May 28, 1928 – The Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Short Oh What a Knight is Released to Theaters
On May 28, 1928, the Oswald short film Oh What a Knight was released to theaters. The short contains some impressive shadow animation, done by Ub Iwerks, as well as some interesting gags, animated by Hugh Harman and Ham Hamilton. This short was restored by the American Film Institute, and is one of the best preserved Oswald shorts in existence today.
The audience’s first shot of Oswald is with him riding a donkey and playing an accordion rather boisterously. Unfortunately, as the donkey dances to the music, he trips, sending both rider and donkey flying down the side of a hill. The donkey hits a rock right in front of an alligator-filled moat, with Oswald ending up on shore, but the donkey diving straight into the water. The donkey narrowly manages to escape being eaten, but loses his tail in the process; as the alligator laughs at the donkey’s misfortune, the joke ends up on him, as the donkey pulls his tail out to its full length again.
Meanwhile, Oswald whistles out a tune, which catches the attention of Ortensia the Cat, who stands on the balcony and swoons, sending him a kiss. He offers to play her a song on his accordion, but it is so waterlogged that it will no longer play. With the help of his donkey, Oswald climbs up to the balcony to greet his love, only to have her try to send him away, as she warns him that the king is nearby. He gives her a kiss that makes her swoon once more, only to have the king enter, looking not too terribly pleased. As Oswald attempts another kiss, he falls off the balcony, but is able to comically make his way back so that he may rescue Ortensia.
Inside, Oswald grabs a sword, ready to fight to free Ortensia. In a daring move, Oswald hands his sword to his shadow, who continues to do battle with the king while Oswald steals a kiss from his lady fair, which gives him enough courage to go back and take his place back in the fight. Oswald continues to break from the fight to steal kisses from Ortensia, but still manages to best the king, even when his situation looks grim. After freeing Ortensia from her ball and chain, Oswald uses it as a bowling ball to knock down the king and his minions.
Thinking they are finally free, Oswald opens the tower door, only to be greeted by a hungry lion. The couple flees the tower by jumping from the window. Ortensia is able to use her skirts as a parachute, and the couple kisses as they float down to safety.