Sleigh Bells have been found, just in time for Christmas too, which was fortunate. Hidden deep within the BFI National Archive, a researcher, browsing the online catalogue of the archive, has rediscovered the rare and long-lost Walt Disney animated film Sleigh Bells from 1928 featuring the first ever Disney character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a long-eared precursor to Mickey Mouse.

The film has been restored by experts from the Walt Disney Animation Studio and the world premiere will take place at the BFI Southbank on 12th December 2015 as part of a programme: It’s A Disney Christmas: Seasonal Shorts, where festive Disney films from the 1930’s to the present day will be shown.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was invented in 1927 by Walt Disney and was a mischievous and rebellious personality. The short, Sleigh Bells, has not been seen since its original release.

The animation in the film was accomplished by Walt Disney and UB Iwerks, both of whom went on to create Mickey Mouse after a contractual disagreement with Universal, for whom they had created the Oswald films.

Walt Disney Animation Studios have taken this unique surviving film print and created both a new preservation print and digital copies. The film has a running time of approximately 6 minutes.

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