Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Along Came Pat Powers


Now that Ub had created some of the Silly Symphonies for Disney such as The Skeleton Dance above, often animating them all by himself.  He liked to do this but soon he found coping under Disney constant harsh command was proving to much for him as obviously the pressure of getting somewhere was getting to Disney and he felt the need to pass that pressure on to Ub.  This all started when a man named Pat Powers made a deal with Disney that he would pay him $2,500 per Mickey Mouse cartoon and Pat would also receive 10% of the gross earnings.  This nowadays is the equivalent of paying someone around $30,000 per cartoon, which is a serious amount of money just for a cartoon!  He also realised as I had said in my previous post that he wasn't getting the recognition he thought he deserved for doing most of the work on the cartoons/shorts.  This constant battle caused a strain on their friendship and they decided to go their own ways after being such close friends since they were 18.  After Pat had tried to sell some of the cartoons Ub had worked tirelessly on he failed to pay the Disney Brothers Company claiming that expenses were taking most of it.  With most of Disney's anger directed at Ub he found his work less and less interesting and his motivation lacking.  It was one of the final straws that broke their friendship, that and Ub has secretly signed a deal with Pat behind Disney's back.

Ub went to work with Pat and Disney bought out his 20% share of his company.  It was to late at this point for Ub to back out and I think that was a shame as it was obvious that his friendship with Walt meant a lot and to throw it away like that knowing Disney didn't forgive people that betray him Ub made a serious decision and once again I find myself desperately wanting to go back in time and ask him about his reasons for this secret deal and why he thought it was the best thing for him to do.

Digital Media FX (2001) The Early Disney Years,[online] Available at: [Accessed: Wednesday 10th January 2012].

kikthedaisy (2008) Silly Symphony - The Skeleton Dance. [video online] Available at: [Accessed: Wednesday 11th January 2012].

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