Yesterday, I was greeted with a familiar, happy sight, a brown and blue cardboard package from the Disney Store, that contained a not-so-familiar sight, a tiny stuffed Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Although he is gaining popularity and working his way back into our pop culture, there are still many people that do not know this little Disney icon. To be honest, I don’t know much about him either. I read some of his general history and saw a few of his shorts, but I definitely cannot consider myself an Oswald expert. I can say, though, that Oswald is still an important part of my Disney fandom.
Walt Disney said, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Every time I hear or see this quote, I think of Oswald. As the legend goes, after Walt learned he lost the rights to Oswald (click here for that story), he spent the train ride home inventing a brand new character that changed his entire company forever, Mickey Mouse. Just when Walt thought Oswald wasn’t so lucky after all, the circumstance Oswald put Walt in was the luckiest thing that could have happened for the company.
I wear Oswald clothing and have a stuffed Oswald not because he’s my favorite character or I know everything about him, but because he’s an inspiration and a reminder that kicks in the teeth can be gifts in disguise. Luck doesn’t always announce itself, and you have to keep moving forward to realize it’s always there.
Photos from Buena Vista Street in Disney’s California Adventure at Oswald’s