A rare Disney film worth a small fortune has been discovered at a Hereford firm.
The film, which is believed to show the prototype for Mickey Mouse, was found at Huntley Film Archives in Ewyas Harold.
The short film, entitled Hungry Hobos, was made in 1928 and features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. There were around 26 films made by Walt Disney using the character Oswald before the character of Mickey Mouse emerged, based on many of the rabbit’s features.
The five-minute silent film had been missing since before World War II. Amanda Huntley, from the archives, said: “How we ended up with the film I don’t know, it was probably collected by my father who started the company and it has been sitting on our shelves for decades.
“We have decided to sell it because it is not really what we specialise in and we can use the money to preserve other films we have.”
The company is an independent film library that provides film clips to broadcasters and production companies.
The Disney film is due to be auctioned at Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia in the US and is expected to raise £25,000.
Robert Dewar, director of Huntley Archives, is hoping that a specialist or even the Disney corporation, will buy the film and make it available for the public to see.
He added: “The film marks the advent of Disney as one of the biggest film producers of the 20th century. It’s unique.
“This is not just any old lost film, it marks the advent of Disney as a new successful commercial animator.”