So, this post was meant to come out at Easter, but of course, I had a million other things going on and forgot to load it, so you get it as a start of summer post. Anyway, it seemed appropriate that in celebration of Easter – which officially endsedlent and meant I could finally go back on the cookies and jelly beans – we take a few moments to honor the Easter Bunny by recognizing 10 cinematic bunny’s. (Also, once this post ends, don’t be afraid to take a minute and honor me by popping over here and buying one of my books. If you get one for the Kindle, you’re only out $1.99, at most, which is a really good deal, if you ask me.)
So what if he’s invisible and probably a figment of Elwood Dowd’s imagination? Without the 6’ 3 1/2” tall rabbit named Harvey, there would be no film named Harvey.
This rabbit get’s little face time in the movie, and I’m not even sure it rates a name beyond being called Supper – see what I did there? – but the rabbit in the pot in this film is a HUGE cultural touchstone for people in their 30s and 40s and so had to rate a mention.
Anyway, by the time we get to the rabbit in the film, Glenn Close’s Alex Forrest had already shown herself to be quite around the bend, what with being a major stalker.* Even so, However, it isn’t until the pet rabbit winds up as a pot of stew on Michael Douglas’s stove that we finally understand Alex isn’t just really obsessed. No, she’s really, really obsessed.
*Incidentally, do you suppose there is actually a man in the military who is a Major and whose last name happens to be Stalker?
When Sergeant Howie is called to Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of Rowan Morrison, he is inevitably led to a cemetery and grave where the locals say she is buried. Upon exhuming the casket, though, he doesn’t find human remains. Instead he discovers a hare of the field, which, because it was buried under the headstone of Rowan Morrison shall henceforth be known as Rowan Morrison. While yes, the real Rowan does turn up later, very much alive and very much not a hare, it doesn’t change the fact that in a movie that ends with a man being burned to death in a giant wicker man, the appearance of the hare in the grave was the first moment where the film transcended plain old creepy foreboding and really hinted at something far more sinister to come.
All right, admittedly I’m stretching the list a bit to get Rabbit in here – it was either him or the bunny from Wallace and Grommitt and the Were-Rabbit, or one of those rabbits from Watership Down – but I don’t think it’s that great of a stretch, especially since we already included Rowan Morrison.
Nevertheless, while the film is ostensibly a veiled biopic of the early years of rapper Marshall Mathers, in a broader sense the film is a social statement, exploring some very American virtues and dichotomy’s, specifically the desire to not accept our circumstances but to struggle to rise above them and shows us that even the most minor victories can have a titanic-sized value in an individual’s life.
What was already a creepy, faux-intellectual head-scratcher of a film was only made all the stranger by the appearance of a giant rabbit named Frank. And while his part in the film doesn’t really add to my understanding of it – neither does Richard Kelly’s self-mythologizing commentary track – it doesn’t take away from it either. Sometimes, oddness for oddness sake is as good an excuse as any.
So what if she isn’t technically a rabbit, and wasn’t really even a Bunny? She was perky, peppy and positive to a fault, all traits that would rate Shelley’s inclusion on this, or any, list. Plus, she looks great in a bikini.
How could we possibly forget the fount of wisdom that is Thumper? After all, without him we wouldn’t have the classic lesson on the virtues of proper communication (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”) or on the value of a balanced diet (“Eating greens is a special treat. It makes long ear and great big feet. But it sure is awful stuff to eat”).
With the career he’s had, Bugs Bunny is an obvious inclusion here and easily could have made the list on legacy alone. But in What’s Opera Doc? every piece of the Bugs Bunny personality was brought to bear, from playfulness to cross-dressingness, and all set to a Wagner score.
If you’ve ever seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you’ll understand why this rabbit was included and no further explanation is needed. If you didn’t, then all you need know is this rabbit has a vicious streak a mile wide; has nasty, big pointy teeth; is capable of decapitating attacking knights; and can really only be killed with the Holy Hand Grenade. In other words, all other rabbits are pusses compared to this.
Roger Rabbit would have been the more obvious choice, because he’s an actual rabbit and Jessica is just a ‘toon married to a rabbit. But I don’t believe going with what’s obvious and, besides, with her smoky voice and stunning curves, Jessica Rabbit is easily the Hottest Cartoon Character Ever* and therefore rates a mention here over her onscreen husband.
*Ms. Rabbit takes the award in the Adult Division. Ariel, from the Little Mermaid, with her red hair and perky seashell bra takes the award in the Underage Division.