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Lot 183: Disney, Walt. Typed letter signed, 1 page, (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.)
December 18, 2012
Calabasas Hills, CA, USALive Auction
183. Disney, Walt. Typed letter signed, 1 page, (11 x 8 ½ in.; 279 x 216 mm.), “Hollywood, California,” 21 March 1940, on color imprinted stationery of Walt Disney’s Pinocchio, with the characters Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket in the upper left, to Congressman Fred A. Hartley, Jr.; light soiling.
Walt Disney weighs in against congressional interference in the movie industry.
Disney writes in full: I address you with reference to the “Neely Bill”, which pertains to the questions of block booking and blind selling of motion pictures. My duties in connection with the production of our motion pictures occupy my time to such an extent that I have been unable to carefully read and analyze this proposed legislation. Therefore, I will not presume to impose my opinion as to its technical merits. Our company is an “independent”, as that term is generally understood. We produce cartoon short subjects such as the Mickey Mouse series, and an occasional feature like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, and like our current feature, “Pinocchio”. Therefore, our position differs in many respects from that of the ‘live action’ studios. It may be that the “Neely Bill” might affect us much less than it would many of the other motion picture companies. Indeed, our market is such that some of the Neely Bill’s provisions conceivably might react in our favor. On the other hand, as a matter of general principle, I am constrained to believe that legislative interference in an industry such as motion pictures might be harmful, and would be more likely to impede rather than further production and distribution. It is my opinion that the motion picture industry is qualified and capable of regulating itself from within, and such regulation, free from legislative pressure, would be more normal and would avoid undue disturbance and economic burdens.
A prescient letter from Disney regarding legislative interference and the harm it could cause to the motion picture industry.