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Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons

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Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created in 1927 by Walt Disney and his team through twenty-six cartoon shorts. Not without fits and starts, the series and its impish title character were an instant hit with audiences. At the end of that initial run, Walt lost the contract to Oswald, which prompted the creation of Mickey Mouse. Over the years, Oswald became a footnote in the Di Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created in 1927 by Walt Disney and his team through twenty-six cartoon shorts. Not without fits and starts, the series and its impish title character were an instant hit with audiences. At the end of that initial run, Walt lost the contract to Oswald, which prompted the creation of Mickey Mouse. Over the years, Oswald became a footnote in the Disney story . . . until 2006, when The Walt Disney Company recovered rights to Walt's twenty-six shorts. Behind-the-scenes, a complex and labor-intensive search developed for the physical film footage of some Oswald cartoons deemed "lost to time." For anyone interested in Disney origins, fascinated by early cinema, or entertained by a feisty little rabbit, this engaging and accessible volume delivers an in-depth look at Walt's first major animated success and the journey to reclaim the lost Disney films.


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Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created in 1927 by Walt Disney and his team through twenty-six cartoon shorts. Not without fits and starts, the series and its impish title character were an instant hit with audiences. At the end of that initial run, Walt lost the contract to Oswald, which prompted the creation of Mickey Mouse. Over the years, Oswald became a footnote in the Di Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created in 1927 by Walt Disney and his team through twenty-six cartoon shorts. Not without fits and starts, the series and its impish title character were an instant hit with audiences. At the end of that initial run, Walt lost the contract to Oswald, which prompted the creation of Mickey Mouse. Over the years, Oswald became a footnote in the Disney story . . . until 2006, when The Walt Disney Company recovered rights to Walt's twenty-six shorts. Behind-the-scenes, a complex and labor-intensive search developed for the physical film footage of some Oswald cartoons deemed "lost to time." For anyone interested in Disney origins, fascinated by early cinema, or entertained by a feisty little rabbit, this engaging and accessible volume delivers an in-depth look at Walt's first major animated success and the journey to reclaim the lost Disney films.

30 review for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    This book was amazing! It gave a clear idea of who Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was, and went into very long stretches of detail. I bet if Mickey Mouse had a book like this, it would weigh as much as a double decker bus!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons presents a history of the origins of the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio and the hit they had in 1927 with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, whose history has, surprisingly, been 'lost' until now. Basically, if it weren't for Oswald, Disney may not have evolved to become the powerhouse it is today - but that journey was anything but linear. It involved Oswald's initial rejection, his eventual acceptance, and how Disney lost the contract to t Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons presents a history of the origins of the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio and the hit they had in 1927 with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, whose history has, surprisingly, been 'lost' until now. Basically, if it weren't for Oswald, Disney may not have evolved to become the powerhouse it is today - but that journey was anything but linear. It involved Oswald's initial rejection, his eventual acceptance, and how Disney lost the contract to their first major character; only regaining the twenty-six Walt Disney created Oswald cartoons (and returning Oswald to his proper place in Disney history) six decades later. Oswald's happy-go-lucky demeanor and his clever ability to come out on top of any situation predated Mickey's evolution and reflected creator Walt Disney's approach to life itself. So how did Walt's first major animated success result not only in losing the contract, but in Oswald's journey into animation obscurity for so many years? Disney fans will quickly come to realize this story isn't just about Oswald's evolutionary process, but about Walt Disney's own evolution as he furthered his animation efforts and created the foundations of what was to become his more famous Mickey Mouse character. From legends and realities to common animation practices of the day and how cartoons are 'lost' over time, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit packs in visual embellishments, from animation frames to vintage photos, in its efforts to trace Oswald's history through copyright synopsis, surviving film documents, and episode reviews. Packed with illustration as it is, readers almost don't need the rare vintage Oswald film in order to enjoy this recreation of historical record that offers such in-depth discussion about Oswald's adventures and evolution. Recommended for Disney fans, prior Oswald enthusiasts, and animation history readers alike, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons fills in many blanks and offers specifics about animation processes, legalese, and the process of researching and recapturing lost cartoons, and is a 'must' for any collection strong in Disney characters and history.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I found this to be a good read and a chance to learn a bit more about pre-Mickey Mouse Walt Disney and about the Oswald shorts. If you're interested in learning more about Oswald and his animated shorts, this is the book to get. The first fifth of the book is the history aspect, covering Walt Disney as he moved away from his earlier work on the Alice shorts through the creation and eventual loss of Oswald, to the reacquisition of Oswald and the original 26 Disney-helmed shorts by the Disney comp I found this to be a good read and a chance to learn a bit more about pre-Mickey Mouse Walt Disney and about the Oswald shorts. If you're interested in learning more about Oswald and his animated shorts, this is the book to get. The first fifth of the book is the history aspect, covering Walt Disney as he moved away from his earlier work on the Alice shorts through the creation and eventual loss of Oswald, to the reacquisition of Oswald and the original 26 Disney-helmed shorts by the Disney company, and the search for and restoration of the shorts that have been found so far. The majority of the book then shifts to detailed synopsis of the shorts and features concept art and production stills of the shorts. I think the history section is well written and gives a great sense of context about Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks, and the other creators at the time, the difficulties Disney faced as a contract creator, and how Oswald managed to influence the creation of Mickey Mouse. The synopsis are very useful for those who haven't or can't see the shorts that have been found, and definitely a must read for the shorts that are still missing. The quality of the images related to the shorts is also very good, and nice to see for those interested in the production of early Disney animation (I enjoyed seeing the story sheets, which are precursors to the more flexible storyboards filmmakers use now).

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Bossert

    I have recently finished the manuscript on this book and am very excited for the pre-release in July/2017 at the D23 EXPO.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Mixed bag. The author has come to writing out of a long non-writing career at Disney, so he is better at knowing than telling. There is not much detail but still too many words on the history of the creation of Oswald, the various studio changes, and the recovery of missing copyright and actual films, then there is way too much detail on the individual cartoons. There is still interesting information within, and a lot of cool artwork.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    Kind of a slog, to be honest with you. I applaud the author for his enthusiasm and comprehensive research, and I did love learning more about Oswald. But a blow-by-blow account describing every Oswald cartoon in excruciating detail wasn't really what I was hoping for. Kind of a slog, to be honest with you. I applaud the author for his enthusiasm and comprehensive research, and I did love learning more about Oswald. But a blow-by-blow account describing every Oswald cartoon in excruciating detail wasn't really what I was hoping for.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joe Hayes

    A compelling read into the history of Walt Disney's oft forgotten Oswald. A compelling read into the history of Walt Disney's oft forgotten Oswald.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Francisco Guzman

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  10. 5 out of 5

    Simon Hufnagel

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Louis

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael L Grandelli

  13. 5 out of 5

    Coulter

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Higgins

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gregorio Fonseca

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  17. 4 out of 5

    aditi bharadwaj in dubai and chennai

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  19. 4 out of 5

    Becky

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Re

  21. 5 out of 5

    John

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Trout

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim Gullickson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Josh Frederick

  25. 5 out of 5

    George Taylor

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lama Alnaama

  27. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  28. 4 out of 5

    Espen Ellingsen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marc

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Nichols

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