Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (partially lost series of Walt Disney shorts; 1927-1928)
|This article has been tagged as Needing work due to its lack of clarity (there are over 100 Oswald cartoons in total, but the article talks about the original 27 and only briefly mentions "later Oswald shorts". A table would be nice too).|
|Oswald ending card from the Disney era.|
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is a series of shorts from the late 1920's. After the failure of his Laugh-O-Grams and Lafflets, and the minor success of the Alice Comedies, Walt Disney started to compete with stronger cartoon characters of the era like Felix the Cat. After successfully pitching Oswald, Winkler Pictures gave him a talented animation staff and a budget.
Walt began production on the shorts in 1927. Oswald himself was well received and became the first Disney character to have his own tie-in merchandise. Oswald's success over the competition was due to the more ambitious, innovative, and raunchy animation and humour. Despite the success of the films, around 26 shorts in, the budget was cut by more than half and nearly half of Walt's animation team was moved to other projects. Disney soon quit working at Winkler and starting his own animation studio with some of his most talented Oswald staff. He lost the rights to Oswald, so created a new character named Mickey Mouse.
After Disney left Winkler, Oswald's shorts were animated by many rising animation legends, such as a young Tex Avery. Oswald cartoons eventually featured colour and sound, but was ultimately discontinued in 1943 due to a fall in popularity.
In 2005, Oswald's copyright expired, and Universal (the umbrella company that Winkler was under) gave the Walt Disney company the rights to Disney's original Oswald shorts. A DVD collection was released in 2006 containing 13 of the original 27 shorts. One more emerged in 2011, an incomplete print of one of the shorts emerged in 2014. Two more emerged in 2015. A print emerged in 2016. A copy of the 27th episode which was thought to be a Winkler short emerged in 2017. But seven of the shorts are still missing. Some of the later Oswald shorts are missing as well.
- Poor Papa, the first Oswald short.