For almost a century, Disney Animation has introduced generation after generation to memorable animated animals. There have been talking deer, bears, and even bugs, and with Easter almost here, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the bunnies (yes, I wrote bunnies, not rabbits) who have been most memorable in Disney’s animated films. So no, this list will not be including critters like Mudwell the Mudbunny (who honestly is a little gross-looking!) from Fraggle Rock or Fall-Apart Rabbit from Bonkers (he’s a real character, look him up!) Here’s a look at Power Rankings: Disney Bunnies.
5. Judy Hops from Zootopia – The little country rabbit who always wanted to be a big city police officer (Spoiler Alert: she succeeds…oh come on, it’s in the trailer!) takes the number five spot on the list, barely edging out The March Hare from Alice in Wonderland (he’s kind of mean and totally insane, so he’s out!) Officer Hops might go down as one of the most human-like characters in any Disney animated film ever made. She is passionate, driven, and extremely hard-working, but also has a few flaws which are pretty clear throughout the film. I know that going in to see the movie, I wasn’t ready to be taught a lesson about prejudice and I think that’s exactly how Disney wanted it. They really hit it out of the park with Zootopia and Judy Hops is one of the biggest reasons why! If it’s still in theaters when you’re reading this, go check it out! You’ll be happy you did.
4. Thumper from Bambi – I’ve always loved Thumper because he’s that friend that we all had growing up. He means well, but he’s always going a bit too far and getting into trouble. He also is pretty “street smart” (or woods smart?) and knows his way around the forest. He takes a young Bambi under his wing and helps teach him how to walk, talk, and even ice skate. The only reason Thumper isn’t a little higher on the list is because after he makes a pact with his buddies Flower and Bambi to not fall for a girl and leave his pals, he quickly finds himself going off with the first female bunny he sees. That’s a pretty weak move on Thumper’s part, if you ask me!
3. Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit – Oh, what could have been! Roger Rabbit was a HUGE star when his movie was released in 1988. So big, in fact, that the Disney higher-ups saw him as an almost second-coming of Mickey Mouse. He was quickly featured very prominently throughout Disneyland and the then Disney MGM Studios parks. Plans were even being drawn up for Roger Rabbit-inspired lands in Disneyland and Disney MGM Studios! So, what happened? Well, since the original film was a joint effort between Disney and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, there were issues with the licensing and use of the characters. The plans for the lands were put on permanent hold (even though Roger Rabbit’s CarToon Spin did make it into Disneyland’s Toon Town) and Roger slowly faded into obscurity. You can still find little homages to him throughout the parks and on a rare occasion he will make a Meet & Greet appearance, but for the most part it seems like the Roger Rabbit Era will never happen.
2. The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland – This neurotic little guy has stood the test of time (no pun intended!) and is still an iconic character in Disney’s parks. He meets guests from time to time in front of the Mad Tea Party attraction in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland and in Disneyland on Main Street, USA. In the film he doesn’t have a whole lot of time to stop and talk to Alice because he’s obviously late for work and the Queen of Hearts doesn’t take well to lateness. Apparently, if you’re late to her court, it’s off with your head, so honestly his worry is pretty understandable. In the parks he won’t talk but will sign autographs alongside Alice, who does plenty of talking for the both of them!
1. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit – Who else could possibly take the top spot but Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney’s original hit animated character?! Back in the 1927, Walt Disney and his partner Ub Iwerks created the character for a series of short animated films. Oswald quickly became a success and by 1928 Walt traveled to New York to meet with Charles Mintz, the distributor and produce of the films, to ask for a raise. Mintz not only refused, he actually told Walt he was going to cut the budget for the Oswald cartoons. Walt balked at this, and Mintz told him that since he and his distribution company actually owned the rights to the Oswald character, Walt was out. To add insult to injury, Charles Mintz had also hired away almost all of Walt’s animators to continue to work on the Oswald cartoons. Walt Disney left New York with no character and no job, but according to legend it was on that train ride back to Los Angeles that Walt came up with the character Mickey Mouse. Oswald was returned to the Disney Company after more than 80 years when, in 2006, he was traded to Disney by NBC Universal for the contract of sportscaster Al Michaels!
I know what you’re thinking right now. I’m sure I left out your favorite Disney bunny and you’ll probably want to tell me about it! Well, if you’d like to make the case for Br’er Rabbit, Clover from Sofia the First, or Hoppopotamus from The Wuzzles (come on, she’s much more hippo than bunny!) please feel free to send me a Facebook message HERE, a Tweet HERE, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for reading and please enjoy the rest of your stay here at Ear To There Travel!
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