It always astounds me how much stuff was literally trashed at Disney’s throughout its history. Would you believe that they once scrapped a cartoon that was nearly completely animated, simply because of its length?
Plight of the Bumble Bee, a 1951 Jack Kinney directed Mickey Mouse cartoon, featuring the work of Fred Moore, Cliff Nordberg, and others, is the cartoon in question. Kinney offered the following explanation to why it was shelved:
“The best Mickey ever was never finished. It was called The Plight of the Bumble Bee, and it was all finished in animation. It had an awkward length, but Fred and Sib agreed that it could not be cut, so it was shelved.”
Calling this the best Mickey ever is overrating it at best, though I’m sure Kinney and the animators were sore over their hard work being thrown into the Morgue. It’s a standard Kinney cartoon, which means it’s a notch above the hackwork that the Shorts Department had been turning out on a regular basis for years. Certainly not a forerunner to One Froggy Evening in any way as I’ve read some people suggest.
Still, it’s neat to see something the studio never intended the public to see, and “new” work by one of the most highly recognizable animators. You can watch the rough cut below.