Although the history of The Walt Disney Company has been thoroughly documented over the past nine decades, its archives still contain a few surprises.
Take, for instance, a newly uncovered sketch from 1938’s “Mickey’s Toothache,” an incomplete animated short that found our hero enduring what’s described as “a psychedelic nightmare” after inhaling too much laughing gas during a dentist’s visit. Disney Archives Director Becky Cline explains to Yahoo! News that as a result of the overdose, Mickey is plopped into a “nightmarish world inhabited by living teeth, dental floss, a psychotic dentist’s chair and a vengeful pair of dental pliers.” It sounds vaguely similar to 1935’s “Mickey’s Garden.”
As the sketch by Ferdinand Horvath shows,classic foe Pete (aka Peg-Leg Pete) played a role in the short, which ends with a trial presided over by a wisdom tooth, which charges Mickey with tooth neglect. Nothing weird about that at all.
Hovarth, who worked for Disney from 1934 to 1937, worked on a range of Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies shorts, including “Brave Little Tailor,” “Lonesome Ghosts,” “Magician Mickey,” “Old King Cole” and the aforementioned “Mickey’s Garden.”
The recent discovery of the artwork (in a folder that had been lost for more than 74 years) follows that of even older sketches featuring Mickey’s predecessor Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The Hovarth sketch will be unveiled this year during the multi-city D23 Disney Fanniversary Celebration.