Walt Disney’s first big animated star wasn’t a mouse, but a rabbit – Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Though Oswald has faded into obscurity, he’s about to make a horrifying comeback thanks to the new indie film Oswald: Down the Rabbit Hole.
The recently released announcement trailer sets up the film’s creepy premise. It follows a group of friends exploring the abandoned home of one character’s great-grandfather Oswald. There, they discover a magical antique TV that transports them into a nightmarish cartoon realm. Trapped in this dark, twisted version of old Disney cartoons, they are stalked by a sinister entity taking Oswald’s form – one that wants to steal their very souls.
Oswald definitely isn’t so lucky anymore! But just who is this obscure Disney rabbit? Oswald was created in 1927 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks as part of their animated series for Universal Pictures. The cheeky rabbit starred in 27 shorts, but in 1928, Universal wrested away the rights to the character. This loss inspired Walt and Ub to create a new star that they would own – Mickey Mouse.
Oswald faded into obscurity as Mickey’s popularity exploded. But in 2006, the Walt Disney Company finally reacquired the rights to their forgotten first star. Since then, Oswald has made cameo appearances in Disney media over the years. But Down the Rabbit Hole is giving him his biggest starring role by making him the villain in a freaky supernatural thriller.
Down the Rabbit Hole is the brainchild of co-writers/directors Lilton Steward III and Lucinda Bruce. It’s being brought to life with hand-drawn animation from Mana Animation Studio, supplemented by visual effects overseen by VFX veteran Bob Homami. The film’s script is a meaty 142 pages, so Oswald will have plenty of screen time to terrorize his human victims.
Disney fans and horror buffs alike will get a twisted kick out of seeing Walt’s first creation go full evil rabbit. We’ll keep you posted as further details on Oswald: Down the Rabbit Hole emerge. But for now, the announcement trailer promises one heck of a ride when the unlucky rabbit drags victims down into his demented cartoon world. Stay tuned!