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Alice's Orphan (1926)

 -  Animation | Short  -  1 May 1926 (USA)
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Julius the cat is skating on a pond when he espies a young lady break through the ice. He saves her, only to realize she's not particularly attractive, and so throws her back. Meanwhile, a ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Margie Gay ...


Julius the cat is skating on a pond when he espies a young lady break through the ice. He saves her, only to realize she's not particularly attractive, and so throws her back. Meanwhile, a kitten orphan is left in a basket by the side of the pond; Julius discovers it and takes it skating with him, afterward taking it home to Alice. They name him Oscar, and Julius tries to give the brat a bath. He then feeds Oscar and teaches him some table manners. Written by jjwbenso

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Animation | Short




Release Date:

1 May 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alice's Ornery Orphan  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Fine Glimpse of coming Greatness from the Disney Organization; with Post-Synchronized Sound and all!
23 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

FOR a short while in the mid to late 1970's, we experienced a brief flowering of a sort of "Golden Age of the Home-Movie Projector." This occurred prior to the coming of the VCR and the "Betamax"; remember the Beta Format? During this period of time, we saw the popularity of the Super 8 MM, Magnetic Sound home movie camera and its accompanying item, the Super 8 Magnetic Sound projector.

EVER so briefly America began a movement toward this format; what with camera shops, both local independents as well as those chains and department stores with photographic departments, sound cameras & projectors were definitely in. The desire to expand the home market gave rise to the sale of Super 8 Magnetic Sound versions of Hollywood's extensive backlog of titles; rendered in both 1 and 2 reel excerpts, as well as the whole darn movie, as desired.

DURING this time that we saw companies such as Blackhawk Films of Des Moines, Iowa, grow into a formidable nationally well-known mail order business. All was well; that is until around 1979-80, when the bubble burst. The use of video tape in the home rendered this film collecting hobby to be much more economical and accessible. One could simply tape a movie off of their TV or buy a real, honest-to-goodness, "store-bought" copy for much less than a videocassette; regardless of whichever format one chose.

IT was while this home movies' tooling to sound that we became familiar with this primitive and even embryonic item of Walt Disney output. Another home movie catalog house, one Niles Films of South Bend, Indiana offered ALICE'S ORPHAN (1926) as an item in their home bulletins. As the price seemed to be not so bad, we purchased it. This was our first sound film.

PLAYING it on our newly acquired, discounted and marked down GAF projector seemed to be a truly Earth Shaking event; fort as the movie was played for the first time, its 1930's vintage, post-synchronous sound track created as much interest to our family as Edison's must have on his first recording. It was crude music added to some even cruder sound effects & occasional mutterings of a character, but it was ours! We never forgot it; still having it as well as the projector and camera in our office.

AS for the concept of the ALICE IN CARTOONLAND Series, Walt & Roy Disney were looking for a series to replace and supersede their updated FAIRY TALES series, which ran out of steam; when the old switcheroo principal came into play. Master Animators, Max and Dave Fleischer had long successes with their OUT OF THE INKWELL Series; in which the animated Coco the Clown would escape the confines of the drawing board and have adventures in the real world; only to return to his element, jumping back into the Fleischer Studios' Inkwell at cartoons 1 reel ending.

REVERSING the idea, The Brothers Disney created a series of stories featuring a real girl in the surreal cartoon universe. The title was obviously owed to Mr. Lewis Carroll. While displaying no super-revolutionary or earth-shaking ideas, no outstandingly original animation techniques nor story renderings, the series was pleasant, amusing and probably nor better or worse than the animated shorts produced by Bray, Paul Terry or anyone else during the period of late silent to early sound.

AS FOR the cartoon itself, ALICE'S ORPHAN (aka ALICE'S ORNERY ORPHAN) (1926), it probably has less of the live girl, Alice, than do most other entries in the series. Margie Gray portrayed the young lady in this, the other child actress having been Anne Shirley. Be that as it may, for this short was much more of a cartoon with its being a sort of showcase for Alice's Cat, Julius.

FOLLOWING some winter settings, with Julius displaying some fine ice skating abilities to the tune of some pleasant, little back up music, a young parent-less kitten (who has all the appearances of being a miniature Julius)* decides to adopt the big cat and follows him home. Not wanting to turn the diminutive feline out into the bitter, wintry cold night, the elder cat takes to caring for the little guy. In doing so, he had the blessings of his owner/mistress**, the young kid, Alice. The rest of the movie is occupied with a parade of gags about caring and feeding young 'uns.

THERE is a certain probably unavoidable resemblance to Otto Messer's FELIX THE CAT and to MICKEY MOUSE, who was still at this time, still a gleam in Disney's celluloid eyes; although the happenings here would qualify as being at least ancestral to future greatness.

AS further proof of the fine economic$ of video vs. home movies, there is a DVD out which collects all of the ALICE IN CARTOONLAND installments. We've got to get this, as we only have on other ALICE Cartoon; that being ALICE'S EGG PLANT***, a political spoof on Marxism, Collectivism & "Sharing the Wealth" in general.

NOTE: * Much like the early Mickey Mouse, there is a real resemblance to FELIX THE CAT.

NOTE: ** Not that kind of 'Mistress', Schultz! We mean it in the sense of a feminine version of 'Master'.

NOTE *** Not Egg Plant as in the vegetable; but rather 'Plant' being in the sense of a Dairy or a place which makes products for sale, as an Automobile or a Steel Plant.


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