Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is hopping back onscreen. As part of Disney’s 100 Years of Wonder anniversary celebration, the hand-drawn animation team has launched a new short film titled “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” featuring the beloved vintage character 94 years after the studio’s last “Oswald” cartoon.
Famed animator Eric Goldberg (“Pocahontas,” “Fantasia/2000”) directs the short film, with Emmy Award-winning producer Dorothy McKim (“Meet the Robinsons”) producing. The minute-long short is now available on the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ YouTube channel.
“On the eve of Disney’s 100th anniversary, it was such a joy to create the first new Oswald short from our studio since 1928,” producer McKim said in an official statement. “Our hand-drawn animation team – including our hand-drawn legends Mark Henn, Randy Haycock, and Eric Goldberg, as well our wonderful team of 2D apprentices, had a ball animating in the style of Oswald’s era.”
Director Goldberg added, “Oswald is such a plucky scamp. We wanted to bring Oswald back, and in the short, he literally returns to his original home, the movie screen. We wanted to have Oswald do all of the ‘squash-and-stretch,’ ‘rubber hose’-animation style, celebrating that first generation of Walt Disney’s artists.”
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is considered Walt Disney’s first breakout animated star, and was introduced to audiences in 1927 with the short “Trolley Troubles.” In total, 26 Oswald short films were created by Walt Disney and his team, with the final Disney shorts starring the character releasing in late summer 1928, the same year Walt lost creative control.
In 2006, Disney CEO Bob Iger made an unprecedented deal with NBC/Universal, that included permitting sportscaster Al Michaels to contract with NBC in exchange for the return of Oswald to his original home. Since then, Oswald has appeared in video games and merchandise, an animated short, and in Disney theme parks globally.
In conjunction with the animated short, Disney is also today launching an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Snapchat lens globally that allows users to channel Oswald using AR technology.
Check out the short film below.