Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sound Finds Steamboat Willie

Eighty years ago today Walt Disney supervised the recording of the soundtrack for the Mickey Mouse short, Steamboat Willie. The recording took place in New York City under the baton of conductor Carl Edouarde.

Today is the anniversary of the successful second recording. The first had occurred two weeks earlier in a late-night session the result of which would ultimately be deemed unusable.

The recording system used was Pat Powers' Cinephone System. Cinephone was a not-so-subtle copy of the Phonofilm system that had been developed by Lee DeForest.

Steamboat Willie would premiere to the world six weeks hence at the Colony Theater in New York. This sound cartoon would go on to solidify Mickey Mouse in the popular culture and boost the fortunes of Walt Disney and his studio.