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Chronological Index - 1922

1919 - Walt Disney returned from a stint as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross Ambulance Corp and began looking for work as a cartoonist. Initially, he wanted to land a job as a political cartoonist, but, unable to find work in that arena, he took a job in advertising art at the Pesmen Rubin Commercial Art Studio. There, he met another enterprising young artist, Ubbe Iwwerks (he later shortened his name to Ub Iwerks) and the two became fast friends.

The two decided to go into business together and formed Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists. (They had considered the name "Disney-Iwerks" but rejected it as they thought it sounded too much like an eyewear factory.) The enterprise only lasted a couple of months, though, when Disney landed a job with the Kansas City Film Ad Company (later to be known as the Kansas City Film Ad Company.) Walt persuaded them to hire Ub on as well.

Disney was doing crude animation for Film Ad, but was frustrated by some of the limitations imposed on him. So, at nighttime in his own garage studio, he began making his own films which he sold to the Newman Theater Company. And thus the Newman Laugh-O-Grams were born.

In the beginning, the Laugh-O-Grams were only about a minute long. Titles included "Cleaning Up!!?", "Kansas City Girls are Rolling Their Own Now", "Take a Ride Over Kansas City Streets" and "Kansas City's Spring Cleanup." Disney based his subject matter, and won over the Kansas City audience, on problems and corruption within the local government. Once these proved successful, he moved on to longer shorts, using well known fairy tales and children's stories as his subjects.

Only a few of these shorts have survived to the present time. But they made Disney's mark, even if only locally, and started him on his way.

(Note : Synopsis on all of these shorts pretty much follow the traditional stories, with the usual liberties. Besides the shorts listed here, Disney also made a few 300 foot shorts from 1922-1923 called "Laffets" that combined live action and animation. They included "Golf in Slow Motion", "Descha's Tryst with the Moon", "Aesthetic Camping", "Reuben's Big Day", "Rescued", "A Star Pitcher", "The Woodland Potter", and "A Pirate for a Day." There was also one Sing-a-Long reel released in 1923 for the song "Martha: Just a Plain Old Fashioned Name.")