Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Favorite Fictional Character --- Oswald, The Lucky Rabbit

With Easter right around the corner, I had the idea of featuring a rabbit stuck in my head.  I went through the obvious choices; Bugs, Roger, Peter Cottontail, the crew from Watership Down, and Trixx, but none of them felt right to me. Everybody knows them, and I'm not even sure I like some of them.  Inspiration struck though as I was getting a glass of water, I looked at the wall in front of the sink, and it hit me.  Right in front of me was the answer, staring at me, with a big grin on his face, was Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit.  When our local Disney Store closed a few years ago, I happened to pick up this wonderful canvas of Oswald for a few bucks.  It's done in muted tans, grays, and blacks, a color scheme that suits my style perfectly.  I really didn't know much about him, but over the years I've done some reading, watched a few early cartoons, and promptly fell in love.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Oswald, let's just say he predates Mickey, and is just as fun to watch.  For various legal and creative reasons, Oswald was regulated to the waste bin of history for decades.  After Disney was able to repurchase the rights to the character, Oswald has slowly had a rebirth of sorts.  I won't got into all the details of why this poor guy was abandoned, but it is a rather sad story.  And It was totally not his fault, the guy was hilarious.  He could detach limbs and use them as props, he was funnier than any rabbit had the right to be, and he brought smiles and laughter to everyone he met.

When he was abandoned though, he life took a horrible turn.  With Mickey on the rise, and himself in decline, I'm afraid he became a little bitter and angry.  By the time Disney got him back, and started to put him back to work, he wasn't the same happy go lucky rabbit anymore.  He resented Mickey.  He couldn't understand why the mouse got the life he was supposed to have, and quite frankly, I don't blame him.  If I was thrown out like old bath water, I'd be pretty damned pissed off myself.  But Oswald is not a bad guy, at his core, he wants to be loved and make people laugh.  I'm not saying he still doesn't have his issues, but he is getting through them, and he is slowly being given his due.  He is evening making appearances at the Disney theme park in Tokyo now, and his image is starting to pop up in the other parks as well.  He has his own line of merchandise, and he even has had a new cartoon, where he is the lead.  His star is back on an ascending path, and I can't wait to see where it takes him.


Alexia561 said...

I've never heard of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but he reminds me of the early versions of Mickey. I can always count on you to introduce me to interesting new characters! Thanks Ryan! :)

Angela's Anxious Life said...

I LOVE THIS FEATURE! I hope you bring it back permanently!