Happy Birthday to Walt Disney’s other (significantly less famous) anthropomorphic cartoon creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Good ol’ Oswald made his debut on this day in 1927 in the short “Trolley Troubles.”
From a Disney Parks Blog post dating back to 2015…
Created by Walt Disney and (now Disney Legend) Ub Iwerks, Oswald was Walt’s first hit animated character, who appeared in 26 shorts and was so popular that Oswald became the first Disney character to inspire a merchandise line. Unfortunately, Oswald was lost to another company in a business deal in 1928. But the loss of Oswald went on to be a blessing in disguise, however, as losing his most successful character yet motivated Walt Disney to create Mickey Mouse, who debuted on screen in late 1928.
The “other company” the post refused to mention by name is Universal Studios, which is now Disney’s fierce theme park rival.
But the story has a happy ending. Oswald returned home to Disney thanks to Bob Iger trading sportscaster ESPN Al Michaels for him. (Well, to be fair, Oswald was just one “minor asset” Disney gained from NBC Universal in the trade, but there you go. Traded for a cartoon rabbit.)
To read more about Oswald’s weird, wild history check out this story on Oh My Disney.
Happy Birthday, you little scamp!
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