During the turbulent financial times of the early 1940s, Walt and Roy made the decision to find work anywhere in order to keep the Studio afloat. Before the government work for the War effort started to roll in (and thus kept the Disney Studio solvent), the Disney brothers explored a variety of commercial and corporate clients, which Walt was loathe to do earlier in his career. I am always amazed at some of the companies that approached Disney, or visa versa. And as you can no doubt gather from the above image, yes, Mr. Reddy Kilowatt did have a brief stop at the Studio.

Reddy Kilowatt started his career in March of 1926 as a stick figure cartoon, complete with body and limbs made from lightning bolts, a lightbulb for a head and nose, and a pair of electrical sockets for ears. In March of 1926 Reddy was created by Ashton B. Collins, Sr., of the Alabama Power Company, and was so well received that within a decade the electrical personality was syndicated to, and used by, more than 200 public utility companies.

We have here in the DHI Archives a July 30, 1943 Kay Kamen letter to Roy O. Disney that was to inform the Disney brothers that Kay was in discussions with Collins. The idea being to have Disney make a motion picture using Reddy Kilowatt. Both sides were enthusiastic about the idea, but the idea never progressed any further (probably because by mid-1943, the War work was really flowing in to the Studio).

Oddly enough, some three years later another Walt would become involved with Reddy Kilowatt and Mr. Collins, as Walter Lantz produced the short cartoon Reddy Made Magic (1946). The film was directed by Disney alumnus Dick Lundy. Ashton B. Collins was given credit as co-producer.

Pin It on Pinterest

Enjoy this?

Then, share this post with your friends!