Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
|KNOWN RELATIVES:||Ortensia Whiskers (girlfriend/wife); 420 Bunny Children (including Floyd & Lloyd); J.P. Whiskers (father-in-law); Homer the Cat (little brother-in-law); Mickey Mouse (half-brother); Felicity Fieldmouse (half-sister); Morty & Ferdie (nephews).|
|KNOWN RIVALS:||Bad Pete|
|1st PRINT APPEARANCE:||"New Fun Comics" #1 (1935 - DC publication's very first comic book, after Walt Disney lost control of the character).|
|1st FILM APPEARANCE:||"Trolley Trouble" (Sep. 5, 1927).|
|VOICE ACTOR:||June Foray, Mickey Rooney and Frank Welker (Oswald); Audrey Wasilewski (Ortensia).|
|BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS:||Oswald was a happy-go-lucky little rabbit.|
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is one of the first animated cartoon characters made by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks for Universal Studios between 1927 and 1928, then produced by Charles Mintz and Walter Lantz from 1928 until 1943. "Poor Pappa" was Oswald's first animated cartoon, but was not released until June 11, 1928, because he was presented as an unpleasant grumpy old rabbit which the studio didn't like. Walt then literally went back to the drawing board, and produced "Trolly Trouble" in which Oswald was made younger and more likable. After 26 cartoon shorts, Disney lost ownership of Oswald and the character was turned over to Walter Lantz for future production. Taking possession of Bad Pete Disney left for California and created Mickey Mouse as his new cornerstone character. Under Lantz, Oswald eventually married and had two sons, Lloyd & Floyd.
In 2006, the Walt Disney Company got back the rights to Oswald through a trade with sportscaster Al Michaels. In the wake of Oswald's return to the company, a line of special merchandise was released at Disney Stores nationwide and a Walt Disney Treasures DVD set was released compiling all of the surviving Oswald cartoons.
In his current revival, Oswald is portrayed as being rough, bitter and short-tempered around anyone he doesn't trust. Being forgotten for so many years has often made him very cynical about his life, exclusively due to how no one remembers him. He has sympathy for others who suffer fates similar to his. He had especially strong jealousy towards his "Brother", whom he blamed for stealing his once famous life. It takes someone with a strong will to earn his trust. Beneath his harsh exterior, however, lies a saddened and hurt character who just wants to be loved again by the hearts of others. His time with Mickey helped him realize how Mickey cares about him as a brother despite their differences, allowing Oswald to mend his grudge with Mickey and accept who they are as brothers.
Besides being rather grumpy, Oswald takes after Mickey in many ways. He is quite mischievous, adventurous and never escapes trouble, but finds his way out through cunning and wit. He loves to play and make others laugh, but still has morals despite his flaws and always tries to do the right thing. He will attempt to do what's best for his family and friends, even if there are risks involved. Though he doesn't appear to be, Oswald can be quite friendly if he wants to. His love for Ortensia, an anthropormophic cat, is just as strong as Mickey's love for Minnie.
Ortensia appeared in the Oswald shorts starting with "The Banker's Daughter," replacing Oswald's former love interest, a much more feminine and sultry rabbit named Fanny in production materials. Ortensia's original name during the production of the Oswald shorts was Sadie (as referenced in the title of the animated short: Sagebrush Sadie). However, the names for Oswald's love interests were never widely publicized, which is likely the reason she was given a new name in Epic Mickey, following the alliteration pattern of Mickey and Minnie's mirrored relationship. As can be seen in her character design, she was very much a precursor to Minnie Mouse. Often in the original Oswald shorts, Oswald would compete with Pete for her affection. She also appeared in Oswald shorts produced by Charles Mintz and later Walter Lantz. In the Lantz shorts, she was called "Kitty". To add some confusion, copyright synopses of some Mintz and Lantz shorts erroneously refer to Ortensia/Kitty as Fanny.
|LITTLE KNOWN SECRETS:||unknown|