“Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.”
It’s fun to do the impossible.
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse” Walt Disney
It’s no secret that I am a Walt Disney fan.
No, I don’t wear Mickey Mouse ears in the parks and I can’t tell you all the differences in the rides between the Magic Kingdom in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in Disney World like my wife can, and does, each and every time we go, but I am a fan of storytelling and imagination, so it’s no surprise that I am an admirer of Walt Disney.
And…I am a fan of Oswald the Rabbit.
When Walt was first starting out, he and his designers created Oswald the Rabbit for Universal, and after the second cartoon, it achieved great success, so much so, that Walt requested a budget increase for future projects. Not only was that request met with a “no,” but with the news that his budget was going to be decreased, and if he didn’t like it, he could leave and Universal would take over, which is exactly what happened. To make matters worse, only one of his designers left with him; the rest stayed.
Can you imagine what that must have felt like? This thing that you created; this work that you poured your heart into-your very future that earlier seemed so secure is now gone. That must have been one lonely, discouraging train ride home.
Except for one thing…during that train ride home, Walt and his loyal designer, Ub Iwerks, started playing around with a new character, one with a very long tail and round ears-a mouse who would eventually be named “Mickey” and go on to be the most successful animated character of all time. In 2006, the current Disney CEO received the rights to Oswald as part of a trade agreement with NBC Universal, so Oswald is now back where he belongs, safely tucked among the other Walt Disney characters.
Out of all the Walt Disney stories, this is my favorite. It is a reminder that problems can blossom into opportunity if we let them. In fact, in our family, when something even better follows a disappointment, we call it having an “Oswald Moment.”
This Christmas, my children are each getting stuffed Oswalds for their room. (No, I’m not spoiling a surprise-they never read this blog) and I hope each time they look at them, they remember that discouragement is simply a stepping stone to something even better, that there is no end to creativity and that imagination can never be defeated unless we let it.
And that it really it didn’t all start with a mouse…it started with a rabbit.
frank frost photography ©2013