June 20, 2012
Shockingly, the last Disney short with RKO titles has been missing since 1956, before being released. "The Smell Shelf" was, by the handful of extant accounts, a less than entertaining short involving Donald Duck working as a perfume seller. The cartoon ran afoul of corporate interests when it made direct reference to Chanel #5, which led to an unusually strong judicial ruling before being released, wherein the orginal negative and the handful of prints of the film were ordered to be destroyed. Normally Disney would have appealed this ruling (and it was extreme to the extent that it was unlikely to have stood up to higher judicial review in the time period), but due to a flu outbreak in the legal department, the issue was not promptly addressed and the order was carried out. Thus, we do not have the film, and Disney as a company became significantly more aggressive legally. Our best hope of finding this film is if the drawings exist in the DIsney archives, so hat we might be able to one day reassemble them into a full length film. Does anyone have any links to any images?