Who is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? Next Disney Dreamlight Valley villager explained

Who is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? Next Disney Dreamlight Valley villager explained

Disney Dreamlight Valley’s long-teased “lucky villager” is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a lesser-known Disney classic and precursor to Mickey Mouse. Here’s what to know about the character.

Disney Dreamlight Valley’s roadmap for the A Rift in Time expansion pass teased a “lucky villager” joining the game this spring. After months of speculation, the developers have confirmed that this new Villager is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

While an important character within Disney’s history, Oswald is somewhat obscure, especially next to other Disney Dreamlight Valley villagers like Mickey Mouse, Ariel, and Elsa.

With that in mind, here’s everything players should know about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and his nearly century-long history.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’s creation

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created by Walt Disney and frequent collaborator Ub Iwerk in 1927 after producer Charles Mintz told them to make a rabbit character to sell to Universal. The rabbit was chosen to stand out from the many cat cartoon characters such as Felix the Cat and Disney and Iwerk’s own Julius the Cat.

Who is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? Next Disney Dreamlight Valley villager explained

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in Trolley Troubles

The character would debut in the animated short film Trolley Troubles later that year. However, this wasn’t the first Oswald short created; that distinction goes to Poor Papa, which Universal initially rejected over its production quality and Oswald himself seeming too old.

Regardless of the initial setback, Oswald ultimately became a massive and profitable success that allowed Walt Disney Studio to grow.

Universal ownership & reacquisition

Following contract disputes and many of his animators leaving to work for Mintz’s studio, Disney quit the Oswald cartoons in early 1928. On his way home from an unsuccessful meeting with Mintz in New York, Disney decided to make a new character he would completely own the rights to, resulting in the creation of Mickey Mouse.

Following Disney’s departure, Universal would continue making Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons throughout the 30s and 40s. Walter Lantz took over after Mintz’s contract was terminated, ushering in a more slapstick tone and design changes for Oswald.

Who is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? Next Disney Dreamlight Valley villager explained

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse finally joined forces in Epic Mickey and its sequel, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.

While initially silent, Lantz’s Oswald cartoons started incorporating dialogue. Animator Bill Nolan was the first to voice the Lucky Rabbit. Notable actors to take on the role include Mickey Rooney, June Foray, and Mel Blanc.

Oswald’s final theatrical short was 1943’s The Egg Cracker Suite. That’s not the end of the character, though, as Oswald continued to appear in comics for decades after his days on the big screen ended. His first comic appearance was in Oswald the Rabbit, a comic strip that ran from February 1935 to January 1936. He then appeared in New Funnies, which ran from 1942 to 1962.

The Walt Disney Company eventually acquired the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 2006 following a trade with NBCUniversal. Disney CEO Bob Iger decided to pursue the rights, as he had a design document for a video game that ultimately became Epic Mickey. Oswald would play an important part in the game, which also marked the first time he and Mickey Mouse had been onscreen together.

Since then, the character has appeared in merchandise and occasionally cameo appearances. December 2022 would also see the release of the first Disney-produced Oswald short in 95 years with “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” being released online to celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit joined the public domain in January 2023 when copyrights to the character and several shorts expired.

Oswald’s personality & legacy

While Walt Disney only worked on Oswald the Lucky Rabbit for a brief time, the character greatly impacted his life and career. Oswald’s early success allowed Walt Disney Studio to expand, and the profits helped Walt and his brother Roy purchase land and make other investments.

The frustrating issues surrounding the Lucky Rabbit’s rights also inspired Walt Disney to create Mickey Mouse, now the most successful and recognizable cartoon character of all time.

Who is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? Next Disney Dreamlight Valley villager explained

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit joins Disney Dreamlight Valley on April 24, 2024

Beyond that, Oswald also influenced the medium as a whole. The Lucky Rabbit was among the first cartoon characters to have a personality. Disney used Oswald to explore how to add life and individuality to cartoon characters through movement and mannerisms. As Walt Disney said, “I want the characters to be somebody. I don’t want them just to be a drawing.”

To develop Oswald’s peppy and adventurous behavior and blend it with physical comedy and gags, Disney studied Charlie Chaplin and other live-action performers of the era, drawing inspiration from them rather than other cartoons.

While he’s not nearly as recognizable as later Disney characters, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit has greatly impacted Disney properties and animation more broadly. Whether Disney Dreamlight Valley is your first experience with the character or not, it’s clear Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is a great fit for a game that celebrates so much of Disney’s century-long history.

That’s everything you need to know about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. While waiting for the next update, take a look at some of our other Disney Dreamlight Valley guides:

Disney Dreamlight Valley DreamSnaps | Disney Dreamlight Valley Premium Shop | Disney Dreamlight Valley codes | When to find every critter | Disney Dreamlight Valley recipe list

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