Easter Bunnies: Sci-Fi & Fantasy's Greatest Rabbits

• This is an updated and expanded version of a feature from the SFX Archives. By Jayne Nelson and Dave Golder .

Roger Rabbit Who Framed Roger Rabbit

He’s a nice guy, is Roger, but he’s not what you’d call “intelligent”. Earning peanuts being beaten up by a baby for a living, he flits from personal disaster to personal disaster, gets accused of murder and makes life hell for detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins). Plus have you heard his voice ? It’s enough to strip wallpaper from walls! (No offence to voice artist Charles Fleischer, we hasten to add.)

His wife’s a bit of alright, though.

Easterific or horrific? Ha ha ha ha ha! Excuse us as we wipe tears of laughter from our eyes. Can you imagine the accident-prone, calamity-strewn, bad luck-magnet Roger Rabbit delivering Easter eggs? He’d try – he’d try sooooo hard – but there’s be nothing left but chocolatey goo at the end...

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Harvey Harvey

Harvey isn’t technically a rabbit at all. He’s a pooka, a cheeky little scamp from Celtic mythology who has taken the form of a rabbit in order to hang out with best pal Elwood P Dowd (James Stewart). Standing at six foot three-and-a-half inches tall and invisible to everybody except Elwood, Harvey’s mere existence causes all sorts of good-natured trials and tribulations for his human chum before he moves on to pastures new.

Easterific or horrific? Being invisible would help with his egg-delivering duties, and Harvey’s got a few magical tricks up his sleeve. But as he’s not really a rabbit, we feel it would be cheating to make him the Easter Bunny.

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John Crichton and "Harvey" Farscape

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsz4dcsdQw0

Well, Crichton did nickname the neural clone of Scorpius that got lodged in his brain Harvey after the big invisible rabbit (after all, only John could see him) so it was only logical that eventually Crichton would hallucinate him as an actual rabbit. We weren’t expecting Crichton to join him, though.

Easterific or horrific? Both. We’re sure some people have dreams about Ben Browder as the Easter Bunny feeding them chocolate (there’s probably a whole website devoted to it) but Scorpius? That’s just freaky. And wrong.

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Frank Donnie Darko

Frank is the evil-twin flip-side of James Stewart’s friendly rodent pal in Harvey , a giant, all-knowledgeable rabbit who looks human and only Donnie Darko can see. Is he part of Donnie’s imagination? Is he a supernatural entity? Or is he something else entirely?

He’s also the harbinger of doom: when he first appears to Donnie, he tells him that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. Even if he didn’t look like he’d just walked out of the rabbit version of the Scream movies (he’d be Ghostface, of course), nobody likes the bearer of bad tidings, be they human or bun.

Easterific or horrific? If a happy wee toddler on an Easter egg hunt in their garden happened to come across Frank, they’d be in therapy for the rest of their God-given life.

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The Easter Bunny

Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGSfG7Toc6g

We really don’t want to talk about this. It’s too disturbing.

Easterific or horrific? Despite cute appearances… Nooooooooooooooo! Don’t you come anywhere near our Easter!

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Jack, Jane and Suzie David Lynch’s Rabbits

You can’t help but wonder sometimes if David Lynch is weird just for weird’s sake, and here’s a prime example: his Rabbits webseries. Eight episodes in total, with one of the sequences appearing in his movie Inland Empire , Rabbits features a bunch of pointy-eared half-human, half-bunny characters speaking random sentences and walking in and out of the room while a fake laugh-track plays over them.

What are they doing there? Why are they animal-human hybrids? Are they in Hell’s waiting room or trapped in some hitherto-unseen corner of Twin Peaks ’s Black Lodge? We may never know. But it’s definitely weird. And, as one of the commenters on the YouTube clip above declares: “It’s like Two And A Half Men , only funnier.”

Easterific or horrific? They don’t do anything terrifying per se , but they’re damn scary all the same. Definitely an Easter no-no.

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The Rabbit In The Hat Twilight Zone: The Movie

One innocent magic trick. One utterly terrified magician. One all-powerful little boy with powers beyond imagining. What could possibly go wrong? Er...

Easterific or horrific? If the Easter bunny looked like this, the Easter weekend would be awash with wee.

Carrot rating: Minus 100

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Rabbit Of Caerbannog

Monty Python And The Holy Grail

If the Easter Bunny had a traumatic experience as a child – let’s say, perhaps, he saw his family killed and eaten by a group of marauding knights, who then hacked off their little pawsies to take with them for good luck – then confined himself to a hermit-like existence inside a cave where he experienced no normal bunny interaction whatsoever – chances are he would have turned out like this little fella. He’s got a vicious streak a mile wide, you know.

Easterific or horrific? If he was the Easter Bunny you’d soil your armour, you’d be so scared.

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The Giant Rabbits Night Of The Lepus

GIANT KILLER BUNNIES! GIANT KILLER BUNNIES WHO EAT PEOPLE! GIANT KILLER BUNNIES WHO RUN IN SLOW MOTION AND ARE SMEARED WITH TOMATO KETCHUP! GIANT KILLER BUNNIES WHO ARE STILL CUTE EVEN WHEN THEY’RE DEVOURING INNOCENT TOWNSFOLK!!!

Quite how this ’50s B-movie creature feature ended up being made in 1972 is a mystery to us, but that’s exactly what it is. And it’s so bad it’s brilliant.

Easterific or horrific? These giant rabbits would be rubbish at delivering eggs. They’re so big they’d squash them all, see? So they’d make terrible Easter Bunnies. Oh, and there’s also the small matter of the fact they’d eat everybody, too.

