The Marathon of Another New Year

About the first of the year comes the annual Walt Disney World Marathon. This year is no different. Thousands of runners are up and down the streets of 192 and International Drive practicing their runs for this weekend. I always thought this event was held this time of year because attendance was soft, and it was a way of boosting attendance. But there’s another good reason why it happens this time of year. There’s something about another new year that is no different than another mile ran on a marathon.

That’s why I find it appropriate that the director Misha Turnelya and animators Shasha Dorogov and Alexander Petrov chose to call their work The Marathon. This Russian cartoon was created in commemoration of the 60th birthday of Mickey Mouse back in 1988. It was that same year that Mickey made his first official visit to the Soviet Union as part of a Soviet-sponsored Disney animation festival. Such an event was precipitous to the world-shattering events of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and then subsequently, the demise of the Soviet Union.

According to Roy E. Disney, “This festival came about originally because the Soviets came to us and asked if we would be interested in bringing some of our films here. It’s the beginning of a new era. It’s much bigger than just Disney and Mickey Mouse coming to the Soviet Union. It’s two countries coming closer together and it’s very exciting.”

Roy attended the event and while there visited the famed animation studio, Soyuzmultfilm Studios. There they presented their animated work, “The Marathon.” Roy commented, “It was an absolutely beautiful tribute to Mickey. We were all choked up. My wife was in tears…Really, quite literally, we all wound up hugging each other with tears coming down our faces…it was one of the most emotional mounts that I can remember in my life.”

Enjoy this film, which link can be found below. And whether you are running this weekend or not for the Walt Disney World Marathon, best of luck to you in your own life’s marathon this 2012.

The Marathon

P.S.  Animator Sasha Dorogov worked at Disney Feature Animation in Florida and did some animation in Pocahontas, Mulan, and Lilo & Stitch.

J. Jeff Kober