Oswald the Lucky Rabbit returns to the studio that bears his creator’s name—Walt Disney Animation Studios—with an all-new animated short, more than 94 years since Disney’s last Oswald cartoon. Created by Disney Animation’s hand-drawn animation team to help celebrate the start of Disney 100 Years of Wonder that marks 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company, the short—appropriately titled Oswald The Lucky Rabbit—is directed by animator Eric Goldberg and produced by Dorothy McKim.
“On the eve of Disney’s 100th anniversary, it was such a joy to create the first new Oswald short from our studio since 1928,” says McKim. “Our hand-drawn animation team—including our hand-drawn legends Mark Henn, Randy Haycock, and Eric Goldberg, as well our wonderful team of 2D apprentices—had a ball animating in the style of Oswald’s era.”
Goldberg adds, “Oswald is such a plucky scamp. We wanted to bring Oswald back, and in the short, he literally returns to his original home: the movie screen. We wanted to have Oswald do all of the ‘squash-and-stretch,’ ‘rubber hose’-animation style, celebrating that first generation of Walt Disney’s artists.”
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is considered Walt’s first breakout animated star, and widely considered one of the first characters in animation history to feature a unique personality. Walt introduced Oswald to moviegoers in 1927 with the short Trolley Troubles. Twenty-six Oswald short films were created by Walt and his team, with the final Disney shorts starring the character releasing in 1928, the same year Walt lost creative control over his beloved rabbit. In 2006, Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, made an unprecedented deal with NBCUniversal that included permitting sportscaster Al Michaels to contract with NBC in exchange for the return of Oswald to his original home. Since then, Oswald has appeared in video games, merchandise, and an animated short, as well as in Disney theme parks globally.
In conjunction with the animated short, Disney launched an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Snapchat lens worldwide that will allow users to channel Oswald using AR technology.