I <3 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

15 Dec

When I was growing up in the 1970s, Saturday morning cartoons were le plus ultra. Sure, there were re-runs of Flinstones and Banana Splits on UHF all week, but on Saturday mornings the big networks were dedicated to us kids. And on one special Saturday every fall, all the new shows debuted. We’d talk about it for days before, and weeks after.

Well, I woke up this morning like I was eight years old all over again, and scooted on downstairs to watch Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which I finally own on DVD! And Oswald didn’t disappoint.

The first disc on the 2-DVD set from Walt Disney Treasures includes 6 cartoons from 1927, and 7 from 1928. (Plus, some fragments from an additional Oswald cartoon, “Sagebrush Sadie,” which is believed to no longer exist in its full form.) All are cute and amusing, and all should be rewarding viewing for those interested in the early days of cartoons. As Leonard Maltin points out in the introduction, the animation techniques you see in Oswald ultimately influenced not only future Disney works, but the whole genre of American animation, as the Oswald animators later created many other characters and series. The applied principles of cartoon physics are simply fabulous, with certain unusual gags recurring throughout the series. My personal favorite? Oswald’s ability to reverse direction of a means of transportation by simply re-arranging its parts. (Cow galloping in the wrong direction? Just pull its head under its belly, it’ll slide right over to the other end and VOILÁ, you’re running the right way.)

There’s also a sweet, brief documentary, “Oswald Comes Home,” about the loss of Oswald to Universal (geez, just one more reason for us rabid fans to avoid those parks, right?), and the 2006 trade of Al Michaels to bring Oswald back to Disney (along with four rounds of golf and some Olympic highlights).

And it’s not over yet . . . I was so excited about Oswald that I just couldn’t wait to tell y’all, but I haven’t even finished watching the 2-disc set! Disk Two has a documentary about Ub Iwerks (yay!!) plus three of the original Alice comedies (triple yay!!), along with three Mickey Mouse cartoons you’ve seen before (“Plane Crazy,” “Steamboat Willie,” and “Skeleton Dance”).

Dude, I could just stay here on the couch in my pajamas all day. Somebody bring me another bowl of Cap’n Crunch?

7 Responses to “I <3 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit”

  1. biblioadonis aka George December 15, 2007 at 10:22 am #

    KC–

    I think you’ve sold me on the new DVD! I have my Disneyland Secrets on the way and I know my 4 YO is jonesing for the Donald one.

    I remember the days of spending many glorious hours in front of the TV. Eating barbecue potato chips because they were right in front of me. Oh how I miss Saturday morning cartoons!

  2. Kitty-chan December 15, 2007 at 10:43 am #

    MMMM bbq potato chips, with that bizarro orange completely-inorganic seasoning!

    I’m starting to think we need to organize some sort of Sunday Morning Cartoon get-together the morning after Magic Meet 2008. Sure, it wouldn’t be Saturday, but we could make do. Somebody could bring a projector, and we could all watch old-school Disney cartoons in our PJs and chow down on BBQ chips and our favorite 1970s kids cereals (not just Cap’n Crunch . . . we’d need Quisp, King Vitamin, Count Chocula . . .).

  3. Eric December 16, 2007 at 12:00 pm #

    Oswald and the other 2 titles have now been added to my Christmas list. Thanks for the review!

    And, do they even play cartoons on Saturday mornings anymore? It seems like there are just a lot of Disney Channel reruns, infomercials and news shows on these days. I weep for any generation that is raised with a healthy dose of Looney Toons, Tom & Jerry and such.

  4. SpeedyDisney December 18, 2007 at 11:06 am #

    It wasn’t just the Saturday morning cartoons. It was also their special preview shows.

    I always looked forward to that one special Friday night every September when some B or C list celebrity would preview all the new Saturday morning shows that started the next morning.

    PS-You simply must get the Disneyland Secrets DVD. It hasn’t left my player and I am wearing out the pause button during all the cool flyover shots.

  5. Kitty-chan December 18, 2007 at 11:42 am #

    OMG, I had totally forgotten about the Friday night preview show! Man, somebody (maybe Rhino?) should really put together a compilation of those things.

    Geez, now I want to go home and watch Lidsville!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Walt Disney World Vacation Info » Sunday Roundup - Sleepy Eyed Edition - December 19, 2007

    […] really enjoyed reading Kitty-Chan’s review of the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit DVD set. Definitely adding that to my Xmas wish […]

  2. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Merchandise Disappoints . . . So Far « Broke Hoedown - January 1, 2008

    […] Rabbit videos and merchandise ever since Disney traded away Al Michaels to get him back. And as I mentioned recently on this blog, the videos did not disappoint! But sadly, my first sighting of Oswald merchandise was […]

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