Deep in the catacombs of Norway’s National Library, legendary Norwegian archaeologist Oslo Jones solves a series of complicated historical puzzles, avoids a cave filled with Norwegian snakes, and finally uncovers a secret chamber built to house the world’s greatest secrets. Or, in this case, an old Disney cartoon. Also, Oslo Jones might be a fictional Norwegian archaeologist who we invented solely for the purposes of this article. Either way, somebody—who may or may not be named Oslo Jones—found a Disney cartoon from 1927 in Norway’s National Library that had been previously thought lost.
The short cartoon is called Empty Socks, and it was Walt Disney’s very first Christmas-themed film. Empty Socks pre-dates the creation of Mickey Mouse, so it stars long-forgotten Disney hero Oswald The Lucky Rabbit instead. According to a Disney wiki, the plot revolves around Oswald acting as Santa for a group of orphans—presumably the owners of the eponymous empty socks. The cartoon originally ran for five minutes and 30 seconds, but apparently 30 seconds of it are still missing. Who knows, maybe those 30 seconds feature Oswald warning the orphans about the oncoming Wall Street crash or the rise of fascism. Cartoons used to be a lot more socially conscious in those days.
Norway has apparently sent a digitized copy of the short to Disney, so hopefully it’ll get officially released at some point. Then, finally, we’ll get to see this important historical footage of a rabbit giving Christmas gifts to unwanted children.