent releases) and their new release added to Mickey's success and popularity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Mouse

Walt Disney liked having the latest technologies, so by the time that the cartoon in the OP was supposedly made, he probably would have had better and more interesting sounds, dialogue (and images) than that.

- Il-Mari
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  #9  
Old 19 January 2010, 12:22 AM
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I just did a search for Un Souris Andalou and this thread was the only thing that came up. I'm curious to see more about it.

It really doesn't look like something Walt would have done. Although, considering he had a mental breakdown soon after selling Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that he's capable of such bizarre things.
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  #10  
Old 19 January 2010, 12:27 AM
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snopes post was a play on Un Chien Andalou, by Salvador Dali. Souris is french for Mouse.
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Old 19 January 2010, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey is a gyrl View Post
I just did a search for Un Souris Andalou and this thread was the only thing that came up. I'm curious to see more about it.
Snopes was joking, referring to Salvador Dali's Un Chien Andalou.

ETA: Spanked by TwoGuysWithAHat. At least it wasn't a Picklehaube.
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  #12  
Old 19 January 2010, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Il-Mari View Post
Well, synchronized soundtracks existed since the early 1920's in short subjects, The Jazz Singer (1927) is the first full-length film with recorded synchronized dialogue, and Steamboat Willie (1928) had a soundtrack and dialogue (by Walt Disney!).....
And even before Disney, the Fleischer Studios produced synchronized-sound cartoons: in 1924, they brought out the first sound-on-film "follow the bouncing ball" song cartoon (but no synchronized speech was in that one) "Goodbye My Lady Love." The first synchronized speech was in another one of these (they were called "Song Car-Tunes"), "My Old Kentucky Home," in 1926: "Follow the bouncing ball and join in, everybody!" And even Paul Terry beat Disney to the punch, slightly: Terry's sound cartoon, "Dinner Time," was completed a month before Disney's "Steamboat Willie," but Mickey hit the theaters a little earlier.
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Old 19 January 2010, 12:41 AM
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I haven't been able to find any free full-length postings of Un Chien Andalou, but youtube has lots of clips, mostly of the really squicky scenes.

I saw it in college, when, of course, I thought it was deep. Now I mostly think it was pretty effective for the time it was made, but also somewhat pretentious. Since Dali and Bunuel had no other stated goal, other than recreating the feeling of dream images that have no apparent meaning, I give it four stars.
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Old 19 January 2010, 12:56 AM
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Be grateful, Mickey - you've got him for a few moments, I've got him for a lifetime.
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Old 19 January 2010, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara View Post
Be grateful, Mickey - you've got him for a few moments, I've got him for a lifetime.
lol thanks, Barbara. I don't know Dali as well as others (like Hieronymus Bosch), so that's why I was confused.

Getting back to the actual video, though, the tape looks too primitive for Disney's work. What about the multi-plane cameras? And the video has the same few seconds repeat over and over (not just the background). And I think I recognize the scream, but I can't think of where from.
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Old 19 January 2010, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Il-Mari View Post
Well, synchronized soundtracks existed since the early 1920's in short subjects, The Jazz Singer (1927) is the first full-length film with recorded synchronized dialogue, and Steamboat Willie (1928) had a soundtrack and dialogue (by Walt Disney!).
True. I was being a bit vague about when exactly "those days" were, because although the animation claims to be from the 1930s, the style and execution at least looks far more primitive than you'd expect from something that late. So coupled with having other things that you'd only expect if it was recorded on video, it's a bit of a mish-mash.
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Old 19 January 2010, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey is a gyrl View Post
lol thanks, Barbara. I don't know Dali as well as others (like Hieronymus Bosch), so that's why I was confused.

Getting back to the actual video, though, the tape looks too primitive for Disney's work. What about the multi-plane cameras? And the video has the same few seconds repeat over and over (not just the background). And I think I recognize the scream, but I can't think of where from.
Agreed. Even the 1928 Mickey was animated better than that, and there's no way the background came from Disney artists. The walk cycle is far shorter than a typical Disney animation, as you observe (there's a gag in one of the "Spongebob Squarepants" shows when the live-action pirate host breathlessly awaits a new Spongebob cartoon and instead gets only a minute-long clip of Spongebob walking--about twenty frames' worth, looped over and over again. He screams, "It ain't a new cartoon--it's just a really bad walk cycle!"). The Mickey suicide cartoon is an obvious fake.
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  #18  
Old 19 January 2010, 06:07 PM
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Mickey Ringu. Just wait. In seven days this board's going to have fewer people.
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  #19  
Old 19 January 2010, 06:20 PM
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I watched until minute 7 then chickened out before the screaming could start. I wasn't even phased by anything in the "creepiest videos on the internet" thread (much to my disappointment), but this is freaking me out. Fun!
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  #20  
Old 19 January 2010, 11:22 PM
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Here
is a thread claiming that the video was made on /x/ on 4Chan.
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