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September 5

September 5, 1927 – The Oswald Short Film Trolley Troubles is Released

On September 5, 1927, the Oswald short film Trolley Troubles was released to theaters. It is known for being the first appearance of Oswald; an earlier Oswald short, Poor Papa, was rejected for release, as the distributers had expected a different kind of character rather than the older, more heavyset version Disney had produced. Trolley Troubles, however, was a success for Universal, and for Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks.

At the station, Oswald is cleaning up his trolley while children are causing mischief around him. Finally, when the trolley is wound up and ready to go, Oswald chases the kids away, but one kid sneaks aboard as Oswald drives away. Loading up the trolley at the first station he passes, Oswald and his passengers head merrily into town with many track gags along the way.

Oswald loses his temper at the stubborn cow standing in the middle of the tracks

At one point, a cow stands in the middle of the tracks, and although Oswald clanks his bell, the cow is undeterred. Oswald shouts at the cow, but the cow ignores him. Oswald then tries to calmly reason with the cow, but the cow still won’t budge. Oswald then backs up the trolley and goes full speed ahead, but fails to knock the cow from the tracks. The cow then steps sideways across the tracks, purposefully blocking the way, but Oswald gets an idea, and has the trolley go under the cow. The trolley passengers laugh at how Oswald has outsmarted the animal.

Oswald finds himself going up a very steep hill, but the trolley is unable to keep going, no matter how much Oswald pulls or pushes it. A nearby goat sees Oswald studying the trolley and decides to head-butt him, which causes the trolley to move. Although initially angry, Oswald gets the idea of using the goat to push the trolley up the hill. The plan is a success, until they realize that the hill is just as steep going down on the other side, and there seems to be no way to slow the trolley. Oswald rushes to pull the brake, but it rips off in his hands.  Passengers fall out at every curve of the track as the trolley goes over and around several hills. Oswald prays for the trolley to stop, and it finally does when it falls off the broken track and lands in the river. Oswald then paddles himself to safety on top of the trolley.


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