BEYOND THE MOUSE: THE 1930S CARTOONS OF UB IWERKS (2017)

The most important cartoonist and animator in the early days of the Disney studio was Ub Iwerks, the “hand behind the mouse.” Iwerks and Walt Disney first met as teens in Kansas City forming a powerful collaboration and friendship. Iwerks was the artistic heart of the company developed by Disney in the ’20s serving as head animator and Disney’s chief character designer and co-creator of Mickey Mouse. This program features recent restorations of Iwerks’ greatest and rarely seen shorts, and original animations including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in Africa Before Dark (1928), Mickey Mouse in Plane Crazy (1928) and the first “Silly Symphony” short The Skeleton Dance (1929). Iwerks moved on to MGM to experiment with color on the first Flip the Frog cartoon Fiddlesticks (1930), and also with Willie Whopper in the pre-code short Hell’s Fire (1934). His elaborate mid-30s “ComiColor” series included Jack and the Beanstalk (1933) and Balloon Land (1935). Iwerks concluded his solo career at Columbia Pictures with their “Color Rhapsodies” cartoons including Merry Mannequins (1937), an art deco masterpiece paying tribute to the Fred and Ginger musicals of the era. Curated and presented by animation historian Jerry Beck. (d. Ub Iwerks, 90 minutes, Digital)

In attendance: JERRY BECK, LESLIE IWERKS