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Lost Disney “Oswald Rabbit” Cartoon Premieres as “Snow White” Bonus Feature

Lost Disney "Oswald Rabbit" Cartoon Premieres as "Snow White" Bonus Feature

As Walt
Disney’s seminal animated feature, Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs
(1937), re-awakens today on Blu-ray, DVD and
digital download, it brings with it the “lost” Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon,
Hungry Hobos (1928). This marks its
worldwide appearance after its screening at the 39th Telluride Film

The story of how Walt Disney lost the character to distributor Charles
Mintz—along with a number of poached studio artists—is a favorite among
historians and fans, since it led to the creation of Mickey Mouse and the
empire that followed. The character came home when CEO Robert Iger learned of
the story and leveraged both the heritage and potential synergy of Oswald by
re-acquiring the rights from NBC/Universal in exchange for sportscaster Al

Oswald was dormant for decades until that deal took place. Now the
character appears at Disney Parks and products from t-shirts to rabbit ear
hats– like Mickey hats with longer ears. Oswald also retains the mischievous
spark that his mouse-mate had to gradually eschew, resulting in a particular
appeal to tweens and teens.

“There’s a lot of public enthusiasm for Oswald,” says author/animation
historian David Gerstein, who was among those who unearthed the film. “It’s a
nifty trick to make a vintage silent cartoon character popular again after
decades of absence. If you go to some casual art sites like deviantart.com, you
can see high school kids draw hundreds of pictures of Oswald a week.
Clearly this rascally character has struck a chord. Any time we can see a new
adventure with him is exciting.”

Gerstein wrote another new adventure for Oswald’s recent appearance in a
Disney comic book:
Walt Disney Comics and Stories #726, drawn by Mark Kausler. “There were already
some Oswald comics that were spinoffs from the Epic Mickey videogame that take
place in the game’s world, but this was more of a classic Disney comics story
set in Oswald’s world, with characters from the vintage ’20s cartoons.”

In addition to Hungry Hobos, at least two other Oswald shorts have been found:
Poor Papa and Africa Before Dark, both from 1928. That brings the tote board of
recovered original Disney-produced Oswald cartoons to 16, out of the total of
26. (13 shorts appeared on a 2007 Walt Disney Treasures DVD set).

“Last summer, at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra concert, Walt Disney Animation
Studios re-premiered Poor Papa and Africa Before Dark,” said Gerstein. “They
were given fully orchestrated scores composed by Mark Watters, who also
composed the magnificent score you’ll hear on Hungry Hobos. The fact that Disney would go to such great lengths
to create elaborate post scoring is very satisfying to me. Disney is going the
extra mile to make these cartoons look and sound as good as they can be.”

Hungry Hobos is available with
the purchase of Snow White and the Seven
on the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD set, or for download at

Hungry Hobos is not on the discs themselves, but is accessible using the code inside
the package. Here’s how to access the features by visiting disneymoviesanywhere.com:

1.    Enter the digital code.

2.    Locate Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

3.    Locate the Bonus Features section
called “Archives”

4.    Use the arrow to scroll across the
features to find ”Hungry Hobos.”

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