Why Walt Disney Is No Friend of Jewry

by 782

[From Instauration May 1998]

In the November 1997 issue, Zip 113 gives an interesting sidelight concerning Hollywood's animosity towards Walt Disney, who certainly returned this lack of affection in full measure and was quite well known for his scarcely concealed anti- Semitism. Viewed from an objective vantage point, however, such anti-Jewish feelings on Disney's part are quite understandable. In 1928, Disney's cartoon distributor, one Charles B. Mintz, concocted a scheme to lure the artist away from his successful "Alice" series in order to create a new one which Mintz would legally control. Disney and his brother, Roy, had no idea that Alice was still as popular as ever and that Mintz had lied when he told them exhibitors refused to screen the series any longer. Mintz held the Disney "bumpkins" in such contempt that he actually expected the brothers to willingly turn over to him both their new creation and their entire studio.

Walt, Roy and their staff, convinced by Mintz that a rabbit character would be able to replace Alice, worked round the clock to develop "Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit." The Oswald series was then peddled to Carl Laemmle, head of Universal Pictures, a studio Jewish to the marrow. The public went wild over Oswald, thanks to Disney's genius, while Mintz and Laemmle raked in the shekels. The two shysters formed an informal partnership to merchandise the Oswald character without Walt's knowledge, consent or financial participation.

In February 1928, Walt traveled to New York to meet Mintz. Following an affable Astor Hotel lunch, during which he went out of his way to show deference to the youthful Disney, Mintz ushered Walt into his office and got down to the Tribe's favorite pastime. His demeanor changed instantly from friendliness to cold intensit as he laid it on the line. Disney would take an immediate $500 per cartoon cut, a not inconsiderable amount in 1928. The alternative was for Mintz to take over production of all Oswald cartoons with the active assistance of Disney's own staff! Perhaps the hardest part for Walt to take was the loss of his creation, for Mintz had slyly set things up not only to acquire the Rabbit, but all marketing rights.

Stunned, Walt sat their wordless. We can well imagine his state of mind as he faced a man he had trusted completely. It is easy to envision the "hick" from a Missouri farm recalling all the stories of Jewish treachery and perfidy he had heard in his Midwestern upbringing.

It doesn't take much to imagine the raging anti-Semitism which was born in Walt's heart that instant, amid a scene indelibly fixed in his brilliant mind. Instead of giving vent to his emotions, however, he mumbled something about "thinking it over," and excused himself.

Believing he had Disney at his mercy, Mintz made what he felt was a magnanimous offer. At the next day's meeting he told Walt that a sense of "compassion" compelled him to make a "concession" -- the newly formed Mintz Agency would pay production costs and salaries for all subsequent Oswald cartoons. All Mintz asked in return was a mere 50% ownership of Walt Disney Studios!

Having played the goy gull long enough, Disney made the smartest decision of his life. He signed over everything to Mintz except his beloved studio and caught the next train back to Los Angeles.

On the way, Walt made a solemn vow that he would never again permit himself to fall into the grasping tentacles of the kosher crowd. It was an oath he would keep till his death. Shortly afterward, with a few deft strokes of his artist's pen, Disney stole Oswald back from those who had suckered him. The result? A big-eared mouse that would keep a Gentile studio on top of its Jewish competition for 60 years. But this wasn't the end of it. In their book, Cartoon Confidential (Malibu Graphics Pub., 1991) authors Jim Korkis and John Cawley describe how Disney fired back at his tormentors every time the opportunity arose. He would purposely inject anti-Semitic scenes in his cartoons, well aware they made Jews squirm. There was the added satisfaction of knowing that in these pre-civil rights days, Jews could do nothing about what was obviously a guaranteed constitutional right:

In the original animated version of The Three Little Pigs (1933), there is an unflattering Jewish peddler caricature that that wolf assumes in an attempt to trick the pigs. Today, viewers will not find that scene because that section was reanimated in later years by the Disney staff to eliminate that offensive moment and the wolf is now merely a brush salesman. (p. 37)

It is not surprising to learn that these "revisions" occurred after Jews took over the Disney studio. But Korkis and Cawley mention one scene from an early Disney cartoon which, at the time of writing, had not been expurgated: "Sharp-eyed viewers can still see a very brief glimpse of a Jewish caricature mouse in The Brave Little Tailor (1938), a caricature that was repeated in the comic strip version of the story." (p. 37) The authors also let us in on a humorous example of Jewish political correctness when they discuss the pains which Jewish film studios, which used to poke fun mercilessly at blacks, have taken to clean up the old cartoons for today's TV audiences:

Chuck Jones and his crew at MGM took the old Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts that featured Mammy Two Shoes, the African-American maid who was only seen from the knees down, and had to reanimate new white legs over her chubby black legs. Phil Roman, one of those who did the new legs, remembers that, "We were brought in and spent days rotoscoping and reanimating the legs so that they would be thin and white; not thick and black. When we asked what they would do about the (ethnic) accent, they told us they were going to put a funny Irish voice in. We guessed it was all right to make fun of the Irish!" (p. 36)


Contrast the above with this alternative version of events here.

More here on Walt Disney.

From same page, the "Oswald moves on" section...

Oswald moves on

Disney was quite confident when he went to negotiate with Charles Mintz in New York. He wanted his fee to increase from 2250 dollars per short to 2500 dollars per short. Instead Mintz wanted Disney's fee to decrease to 2000 dollars per short. When Disney refused, Mintz had some announcements to make. He didn't need Disney anymore. He had secretly met with a number of Disney's employees including Harman and Ising and had signed them on contracts of their own. As the distributor Universal held the rights to Oswald and they could make their own cartoons with him if they wanted to, Disney returned to his Studio in defeat and along with Ub Iwerks and the remaining employees he started working on a new project to replace Oswald as Disney's star.

This meeting was very important for the history of animation because of its consequences in the long run. It is well known that Disney's next project was Mickey Mouse but there were other developments spawned from the meeting. Charles Mintz wasn't idle either. He continued to provide Universal with Oswald cartoons, produced now in a new Studio under his brother-in-law George Winkler. Thanks to Harman and Ising, now chief animators, the 25 shorts produced till mid-1929 were of the same quality as those produced by Disney's Studio.

But then Carl Laemmle decided to create an animation department for Universal and hand the rights to Oswald to it. The new Studio would be run by Walter Lantz and would later spawn even more famous characters like Woody Woodpecker. Ozzie of the Circus, released on January 5, 1929 was the first in a long series of shorts produced by Lantz' Studio. As for Mintz and Winkler, their Studio and their careers were over.

But Harman and Ising weren't even started yet. They found employment again creating a partnership with producer Leon Schlesinger. Together they created an animation Studio on behalf of Warner Bros.. The short Sinkin' in the Bathtub, released on April 19, 1930 was the first of a long series of cartoons called Looney Tunes that would spawn more famous characters like Bugs Bunny.

Ironically enough, Oswald, the reason for these developments, has long been obscured by characters later created by the Studios formed as a result of his creation.

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