I read today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that “Disney - at Iger’s direction - obtained the rights to Oswald last month.”
I would love to see this character around the parks or something dedicated to him because we all know “it was started by a mouse” but, it could have been a rabbit. I believe there was something about him in One Man’s Dream.
Looks like Mickey might have some competition with Walt’s first brainchild. I can see it all now…
“In tonite’s news, we have rare footage of Disney World’s very own Mickey Mouse beating the tar out of the Walt Disney company’s latest family member, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Tears were streaming down children’s faces as the encounter took place, and the park guest count is expected to plummet as many dissapointed parents and fans express outrage as such behavior. Thats some sibling rivalry, eh Barbara?”
“You said it, John.”
Anyhow…he was missing from “One Man’s Dream” because Disney didn’t own him then, but we did learn all about that early history in Traditions classes.
I’m surprised this wasn’t posted somewhere on DC already. I remember reading about it at the beginning of the Feb.
Anyways, they basically traded Al Michaels for Oswald. Al Michaels still had time left on his Monday Night Football contract, but they released him for the rights to Oswald (which NBC) had. He will now be doing Sunday Night Football.
I did a search for the story I originally read on msnbc.com, and here it is:
this is the first time I’m hearing this. Missed the other threads. I’m delighted to hear it especially when you consider the underhanded way that Margaret Winkler and her husband stole Oswald from under Walt’s nose (along with most of his first animation staff). I’m glad he’s back in Disney hands.
In February 2006, a number of minor assets including the rights to Oswald were acquired by The Walt Disney Company from NBC Universal, as part of a deal which sent sportscaster Al Michaels from Disney’s ABC and ESPN to NBC Sports. At the time, ABC had lost its contract for National Football League broadcast rights, and despite recently signing a long-term contract with ESPN, Michaels was interested in rejoining broadcast partner John Madden at NBC for the Sunday night package.
While popularly characterized in the media as a “trade”, and a decidedly lopsided one at that, that characterization is faulty. The ownership rights to a cartoon character were transferred from NBC to Disney, and in exchange Disney simply released Michaels from his employment contract, allowing him to sign with NBC.
The deal includes the rights to the character and the original 26 short films made by Disney. Rights to the Universal-produced Oswald films and other related products were not included.
Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, issued the following statement after the deal was announced:
When Bob (Iger) was named CEO, he told me he wanted to bring Oswald back to Disney, and I appreciate that he is a man of his word. Having Oswald around again is going to be a lot of fun.
It was noted to Michaels that the Kansas City Chiefs gave the New York Jets a draft pick as compensation for releasing coach Herm Edwards from his contract.
Oswald is definitely worth more than a fourth-round draft choice. I'm going to be a trivia answer someday.
It might be interesting to see what they could do with Oswald. Since he’s so specifically tied to that early era, I could see him being focused on in some “classic b/w animation” way… like if they opened up an area (like Toontown) devoted to that.