For me, though, there was a totally unexpected pleasure on the set. Called Animators at Play, it's basically a home movie of a lunchtime softball game at the studio from the winter of 1930-31. While it dates from after Ub Iwerks left the studio, it's the crew that put the studio on the map.
This artists are young, riding the success of Mickey Mouse and bursting with enthusiasm for making animated cartoons. They're happy to be working together (and being the Depression, they're just happy to be working). While they have great hopes for the future, could they imagine what they'd be doing just seven years later? Could they realize how far they'd go as a group and how much impact they'd have on the future of animation? Could they possibly imagine that we'd look back at them 76 years later, envying their youth, their high spirits and their opportunities?
Watching this film is like being a witness to the Big Bang. We're still feeling the effects of these artists and we're privileged to get a glimpse of them at the beginning of it all.