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Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was an animated cartoon character who starred in a series of cartoon motion pictures of 1920s and 1930s released by Universal Studios.

Created and animated by Walt Disney, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was first introduced in 1927 after Disney's series of Alice Comedies had run its course. Disney wanted to go with something new and signing a new contract with Universal head Carl Laemmle to produce a series of cartoons under Charles B. Mintz and George Winkler seemed to be just the ticket.

The first Oswald cartoon, "Poor Papa" was rejected by the Universal studio heads. After this, Disney, together with Ub Iwerks created a second cartoon called "Trolley Troubles". The short officially launched the series and proved to be Disney's greatest success yet. However, when Disney asked Mintz for an increase in the budget, Mintz instead offered a budget cut. Disney angrily refused and quit, taking Iwerks and a loyal apprentice artist, Les Clark, with him. Mintz, meanwhile, opened his own studio consisting primarily of former Disney employees.

Dissatisfied with Mintz, Laemmle selected Walter Lantz to produce new cartoons using the character (the first of which was 1929's "Race Riot" — many sources erroneously list "Ozzie of the Circus" as the first). Over the next decade, Lantz would produce 140 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons, making for a grand total of 192 films that the character starred in over all three producers.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's last cartoon was "The Egg-Cracker Suite" (1943). Oswald made occasional reapperances as a character in other cartoons as late as 1951.

Angered by the loss of Oswald, Disney learned to retain full ownership of his animated characters and went on to find immense success with another animated character, Mickey Mouse, who is now one of the most widely recognized icons in the world.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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