OK, kids, sing along: "O-S-W-see ya real soon!-A-L-D-R-A-B-B-I-T"
Ah, what could have been. Before there was Mickey Mouse, there was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks (who is a person, not a German turntable manufacturer) in 1927. And now, a lost short film starring the cartoon rabbit has been unearthed in England.
Called "Hungry Hobos," the five-minute reel was discovered at the Huntley Film Archives in Herefordshire. It was made in 1928, and was one of a series of 26 shorts. No one is sure how the reel ended up on the Archives' shelf.
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The reel was dusted off after a curious Archive employee took it off the shelf (the organization rarely stocks animated films) and Googled the title, only then learning that they had their hands on a famous lost piece of film history.
The film features Oswald and his pal Peg Leg Pete riding on a train and then attempting to steal an egg from a chicken when they get hungry.
Many of Oswald's characteristics were later transferred to the character of Mickey Mouse (they even look alike, save Oswald's long ears), who, of course, went on to experience some success.
"Hungry Hobos" will be sold at auction and is expected to fetch as much as $40,000. You can place your bid at Bonham's memorabilia auction in Los Angeles on December 14th.