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Should Disney Celebrate Oswald’s 85th?

18 Sep

As an Oswald fan, I’m glad to see his merchandise showing up in more places. I’m even willing to accept that his image is being updated with the times, much as Mickey doesn’t look like he did in the 1920’s anymore.

But I’ve gotta stop a moment and take note of the fact that Disney’s spinning some of this new merchandise not with the Epic Mickey 2 release, which makes sense, but rather with Oswald’s 85th birthday. Oswald was at Universal for 78 of those 85 years, and for most of that time he just sat in a vault alone.

Should we think of this 85th birthday celebration as a make-up party for all those milestones missed? Or is this a little bit like celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary, despite having been legally separated and living apart for 47 of those years?

All I’m sure of is this: There’s no such thing as a bad reason to watch an Oswald cartoon. So here’s one of my favorites: The Mechanical Cow. I’m especially enamored of the scene with the baby, which starts around 3:20.

Jentasmic! Waiting for Oswald

5 Nov

I am thoroughly psyched about the upcoming appearance of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in the Epic Mickey video game. A snippet from this week’s Jentasmic! column at StudiosCentral:

As Oswald was essentially locked up in a vault all this time, he had a little time to himself over the last many decades. So, he was never sanitized or prettied-up, like some of the other characters. Mickey himself started out rather mischievous (practially criminal in Plane Crazy, actually), but softened considerably as he became a corporate icon. Donald was created to take Mickey’s place as the cranky one, but even Donald just doesn’t get that edgy anymore. So, in bringing Oswald back, Disney’s got a character who simultaneously has an empty slate with most viewers, and a rowdy, frolicsome visual style.

Read the rest at StudiosCentral . . .

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Merch from Lucky Jeans

12 Jun

Now this is what I’m talking about, baby…Lucky Jeans is launching some merchandise featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit! I do wish they were doing actual jeans, but the t-shirts are cute. Shirts are available for both men (pictured) and women.  (Thanks for the tip, Marissa!)

And yes, I would wear this with my lumbar pack in a New York minute, were I ever to find it on clearance somewhere. This girl’s gotta be both fashion-forward and budget conscious!

Finally Some Good Oswald Swag!

6 Feb

Guess I’ll be headed over to the Disney Store this weekend! I do believe I need an Oswald coffee cup, at a minimum.

Picture courtesy of Inside the Magic. Hat tip: The Disney Blog.

Nice Oswald Poster!

31 Jan

Just saw this on Vintage Disney Collectibles.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Super-cool Shoes!

29 Jan

Aren’t these just the coolest shoes ever? Well, almost ever. I’ve got a pair of silver boots I bought in Montreal a couple years ago when I was at a professional retreat there, and those are arguably cuter, especially with my parachute pants . . . but I digress.

Amy posted the link to these shoes in my blog the other day, on my previous post about Oswald merch disappointing me so far, and I thought they were cool enough to merit their very own post. Sadly, I’m still disappointed . . . but only because it seems these shoes probably won’t be sold in the US. From Cool Hunting:

Melissa Characters
Taking cues from popular characters from childhood, this fun line includes Le Petit Prince who gets a pointy flat for winter. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the first-ever Disney character, stars on a special Ultragirl model that will first be sold at Colette in Paris before hitting Brazil.

Sadly, I don’t think I can justify a special trip to Paris (or Brazil) just to look for Oswald shoes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to! I do believe there’s a pretty little Disney park there, y’know. And really, there’s no such thing as a bad reason to go to Paris!

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Merchandise Disappoints . . . So Far

1 Jan

I’ve been anxiously awaiting Disney’s release of Oswald the Lucky 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 a bit of a letdown. This afternoon at the Burlington mall, I spotted an Oswald poster stashed amongst various clearance items, on the floor at the Disney Store. Poor little rabbit! Doesn’t the prodigal son deserve a little better debut? When I was in the parks over the summer, most Cast Members didn’t seem to know who Oswald was . . . and there was nary an Oswald item to be found.

Now I’m even more glad that I picked up the Oswald DVD tin as soon as I could, as it included a nifty little button, included in the price of the set (bonus!). And I guess in the short term, my best bet for Oswald merchandise remains eBay and the various vintage movie nostalgia sellers. Hey Disney, how bout letting your Couture division see if they could whip up a nice watch or belt or somesuch?

Offbeat Disney-inspired T-shirts from Cryogenically Frozen

29 Dec

The Disney Blog this morning points us to an irreverent little cafepress store, Cryogenically Frozen, set up by a friend of his who has worked at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The shop sells t-shirts inspired by Disney attractions past and current, as well as backstage humor (protein spill, anyone?).

Oswald fans will be glad to know there’s a t-shirt proclaiming, “I hope we never lose sight of one thing . . . it was all started by a stolen rabbit.” (Or perhaps was it started by a little girl, playing with a blatent Felix rip-off?)

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?

Oswald’s Home, on DVD

12 Dec

From AWN Headline News (and previously mentioned on Blue Sky Disney):

THE ADVENTURES OF OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT: Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, who predates Mickey Mouse, has recently returned to the Disney fold and comes out of the vault for the first time ever on DVD. The silent shorts made from 1926 to 1928, with Walt’s personal touch, are revitalized with brand-new scores (by well-known silent film accompanist and composer Robert Israel) specifically made for WALT DISNEY TREASURES WAVE VII. Several of the shorts offer audio commentary from Leonard Maltin, Mark Kausler and Jerry Beck. Bonus materials include:

* THE HAND BEHIND THE MOUSE: Full-length doc about legendary cartoon director/animator, Ub Iwerks. He was Walt’s first employee, as well as Oswald and Mickey’s first animator, and subsequently became one of the unsung heroes of Disney animation. Narrated by Kelsey Grammer, this doc was made by Ub’s granddaughter, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks.

* “Oswald Comes Home”: Tells how Oswald came back to the Disney studios. Features new interviews with Bob Iger, Roy Disney and Diane Disney Miller.

* “The Work of Ub Iwerks”: Six examples of the unique creations of Iwerks, before and after Oswald, are featured (a newly restored STEAMBOAT WILLIE among them).

Why don’t I own this yet? I must remedy this situation ASAP.

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