Missing Walt Disney Christmas film discovered and restored in Norway

The film stars Mickey Mouse's predecessor Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

A film believed to be the first ever Christmas animation made by the legendary animator Walt Disney has been found and restored in Norway.

The nearly complete version of the 1927 film, Empty Socks, was believed to be completely lost before it was discovered by group of workers carrying out an inventory in a library in the Norwegian town of Mo I Rana just south of the Arctic Circle.

It was not formally identified as Empty Socks until earlier this year when an expert identified it as the missing film.

The two reels which have a combined running time of five and a half minutes, are missing nearly a minute of footage between 30 and 90 seconds, but is still by far the closest thing to a full film that exists. The only other known copy of the film was a 25-second sequence held at the New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The plot revolves around Mickey Mouse’s forerunner Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit and sees him pretend to be Santa for a group of orphans with empty stockings.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was one of Disney’s first creations and starred in 26 short films before Mickey was created in 1928.

The film has now been digitally restored in Norway, with copies being sent to the Walt Disney Company in California.

The reels will stay in Norway’s National Library Archives.

The world premiere of the film will be held on the 17 December in the Norwegian National Library.

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