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Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Author: boblipton from New York City
4 January 2010

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was invented by Walt Disney's team in 1926; was stolen from him the following year by Charles Mintz; was stolen from Mintz a couple of years later by Carl Laemmle and handed to Walter Lantz -- according to legend, as the winnings in a poker game. Despite this inauspicious start, Oswald was the most successful transfer from silent to sound cartoons. Although much changed, mostly for the more juvenile, the series lasted until 1936, outlasting the Columbia series of Krazy Kat cartoons by a year.

A good deal of this can be attributed to the fact that for the first few years Lantz was definitely a better cartoon maker than Disney -- although he lacked Disney's genius for Hoopla. And this song short from 1930 shows a wry sense of humor throughout. Despite the fact that more than a minute of its six minutes' total consist of cheat shots -- repetitions of earlier sequences -- it holds the viewer's attention throughout and makes adults as well as children laugh.

For the historically minded, its also the second film with Tex Avery getting a credit -- as a animator, still listed as "Fred Avery".

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