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Monday, December 15, 2014
The Disney You Don't Know
MLC staff and Arthur Bernstein
MLC staff reading Walt Before Mickey
I have labored under the false impression that Steamboat Willie was Mickey Mouse's first appearance for years. Last Friday, I was set straight. Our neighbors across the way at the University Press of Mississippi invited us to the very first screening of a new biopic called Walt Before Mickey, which is based on a Timothy Susanin book UPM published in 2011. The movie and book both follow Disney from his early years to Mickey Mouse's real first appearance: Plane Crazy. Everyone who attended, UPM and MLC staff alike, truly enjoyed the movie; when it hits theaters, we recommend going to see it. I especially liked seeing the development of Disney as an artist. Walt, an avid sketcher and drawer from a young age, pondered that "a frame from a film print was only a picture. 'I could draw that,' he thought." I had no idea that Walt Disney had followed such a rocky road before he hit the big time. Did you know he was homeless for a while? It seems that he wasn't much of a businessman. Arthur Bernstein, the screenwriter, was available for a question and answer session after the screening. Like any biopic, it's always interesting to find out how accurate the retelling of someone's life was. Mr. Bernstein assured us that he stuck closely to Susanin's book and that they took very little poetic license with the movie. Thank you, University Press of Mississippi and Arthur Bernstein!