The Bunny: Were-Rabbit
The Film: Wallace And Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (2005)
Why He’s Cool: He’s a vegetarian, for one thing. Like Count Duckula before him, that’s a hell of a twist.
He might be dangerous to the local produce, but he’s also a misunderstood monstoid with plenty of scope for stories.
Franchise Opportunity: Since he’s a Nick Park-style poke at the old Universal creature features, we’d go the whole hog and kick off a black-and-white tale of a misunderstood rabb-beast hunted by angsty villagers in a castle-adjacent farm village.
If Benicio Del Toro’s take on the Wolfman can reheat interest in classic movie monsters with a fresh spin, then the Were-Rabbit is laughing. Well, snarling, drooling and snacking on carrots. But you get the idea.
Why He Shouldn't Be The Easter Bunny: He'd hand out veg instead of chocolate eggs, and no-one wants that.[page-break]
The Bunny: Rabbit of Caerbannog
The Film: Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975)
Why He’s Cool: “The most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on.” Yes! Bring it on.
There are few better-known rabbits in cinema (and most of them are in this list), but none cooler. This seemingly harmless, fluffy white bastich is a seething, super-quick ball of fangs ‘n’ fury, for whom armour is no challenge whatsoever.
Franchise Opportunity: True, he meets his bloody end thanks to the explody force of the Holy Hand Grenade Of Antioch (“Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out”) but there’s a wealth of back-story surely to be mined.
Just how did the violent little bugger become the rabbit he is? We post that he grew up on an idyllic pastoral setting much like Peter Rabbit from out of the Beatrix Potter stories.
But after a local farmer guns down his entire family, he swears revenge and becomes the death-dealing beast he is when we meet him.
Why He Shouldn't Be The Easter Bunny: Because he'd hop from house to house, tearing out the throat of everybody inside. which sort of goes against the spirit of Easter.[page-break]
The Bunny: Scamper
The Film: Igor (2008)
Why He’s Cool: He’s immortal. And suicidal. Which is pure genius.
Not only that, but the patchwork pet is voiced with suitably laconic style by Steve Buscemi, which ensures he’s easily one of the best things in a slightly sub-par animated film.
Sorry, John Cusack. You lose.
Franchise Opportunity: Scamper deserves a full showcase from the likes of Henry Selick.
His crazed design and suicidal nature means he’s the perfect fit for one of Selick’s superb animated adventures. Perhaps Neil Gaiman could be cajoled/kidnapped into writing more adventures for Scamper and the bunny could live on to terrify children everywhere. While being laid back, of course.
Why He Shouldn't Be The Easter Bunny: Because he'd only use the shards of a broken Easter egg in an attempt to take his own life. Which would be a bit of a downer for the kids.[page-break]
The Bunny: Harvey
The Film: Harvey (1950)
Why He’s Cool: When you’re the alleged friend of a James Stewart character (in this case, Elwood P Dowd), you know you’re on to a winner.
And – spoiler alert for anyone yet to see the film – turns out he’s actually a creature of myth that just happens to exist to help out humans.
Franchise Opportunity: Cynical Hollywood exec 1: “Dowd can’t live forever. And despite Stewart’s iconic status, the kids of today don’t necessarily connect with his aw-shucks character.”
Cynical Hollywood exec 2: “So what’s your brain microwaved up?”
Cynical Hollywood exec 1: “Seen that show The Littlest Hobo? We’d have a series of movies with Harvey helping someone – each played by stars like Zac Efron or Dakota Fanning – with a problem. And then moving on. Plus, I’m thinking… Crunk Rabbit.”
Cynical Hollywood exec 2: Break out the Bollinger! We’ll make a gazillion bucks!
Cynical Hollywood exec 1: “Not for me. I’m in rehab. Again.”
Why He Shouldn't Be The Easter Bunny: He's got humanity's best interests at heart, which means he'll probably tip all the chocolate eggs into the sea, because he's worried that we'll all get heart attacks or obese or whatever.[page-break]
The Bunny: Hazel
The Film: Watership Down (1978)
Why He’s Cool: Hazel’s one of the main heroes in a film designed to have kiddies everywhere (and a fair number of adults) bawling their eyes out when they hear the song ‘Bright Eyes’.
Hazel’s plucky nature makes him a focal point, and with vocals by John Hurt, he’s adaptable, thoughtful and ends up saving his entire colony, like a fur-clad King Leonidas.
Franchise Opportunity: While the Watership story ends full circle, there’s a whole host of experiences we never quite get to see on screen.
Hazel wins his big battle against the Efrafa warren, and we later see him take his leave of the world. But what of the stuff in between? Surely an animation studio like Blue Sky (or even, assuming they raise their game from the slipshod likes of Valiant, Vanguard) could look into the rights to Adams’ Tales from Watership Down, which charts exactly that.
And Paul Simon needs to write another tear-jerking song. Unless DreamWorks Animation takes it on. Then it’ll be Jay-Z.
Why He Shouldn't Be The Easter Bunny: He closely resembles a real rabbit, which means he probably smells funny. No-one wants to eat something that's been handled by a real rabbit.[page-break]
The Bunny: Easter Bunny
The Film: Mallrats (1995)
Why It’s Cool: Okay, we’re breaking our rule a little here, because this really is a bloke in a bunny suit. And yes, it’s the Easter Bunny.
But we really couldn’t pass up a list of cinematic Leporidae without mentioning this poor, put-upon mall employee. Who is only trying to bring joy and laughter to local Eden Prairie children when he’s cruelly set-upon by Jay and Silent Bob. Oh, and the children he’s trying to bring joy and laughter to.
Ungrateful little hell spawn.
Franchise Opportunity: We’ve already got a killer concept for this one – think The Wrestler, but with a man in a bunny suit.
No, stay with us. We’d get a hefty helmer (say, Alan Parker) to tackle the tragically limited daily life of a man who gets his shot at glory for a couple of weeks once a year. He’s saving up to open a novelty store, but will his dreams be dashed when he’s savagely beaten and loses the love of his life – the girl who works the Frozen Drinks stand?
We can smell the Oscars already. Or is that wet fur?
Why He Shouldn't Be The Easter Bunny: He's really rubbish at it.
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