Monday, August 9, 2010

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Cartoon Disney






Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Cartoon Disney
Oswald was a character the Disney Studios created after Alice Comedies had run its course. The rabbit starred in a series of 26 animated black & white silent shorts (that were shown in major theaters with first-run movies) between 1927 and 1928. He also was the first Disney character to generate merchandise: a chocolate-covered marshmallow candy bar, a stencil set, and a pin-backed button. The idea for this character came about when Disney's film distributor Charles Mintz (who was now married to Alice distributor Margaret Winkler) suggested a change in direction to keep his animated shorts fresh.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is an anthropomorphic rabbit animated cartoon character created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney for films distributed by Universal Pictures in the 1920s and 1930s. The majority rights to the character are currently held by The Walt Disney Company, with a few rights going to Universal. In February 2006, a number of minor assets including the rights to Oswald were acquired by the Walt Disney Company from NBC Universal as part of a deal that sent sportscaster Al Michaels from Disney’s ABC and ESPN to NBC Sports. At the time, ABC had lost its contract for NFL broadcast rights, and despite recently signing a long-term contract with ESPN, Michaels was interested in rejoining broadcast partner John Madden at NBC for the Sunday night package. Universal transferred the copyright in a cartoon character to Disney, and in exchange, Disney released Michaels from his employment contract, allowing him to sign with NBC.

The deal includes the rights to the character and the original 26 short films made by Disney (namely, most of the Oswald films produced from 1927 to 1928). Rights to the Lantz/Universal-produced Oswald films and other related products were not included, and therefore Oswald appears in both Disney releases and in Universal’s Woody Woodpecker and Friends collection. In January 2007, a T-shirt line from Comme de Garçon seems to have constituted the first new Disney Oswald merchandise. Following in December was a two-disc DVD set, The Adventures of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, included in Wave Seven of the Walt Disney Treasures series. Several Oswald collectors’ figurines and a stuffed animal appeared shortly after the DVD set’s release. The Disney Store has also begun to introduce Oswald into its merchandise lines, including a canvas print and Christmas ornament that became available Fall 2007.



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