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The Were-Rabbit & Hutch Wallace And Gromit:

The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

Lock up your vegetables, for the moon is full and the were-rabbit is abroad. Capable of eating prize marrows in one gulp, the furry behemoth hides a dark, dark secret. He is not, in fact, a mutant bunny, as everybody suspects, but the bestial alter ego of mild manner Lancashire inventor and turophile Wallace. This Jekyll and Hyde creation was the result of an experiment on bunny mind control which went hideously wrong, and also resulted in a another rabbit, Hutch, who took on aspects of Wallace’s personality, particularly his love of Wensleydale.

Easterific or horrific? The Were-rabbit would be a hopeless Easter Bunny, because he’d only be able to delivers eggs when Easter fell on a full moon. Hutch would try to invent a mechanical delivery system that would no doubt leave him with egg on his face.

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Anya Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Anya’s hatred of bunnies knows no bounds. “They’ve got those hoppy legs and twitchy little noses!” she once sang, before adding wisely, “And what’s with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?” (It’s a good point, and one we feel the show should have followed through with. A bunny and his army of buck-toothed rabbit minions would have made a great Big Bad one year. Although we did have a bad guy called Warren, so that was sort of rabbit-related...)

Anyway, given that Anya hates rabbits so much, the fact she made such a fetching rabbit on Halloween was rather ironic. She looked so good, in fact, we think she’d make a wonderful Easter Bunny. That, right there, is “irony”.

Easterific or horrific? Anya’s so good at planning she’d make a very organised distributor of eggs. However, we’re not sure her heart would really be in it.

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Jaxxon (Star Wars)

Inspired by Bugs Bunny himself and popping up regularly in the Star Wars extended universe, Jaxxon is a big-lugged chap from the planet Coachelle Prime – home of the Lepi, whose rabbit-like tendency to breed like, well, rabbits, has resulted in them spreading out across the universe for lack of space.

Jaxxon became a smuggler (complete with a ship called the Rabbit’s Foot) and eventually teamed up with Han Solo to become one of the Star-Hoppers of Aduba-3, fighting tooth, nail and whisker to save the village of Onacra. A heroic, anthropomorphised rabbit who kicks ass? Hell, yeah! Is his agent on the phone to JJ yet?

Easterific or horrific? We’re not sure Jaxxon would lower himself to taking on the duties of a mythical candy-giving animal from a planet far, far away, but he’d probably offend a few kids with his language if he did.

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The White Rabbit Alice In Wonderland

This little fella spends his life in a terrific, hare-brained rush, constantly watching the clock and worrying about missing a very important date. He’s also been known to entice (accidental or otherwise) little girls into the rabbit hole with him, so we’re a bit worried that if he picked up the Easter Bunny’s basket there’d be a spate of vanishing children from one end of the Earth to the other.

Easterific or horrific? By his hair and whiskers, he’d be late! Can’t have kids going on egg-hunts and not finding any eggs, can we?

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Bucky O’Hare Bucky O’Hare

“Bucky! Captain Bucky O’Hare! He goes where no ordinary rabbit would dare!” Quite. After all, how many other rodents would venture into space to fight the evil forces of the Toad Empire if they could stay at home in their hutches nibbling a nice piece of cabbage instead?

Bucky was a force to be reckoned with, a Captain America-style superhero with a crack team (or possibly a “cracked” team) of sidekicks determined to make as many toads croak as possible. His adventures ran in a comic-book series and as a frenetic animated show in the early ’90s: opening credits are above. Watch out, you’ll be singing the theme all day...

Easterific or horrific? While he’s a good guy and would probably do a decent job of handing out eggs to the kids of the world, we have to disqualify Bucky on account of the fact he ain’t a rabbit but a hare. There’s no Easter Hare, after all.

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The Angry Alien Bunnies (www.angryalien.com)

This intrepid theatre group has been remaking the greatest hits of Hollywood with bunnies for the last few years now, their online escapades covering everything from Alien to The Wolf-Man . Every film they make has one thing in common: it lasts a mere 30 seconds, but what a 30 seconds they are...

For a stunning example of their Method acting, staggering production values and Oscar-worthy direction, check out their remake of Twilight: New Moon – it’s bunny-rific!

Easterific or horrific? They haven’t tackled an Easter story yet, but if they did we reckon it would be amazing. Whether they could deliver all those eggs in 30 seconds flat is open to question, though...

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The Brace Of Coneys The Two Towers

The biggest movie franchise of all time and the only rabbits we get to see are dead; murdered at the hands of Gollum.

Poor bunnies. Poor, dead, unloved, and eventually uneaten bunnies.

We mourn for them. Rest in bunny peace.

(And yes, we were running out of bunnies to write about. Shhh.)

Easterific or horrific? Totally horrific. Unless you cook them with some nice taters, and then they’re delicious.

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E.B. Hop

His dad’s the actual Easter bunny and his destiny is one that involves travelling the world (well, apart from China – Easter’s yet to break the market there) delivering colourful chocolate treats of all kinds to kids who hopefully aren’t diabetic. E.B. – voiced by Russell Brand – lives on Easter Island, enjoys playing the drums and hates that his future is mapped out for him. So he hops it to Hollywood, where he teams up with slacker James Marsden, befriends David Hasselhoff and isn’t allowed inside the Playboy Mansion despite the plethora of other bunnies within.

Easterific or horrific? You don’t get more Easter than the actual Easter bunny, and while E.B. shirks his duties and looks down on the humble art of delivering chocolate eggs, he learns the true meaning of his profession in the end.

Carrot rating: We have a winner!