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The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story (1999)

A documentary on the life of the under-appreciated animator Ub Iwerks, who played a major role in the creation of Mickey Mouse.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself / Narrator (voice)
Mark Kausler ...
Russell Merritt ...
Ollie Johnston ...
Don Iwerks ...
Dave Smith ...
Virginia Davis ...
Bob Broughton ...
John Hench ...
Joseph Adamson ...
Himself (as Joe Adamson)
Ed Friedman ...


A documentary on the life of the under-appreciated animator Ub Iwerks, who played a major role in the creation of Mickey Mouse.

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Release Date:

17 December 2008 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

La main derrière la souris - L'histoire d'Ub Iwerks  »

Box Office


$600,000 (estimated)

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References The Valiant (1929) See more »

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User Reviews

It's really nice to see the Disney company giving Ub his due
27 August 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

When I was a kid, I just assumed that Walt Disney drew all the early Mickey Mouse cartoons and was THE force behind it in every sense. Later, I learned of Ub Iwerks' important contributions to the studio and the fact that he created the iconic mascot of the studio--though still too few people know the origins of this beloved character. Well, this Disney Studios-produced documentary tries to correct this myth and shows how influential Ub was to Disney as well as all the many great inventions he later contributed to in order to improve the quality of animations and even films like Hitchcock's THE BIRDS--that sure took me by surprise.

As for the way the documentary was arranged, it was generally excellent though it's a shame more footage of Ub himself wasn't included. I assume like most behind the scenes staff, there really isn't much footage of him or recordings of his thoughts and recollections. For what it is, it's excellent--but it also seemed a bit distant emotionally--partly due to the paucity of Ub in the film and partly because of the style film. I felt I did connect well with his work but didn't particularly connect well with him as a human being. Still, a fascinating film and a must for fans of animation.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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