Disney historian and author J.B . Kaufman will introduce six of Walt Disney’s first cartoons—including two recently discovered and restored by New York’s Museum of Modern Art—at July’s Silent Film Festival at San Francisco’s legendary Castro Theatre, July 16, 2011, courtesy of The Walt Disney Family Museum and MOMA. Walt’s first company, Kansas City-based Laugh-O-gram Films, created black and white animated silent shorts based on classic fairytales.
Jack the Giant Killer and Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, created in 1922, were re-discovered in 2010, having been mislabeled and languishing in MOMA archives for decades. Carefully restored, they will be screened along with Little Red Riding Hood (Walt’s first narrative cartoon), The Four Musicians of Bremen, both from 1922, and the Newman Laugh-O-grams, a sample reel created in 1921 to sell a topical cartoon series. Despite Walt’s dedication to Laugh-O-gram Films, his company declared bankruptcy in July 1923, prompting the 21-year-old to move to Hollywood, CA.
The Laugh-O-gram films will be screened with musical accompaniment from the theatre’s Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ.
For tickets and more information, please visit: http://www.castrotheatre.com/tickets.html.
The San Francisco Silent Film Festival is a nonprofit organization promoting the artistic, cultural, and historic value of silent film; committed to the belief that the best way to truly appreciate the power and beauty of a silent film is by seeing it as it was meant to be seen: on the big screen with live musical accompaniment. For fifteen years, SFSFF has hand-selected the finest 35mm prints, engaged leading musicians to compose and perform live era-authentic musical scores, and invited filmmakers, authors, stars, archivists, and scholars to provide context and commentary for each film. http://www.silentfilm.org/
The Castro Theatre was built in 1922 by pioneer San Francisco theatre entrepreneurs, the Nasser brothers, who started with a nickelodeon in 1908 in the Castro neighborhood. Built at a cost of $300,000, The Castro's designer was Timothy L. Pflueger (1894-1946), who gained great fame as a Bay Area architect. In 1977, the Castro was designated City of San Francisco registered landmark number 100. It is one of the few remaining movie palaces in the nation from the 1920s that is still in operation. http://www.castrotheatre.com/
J.B. Kaufman is a writer and film historian on the staff of the Walt Disney Family Foundation, and has published extensively on topics including Disney animation and American silent film. He is author of South of the Border with Disney and co-author, with Russell Merritt, of Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney and Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series. He has also contributed to the Griffith Project and other series at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy.