A lost Mickey Rooney film featuring the actor in his first lead role is set to be restored following its discovery in the Netherlands.

Mickey's Circus, which dates back to 1927, was among a treasure trove of early American silent movies identified from a collection of nitrate prints in Holland.

The comedy starred Rooney at just six years old as kids' circus ringleader Mickey MCGuire.

Now that film, along with other 1920s productions such as The Backyard, starring Oliver Hardy, crime drama For the Defense and cartoon Koko's Queen are to be preserved and brought back into public view thanks to a collaboration between experts from the National Film Preservation Foundation in San Francisco, California and officials at the EYE Filmmuseum of Amsterdam.