A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in "Africa Before Dark" (1928) / ©Disney Enterprises, Inc.

In a remarkable convergence of film restoration, musical imagination and extraordinary sleuthing, two long-lost 1920s-era “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” Disney animated shorts, which never had musical scores, now have them nearly 90 years after their creation. Poor Papa (1927) and Africa Before Dark (1928), among Walt Disney’s earliest animated shorts and rediscovered after being lost for more than 50 years, are newly restored and will be world premiered with scores by Emmy-winning composer Mark Watters and live musical accompaniment by LACO at “LACO @ The Movies Celebrates Walt Disney Animation Studios,” a fundraiser for the Orchestra on Saturday, June 13, at 7 p.m. at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown LA. A night of cinematic and musical firsts from beginning to end, LACO performs live to nine iconic Disney animated shorts spanning 90 years, with numerous major world premieres and anniversary celebrations.

  • WORLD PREMIERES of two fully-restored 1920s-era “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” shorts lost for more than 50 years – Poor Papa (1927) and Africa Before Dark (1928) – with WORLD PREMIERES of newly created scores. Nearly 90 years after their creation, these two shorts, which never had musical scores, not only finally have them, but they have also been written by six-time Emmy Award-winning composer Mark Watters and will be showcased for the first time with the films at the event, with Watters at the podium.
  • WORLD PREMIERE of compelling new adaptation for chamber orchestra of the score (adapted by Mark Watters as well) for “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Fantasia (1940), featuring a newly restored print of the film on the occasion of this timeless classic’s 75th anniversary;
  • FIRST EVER live musical performance to the 80-year-old “Silly Symphony” short Music Land (1935), featuring the brilliant and virtuosic score that pits the Land of Symphony against the Isle of Jazz for a unique Disney “take” on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (the score was not originally intended to be performed live since it was written for two separate ensembles – an orchestra and a jazz ensemble – and required very careful editing to match it precisely to the action in the film);
  • FIRST EVER live musical performance to the 2014 Academy Award-nominated Get A Horse (2013);
  • 80th ANNIVERSARY celebration of The Band Concert (1935), the first color Mickey Mouse cartoon to use the Technicolor process;
  • The iconic Mickey Mouse Plane Crazy (1929), the FIRST MICKEY MOUSE CARTOON created by Walt Disney and inspired by Charles Lindberg’s fist solo-flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927;
  • The delightful “Have a Laugh” versions of Lonesome Ghosts (1937) and Mickey’s Trailer (1938).

Film tickets for “LACO @ The Movies Celebrates Walt Disney Animation Studios” start at $35, tickets for the film and post-film cocktail party are $550, and exclusive sponsorship packages begin at $2,500. The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown LA is located at 929 S. Broadway St., LA 90015. For tickets and information, please visit laco.org or call (213) 622-7001.