Bunnies on the Big Screen
We’ve looked at some of the most iconic canines in cinema, but what about our hoppin’ furry friends? In the wake of this year’s movie adaptation of Peter Rabbit, Petplan are celebrating some of the most famous rabbit representations of all time…
1. Bugs Bunny – Looney Tunes
Making his mark for almost a century, Bugs Bunny is not only the best-known rabbit from the big screen, but arguably one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time. With his mischievous persona and recognisable Brooklyn accent, the outspoken grey leporine has a penchant for playing pranks and crunching on carrots in typical bunny fashion.
Bugs has made cameos in over 170 movies, continuing to humour audiences with his legendary one-liner, ‘Whats Up Doc?’.
Having been around since the 1940s, it may come as a surprise that the beloved bunny was used in World War II propaganda, featuring in several war films opposing German and Japanese soldiers.
2. The White Rabbit – Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll’s 1865 literary treasure, Alices Adventures in Wonderland has been hugely influential within popular culture, inspiring various television and film adaptions including the animated Walt Disney classic and Tim Burton’s live action version.
Alice uncovers Wonderland after encountering the extraordinary White Rabbit, dressed in his waistcoat, spectacles and pocket watch. Well-known for hurrying around, The White Rabbit is followed by Alice down the ‘rabbit hole’.
Lewis Carroll himself is said to have developed The White Rabbit character to have a neurotic personality to contrast Alice. The spectacle-wearing bunny will of course continue to be recognised for his renowned line in the 1951 Disney adaption: ‘I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!’.
3. Officer Judy Hopps – Zootopia (2016)
Disney’s Zootopia, the second highest grossing original Disney film (after Frozen, of course), centres around the lagomorph protagonist Officer Judy Hopps. The purple-eyed, grey-haired Judy is Disney’s newest bunny and one of the rare rabbits depicted as a female character.
Having dreamed of becoming a police officer since childhood, the ambitious Hopps pursues her passion to join the Zootopia police department and is determined to prove herself as the first rabbit in the role.
Zootopia’s courageous rabbit is voiced by actress Ginnifer Goodwin, who reportedly became greatly in touch with her animated character. On set, when recording an emotional apology scene, Goodwin even cried real tears during her voiceover.
4. Frank the Rabbit – Donnie Darko (2001)
Originally a box office flop, the fantasy film Donnie Darko has since become recognised as one of the best cult movies of all time. The sci-fi favourite follows troubled teen Donnie Darko, who receives apocalyptic visions from an imaginary bunny known as Frank the Rabbit.
With its hollow eyes and skull-like grin, Frank is globally-recognised as one of the most iconic anti-heroes in film, especially due to the unique and unsettling rabbit appearance.
Inspired by Watership Down, the bunny suit aesthetic remains popular in recent years and is an increasingly popular Halloween costume staple. Created by award-winning Costume Designer, April Ferry, the original costume is now owned by Hollywood Producer, Jack Morrissey, who added the infamous suit to his collection of movie memorabilia.
5. Thumper – Bambi (1942)
Recorded as Walt Disney’s most cherished animated feature, Bambi is the classic circle-of-life tale which follows the forest adventures of a new-born fawn and his destiny to become The Great Prince of the Forest.
From birth, baby Bambi meets the cheeky and fun-loving bunny Thumper, who quickly takes it upon himself to teach the fawn life skills, including how to walk, talk and eat greens. The pair form a strong friendship and Thumper becomes the supportive sidekick that he is widely recognised as today.
Initially created as minor woodland character, Bobo, Walt Disney reportedly enjoyed the early reels so much that he enhanced the bunny’s role to Thumper. Adding the humorous element to the animation, Thumper is also associated with the inspiring quote: ‘If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all’.
6. Peter Rabbit – The Peter Rabbit Movie
Of course, no list would be complete without beloved vintage rabbit, Peter Rabbit. born out of Beatrix Potter’s best-selling children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit¸ and Based on Potter’s own pet rabbit, Peter is the impish young male who is always keen for an adventure.
With his passion for explorations and hunting radishes, Peter Rabbit appears in over 15 children’s tales and is famous for his well-known catchphrase ‘Let’s hop to it!’.
Earlier this year, Columbia Pictures adapted Potter’s original tale into a major motion picture, featuring a stellar cast.. With the success of its launch, a sequel has now been confirmed for release in 2020.
Think we have forgotten any famous rabbits? Let us know your favourite in the comments below.