Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Makes Instagram Photos Better

In "Tall Timber," Oswald temporarily gets smashed into six Oswalds.
Here's a quick history lesson, courtesy of Wikipedia:  Walt Disney and his chief animator Ub Iwerks created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 1927.  Oswald starred in several short animated films before Disney lost the rights to the Lucky Rabbit.  Disney and Iwerks soon created Mickey Mouse, and the rest is history.

In 2006, the Walt Disney Company traded sports broadcaster Al Michaels to Universal for Oswald, among many other contractual details.  A few years later, Disney properly reintroduced Oswald to the public via the video game Epic Mickey, which was a success.  Then Oswald was a playable character in Epic Mickey 2, which by many accounts was a commercial and critical failure.  We'll get back to that later.

If you need a quick crash course in the Lucky Rabbit, check out two Disney-era films, "Trolley Troubles":
(There is a restored version of "Trolley Troubles," but the one posted above contains a hilarious quasi-voice for Oswald, as well as a well-placed sound-effect when he squirts one of his children.)

...and "Oh What a Knight":

(Oswald's post-Disney cameo in King of Jazz is also hilarious.)

Danger is his middle name...
...but Safety is his mother's maiden name.
Last Christmas, I bought a handful of small plush Oswalds to give to various children as presents.  I kept a frayed-eared one for myself.  As 2013 began, I thought to take my Lucky Rabbit along on various errands.

Oswald quickly became an irresistible subject for various Instagram snapshots.  Being well-aware of the ubiquitous trend of photos of food on Instagram, I had Oswald pose with the food:


...thus making these particular snapshots slightly different than the rest.

I had several adventures at Anaheim's Disneyland Resort in January, and of course, I had to take Oswald along, or rather, Oswald had to take me along.

Oswald at Oswald's (Disney California Adventure).

Princesses love Oswald.
The staff at Oswald's like their boss.
The sight of a traveling Oswald brought much joy to fellow park guests and Disneyland cast members alike.

Since the boss's brother (Oswald) is now on good terms with the boss (Mickey) himself, hopefully it's only a matter of time before the Lucky Rabbit gets to wander the various Disney parks as a meet-and-greet character, and not as my lucky ad-hoc bowtie.  (From Oswald's point-of-view, I'm his weird, oversize backpack.)

Cowboy up!

Then again, since Epic Mickey 2 was a failure, it might be a while until Disney re-reintroduces Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to the masses.  Until then, Oswald is kind of a hipster Disney character, more hipster than Hipster Ariel.

Oswald, because Mickey is way too mainstream.

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