lost disney cartoon

Before Mickey Mouse, there was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the very first major animated character created by Walt Disney who starred in as many as 27 short films. But misfortune struck the long-eared anthropomorphic animal in 1928 when Disney lost the rights to the character to a rival studio, eventually bringing about the creation of Mickey Mouse (rocking a very similar design but belonging wholly to Disney). Things went from bad to worse for poor Oswald, whose many short films ended up becoming lost in time. Only 19 of the original Oswald short films survived, but miraculously, a lost Disney cartoon starring Oswald has resurfaced in Japan 70 years later.

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Its been a while so I think its about time we catch up on the backlog of theme park news with a new edition of Theme Park Bits. In this edition:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy costumed characters appeared at Walt Disney World
  • Disneyland to open Frozen themed boutique
  • Disney filed patents for a drone-powered ariel display system that could replace fireworks with animatronic flying characters.
  • John Carpenter’s Halloween comes to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights
  • Walk-Around Oswald The Lucky Rabbit Coming to Disneyland
  • Halloween Carnival Returns to Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch
  • Universal Orlando announces another new hotel resort Sapphire Falls

All this and more, after the jump.

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Mickey Mouse Get a Horse Short - Get A Horse Oswald Cameo

Get A Horse, the 3D animated short seen by millions in front of Frozen, is now on Blu-ray. That means millions more will discover the “lost” Walt Disney animated short, that then becomes a full on, 3D marvel. The short is packed with characters, information, jokes and – surely – easter eggs. For example, in the world of Disney, hidden Mickeys are a big thing. But when the short stars Mickey, what do you do? A hidden Oswald, Disney’s first animated character, of course! Did you miss the Get A Horse Oswald Cameo? Below, check out the image.

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A piece of Disney trivia that isn’t exactly new, but might be unknown to casual fans, is that Walt Disney‘s defining character Mickey Mouse has his roots in another animated figure that Disney animated for producer Charles Mintz and Universal before he struck out on his own.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was the star of Universal’s first animated series, in 26 cartoons produced in the ’20s and ’30s by Disney and Ub Iwerks. When Disney broke from Universal he had to leave Oswald behind due to restrictions in his contract with Mintz. Mickey Mouse was reportedly born on Disney’s journey home to California from New York after leaving his final meeting with Mintz.

In 2006 Disney (the company) acquired the rights to Oswald, and has been slowly bringing the character back into the active roster. (You can see him in the Epic Mickey game, for example.) 2012 is the 85th anniversary of the character, and so Disney is releasing a recreated bit of Oswald animation, built from Disney’s original sketches. Check it out below. Read More »