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Trivia / Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

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  • Cross-Dressing Voices: At least two confirmed examples — Bernice Hansen on several of the Lantz entries in the mid-late 1930s, and then June Foray on the final Oswald short, "The Egg Cracker Suite" — and a bunch of other instances in 1930s cartoons where Oswald was clearly voiced by women.
  • Digital Destruction:
    • The Walt Disney Treasures DVD set has fine restorations for the most part, but DVNR issues pop up in "Oh, What A Knight!", and "Bright Lights" had a missing part of its transfer found and spliced into the collection at the 11th hour (and the print had considerable issues like sprocket damage, with no time to properly fix or restore it), which resulted in a shaky, jumpy picture with interlacing during part of it. The pencil test for the lost film "Sagebrush Sadie" that was included as an extra was also shot at the wrong framerate (30 FPS as opposed to 24 FPS) which resulted in the tests being at played way too fast of a speed, and whole drawings were revealed to have been dropped from the video when the pencil tests are still framed, all due to this framerate blunder.
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    • The Lantz Oswald cartoons included on the Woody Woodpecker DVD sets got hit with bad DVNR problems too; while the Oswald Rabbit shorts "Hells Heels" and "Spooks" only has it in only minor form, "Grandma's Pet" has some really bad line and art erasing issues.
  • God Does Not Own This World: But now his company does.
  • Hostage For Macguffin: In Real Life. Oswald, even after 80 years, was still owned by NBC/Universal, not Disney. To get him back into their intellectual property, Disney gave Universal one of their sportscasters, Al Michaels. To understand how crazy this was: Disney traded the contract of a LIVING PERSON for the rights to an old cartoon character.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The bulk of the Walter Lantz Oswald shorts still exist in some form, but only a select handful have seen any kind of DVD release outside of the two Woody Woodpecker collections.
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  • Lost Him in a Card Game: In a meta-example, this was how Lantz gained the rights to Oswald from Universal founder Carl Laemmle.
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros." / Colbert Bump: You can bet your left foot that most people who are aware of Oswald's existence owe it to the series Epic Mickey (which was intentionally made as a comeback vehicle for both him and his brother, and the games at least acknowledge Oswald's original cartoons). Adding to the issue is that while half of his cartoons are available on DVD, said set only got a limited release, and wasn't released in other countries.
  • Missing Episode:
    • 8 of the 26 Disney-made Oswald cartoons are possibly lost forever, and even some footage of the Oswald cartoons that were found for the DVD collection had to be taken from reissued versions which arranged and/or chopped out footage from the original negatives (i.e. A bit of footage near the end of Ocean Hop where the dog Oswald was flying on to win the race falls into the pen hood of a car while flying over France, gets cranked through the engine and comes out of the exhaust pipe transformed into a string of wienies). Five of the other surviving Disney Oswalds, "Hungry Hoboes", "Poor Poppa", "Africa Before Dark", "Empty Socks" and "Sleigh Bells" still exist, with the first three respectively released on Blu-Ray and/or Digital HD as bonus features for the Walt Disney Signature Collection's re-releases of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfsnote , Pinocchio, and Bambi.
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    • Several of the '30s Lantz Oswald shorts have been lost, too many to list as is. Some of the Charles Mintz shorts still exist, but likewise several of them have been lost as well.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: The Disney Oswalds only ran for 26 shorts before falling into the ownership of Charles Mintz and later Walter Lantz (whose shorts are rarely talked about now), but in the long run, due to laying the foundation of Disney's future work and prompting the creation of Mickey Mouse, had a huge impact on changing the History of Animation forever.
  • The Other Darrin: As per a lot of other cartoon characters at the time, Oswald went through a few different voices once he started speaking in the Lantz shorts:
    • At first he started out with just a few vocal effects and the occasional line of dialogue. Sources vary on exactly who did this, though most seem to agree that Bill Nolan usually served as Oswald's voice early on, possibly also with Walter Lantz and composer Bert Fiske doing the job as needed.
    • Pinto Colvig started acting as Oswald's regular voice actor in 1930, after Lantz realised that he needed someone with actual acting and musical training due to the more musically-based direction he wanted to take the series in. He continued voicing Oswald for just over a year, before leaving for Disney.
    • Mickey Rooney took over for a few months after Colvig's departure, doing the job until early in 1932.
    • Following Rooney's departure, Lantz ceased using a regular voice actor for most of the remaining shorts. Bernice Hansen and Lantz himself were the most frequent voice actors during the 1932-38 period, though other studio staffers would voice Oswald on occasions where he only had one or two lines of dialogue in a short.
    • Finally, for his brief comeback in 1943, Lantz hired June Foray to voice Oswald. It would end up being her only occasion voicing him, but marked the beginning of a long, very fruitful career in animation for Foray.
  • The Other Marty: Oswald's voice actor would occasionally change in the middle of the cartoons. In "Confidence" for example, Oswald starts off with a fairly deep male voice, then suddenly changes to a high-pitched female voice halfway through, and then reverts back to the male voice near the end of the cartoon.
  • Take That!: Some believed that name of the villain of Pixar's Up, Charles Muntz, was a jab at Charles Mintz. However, this was Jossed by Pixar staff, who claimed that it was just a coincidence.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: "Radio Rhythm", an early Lantz Oswald with numerous outdated references to 1930's radio stars.
  • What Could Have Been: Can you imagine how things would be if Mintz had given Disney the budget bump he asked for instead of trying to screw him over?
    • Walt would never have started his own company and eighty years of animation history would have been entirely different?
    • In the 1980s, Fred Ladd was going to colorize the Lantz shorts like he did with the early Looney Tunes in the 1960s, and they colorized 1934's The Toy Shoppe as a test, but the plan was abandoned when Universal was disatisfied with the results.
    • A cameo by Oswald as a racer in Sugar Rush was considered for ''Wreck-It Ralph' at some point in development.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Wiki.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Reissues of pre-1940's Lantz cartoons would often feature Oswald in the title, even if he never appeared in the cartoon to begin with.


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