In July 1935, the tour of the American animator arrived in Rome, committed to promoting the house's films and comics in Europe. The meeting with the Duce, a great fan of cartoons, perhaps more fabled than real
But did Walt Disney and Benito Mussolini really meet in 1935? Perhaps this meeting is not as important as the desire, on the part of both, that it had happened, but certainly the veil of mystery, because it is a mystery, has never been dispelled. Also because there are two authoritative characters who describe the meeting in detail. One is Romano Mussolini, the Duce's son, who in a 1995 interview with Francesco De Giacomo recounts that Walt Disney, with his wife Lilian, his brother Roy and his wife Edna, arrived with their father from Palazzo Venezia to Villa Torlonia, talked about Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, the new Disney character, Donald Duck, and gave the Duce's children a giant wooden Mickey Mouse "as tall as a ten-year-old child". The other witness is Walt's brother, Roy Disneywhich instead tells the journalist Richard Hubler between 1967 and 1968 of the meeting at Palazzo Venezia, where the Disney delegation was accompanied to the large studio by a funny character with squeaky shoes, a good cinematic gag, and the Duce explained to the Americans that now trains in Italy had finally become safe.
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