For the first time ever, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is making character meet and greet appearances at a Disney Park – specifically in the Cape Cod section of American Waterfront at Tokyo DisneySea in the Tokyo Disney Resort.  At this meet and greet, Oswald is playing the role of a farmer greeting friends at his own little produce stand, stocked with fresh eggs and flowers for the season.

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Oswald’s history predates that of even Mickey Mouse, as Oswald the Lucky rabbit was Walt Disney’s first animated star.  In 1927, under contract with Universal Studios, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created Oswald and a series of cartoon shorts, including Trolley Troubles in September 5, 1927, becoming Walt’s biggest success to date.  In search of greener pastures, Walt eventually left Universal and the rights to Oswald behind in 1928. Walt and Iwerks went on to create a new cartoon character – Mickey Mouse.

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Universal retained the rights to Oswald and produced a series of cartoons through the 1930’s and 1940’s.  It wasn’t until 2006 when Disney CEO Bob Iger made a deal with NBC Universal to trade sportscaster Al Michaels, who was under contract with ABC and ESPN (both Disney subsidiaries), for the rights to Oswald and Walt’s 26 original cartoon shorts, as well as the Universal-produced Oswald cartoons.  The primary driver for the deal was so that Oswald could appear in the Epic Mickey video game in 2010.

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Since then, Oswald has had an indirect presence at the Disney Parks, including Oswald’s Tires and Gas Station, a store at the entrance of Disney California Adventure, along with theme-park related merchandise.  Oswald’s appearance at Tokyo DisneySea definitely indicates the possibility of appearances stateside,  perhaps at his gas station in DCA?