On August 16, 1930, some eight years after he created Mickey Mouse for Walt Disney, animator Ub Iwerks debuted his newest cartoon, Fiddlesticks. It was the first to combine sound and colour, setting the course for the entire animation industry.
While many animations, including Iwerks’ 1928 Mickey Mouse short Steamboat Willie, had featured synchronised sound, Fiddlesticks was the first to combine sound and colour. It was produced in two-strip Technicolor, a process that was still in constant refinement and fraught with technical difficulty, and it debuted alongside the MGM-distributed musical revue King of Jazz.
The star of Fiddlesticks, Flip the Frog, would be featured in 38 Iwerks cartoons over three years, though he didn’t enjoy the acclaim or longevity of his mousey forebear. Nevertheless, his appearance in Fiddlesticks marked an important moment in the history of animation.