Perhaps we’ve eaten one too many marshmallow Peeps this week, but with Easter right around the corner, we thought there was no better way to celebrate than sharing our favorite… bunnies… throughout cinema. Call us crazy, but there’s a surprising amount of carrot-lovin’, cotton-tailed fun across all genres, from animation to horror to whatever “Space Jam” is.
So, if you’re chilling on your grandma’s couch this weekend, why not grab some Cadbury cream eggs, pop in “Donnie Darko” and show your family the true spirit of Easter.
Thumper, “Bambi” | Nikki Lanka
Thumper is one of the most adorable Disney characters ever sketched. He’s also one of the only aspects of “Bambi” that doesn’t drive a bunch of toddlers (slash adults stuck with their toddlers in a movie theater) to go home to a dark room and OD on 2% milk and Flintstone’s Vitamins. In a world where Disney considers soul-annihilation to be sport, it’s nice to have a cute little bunny to help us forget that Bambi’s mom can now be found bodiless on some Appalachian redneck’s wall.
Though come to think of it, Thumper’s actually kind of a prick. He teases Bambi when he can’t walk and laughs his little white tail off when Bambi mistakenly calls a skunk a flower. And then he totally picks hoes over bros by abandoning his orphaned soon-to-be-Great Prince of the Forest BFF to get laid by a pretty bunny lady.
But Thumper’s just so little and cute that you don’t really care. He’s the Peter Dinklage of animated woodland creatures: short on stature, not charm. Or thumping.
Frank, “Donnie Darko” | Jarahme Pollock
What’s not to love about the big ol’ bunny from “Donnie Darko”? He is super-relatable because of his name, Frank. Bunnies such as Thumper and Bugs make it so hard for us to relate to them on a personal level because of their soft, weak animal names. Also, Frank is beyond helpful to young Donnie; not only does he tell him that the world is going to end, but he gives him an exact countdown to the last second. Talk about considerate, right?
Frank also loves to appear in mirrors when he shows himself to Donnie. Frank knows that the mirror is the hardest place to look for self-conscious teenagers, so he covers Donnie’s image with his own to make him feel more comfortable. So sweet! Though he seems to be such a helpful mammal, we cannot ignore the fact that Frank is the embodiment of pure fear, insanity and destruction. Are any other bunnies like that? No. Most are cute, fluffy and predictable. Frank is the complete opposite of all those things. He is the best movie bunny to have ever graced the big screen, and it would be a crime to think otherwise.
The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” | Ross Dickerhoof
The greatest threats can come from the most unexpected places. Just ask King Arthur and his knights. You all know the classic scene: Arthur and his brave knights arrive at the Cave of Caerbannog with Tim the Enchanter, preparing for a showdown against the terrible, horrible… cute little bunny? Aww, he’s so precious! Look at his little ears, and the paws, and OH GOD BLOOD EVERYWHERE.
Why is The Killer Rabbit the best? Must you really ask? Any bunny that can take out five knights in about as many seconds is pretty awesome in my book. Plus, he gives me that wonderful sense of validation for believing all these years that rabbits are evil. Think about it: the constant reproduction, eating your vegetable garden before you get a chance to have anything from it, those too-innocent eyes… of course they’re plotting to take over the world. This just confirms it.
Besides, we all need to laugh at the ridiculousness of the high fantasy genre once in a while. We’ve had too many giant dragons that need to be beheaded with massive f—k-off axes, so they’re really getting old at this point. What’s the polar opposite of that? A bunny rabbit. Perfect.
This bunny is so badass that only the fabled Holy Hand Grenade could defeat him, which probably means that he is literally powered by sin and evil (and possibly the blood of baby marmosets). Can your rabbit do that? Didn’t think so.
Bugs Bunny, “Looney Tunes,” “Space Jam” | Jayme Pollock
These other so-called bunnies have nothing on the Bugs Bunny. The rabbit is a legend. He is a prominent figure for all hares everywhere for well over half of a century. Between his successful stint on “Looney Tunes” as well as two full-length featured films, Bugs is easily the most well-known animated lagomorphic creature in the entertainment industry.
What other rabbit could have possibly gone toe to toe with Michael Jordan himself? None of them, save for Bugs. Who else could lead a raucous bunch of Tiny Toons and mold them into comedy gold? Bugs, that’s who. Who else could outsmart Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Same and a plethora of other iconic characters that would try and do him harm? Bugs Bunny, people. BUGS BUNNY.
Not only does he have a smokin’ hot girlfriend in Lola Bunny, but he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’s not even real and he has a star. If that doesn’t say something, nothing else will. So clearly, without any other hare-like creature coming close, the bunny who coined the phrase, “Eh…what’s up doc?” is by far the most notable and the most enduring rabbit of our time.
Roger Rabbit, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” | Maura McNamee
Roger Rabbit possesses all the loveable qualities a cartoon character needs; total foolishness, a knack for solving crime, and borderline alcoholism. He’s even got that hipster bowtie swag we all wish we had the ability to pull off, not to mention the fact that his best friend is a baby who smokes cigars. While Roger doesn’t exactly have the movie/television career Bugs can claim, he IS married to the hot piece of ass that is Jessica Rabbit (but who even knows how that happened).
Roger is more of a spoof than anything else, but that doesn’t mean he’s not part of the Gold Standard of Bunnies. Really, Roger is a true American hero. He had to overcome being accused of murder! He rides around in a talking, Inspector Gadget-esque car! He stopped a madman from annihilating toons forever! HE. HAS. A. HOT. WIFE.
In a nutshell, Roger Rabbit is the embodiment of the American Dream, and don’t you forget it.
Who’s your favorite movie rabbit? Tweet us @SpeakeasyMag and let us know if you think we’re absolutely psychotic, or if you’ll be joining us in our hip-hoppin’ bunny film retrospective.