Titled “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,” the short was created by Disney Animation’s hand-drawn animation team in celebration of Disney’s 100-year anniversary next year. Veteran animator Eric Goldberg (“How to Stay at Home (Starring Goofy),” “Pocahontas,” “Fantasia/2000”) directed the short, with Dorothy McKim producing.
“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,” Goldberg said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” McKim said. “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.”
Walt Disney introduced Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to audiences in 1927 with the short “Trolley Troubles.” The beloved rabbit, who is considered Walt’s first breakout animated star, was featured in 26 short films created by Walt and his team. The final Disney shorts starring Oswald were released in 1928, the same year Walt lost creative control over the character.
In 2006, Disney CEO Bob Iger made a deal with NBC Universal to obtain the rights to Oswald for the studio.