I hope everyone's having a nice Easter. I thought I'd take the time to-day to create a definitive ranking of rabbits, the top five best and the top five worst. Careful consideration went into these rankings and if you wish to dispute any rabbit's placement or omission you must lodge your complaint in the form of an essay of no fewer than ten pages and you must cite a minimum of five peer reviewed sources.
Keep in mind this is a ranking of rabbits and doesn't necessarily reflect on the quality of the books, television shows, video games, or movies in which these rabbits appeared.
Let's get the worst out of the way first.
Fifth Worst: Steven Spielberg
The maker of some of the finest popular films of the past fifty years, Spielberg is arguably a bad rabbit because he's not a rabbit at all. But I'm specifically referring to an incident on the set of Close Encounters of the Third Kind where Spielberg took on the form of a rabbit to manipulate child actor Cary Guffey. From TCM:
Spielberg got the wondrous expressions on Cary Guffey's face, in the scenes where his character sees the UFOs and aliens, by using visual aides, such as slowing unwrapping toys at a height that made it look like the boy was peering up at the sky toward the UFOs. In the scene where the boy looks into the kitchen, Spielberg had a make-up man in a gorilla suit on one side of the set. The boy's expression revealed a certain alarm when he saw it, then a partition on the other side was dropped, revealing Spielberg in a bunny suit, making the boy smile but still wary of the gorilla. The make-up man took off the gorilla mask and Guffey, seeing his friend there, began to laugh.
Through this ingenious method Spielberg was able to capture genuine reactions from a child for his film but in the process made himself a bad, bad bunny.
Fourth Worst: The Rabbit of Caerbannog
If body count were all that mattered for this list this one would be unsurpassed. Vicious and unstoppable, terrifyingly quick and possessed of a capacity for destruction that defies human imagination, this rabbit must be counted among the foulest, the most dreadful.
Third Worst: American Rabbit
Maybe he's not such a bad guy but roller skates are kind of an underwhelming power and, let's face it, he's kind of wishy washy, which in its way is worse than the more impressive examples already listed.
Second Worst: Eden Prairie Centre Easter Bunny
Everyone knows the Menlo Park Mall Easter Bunny is more convincing. And really, what's worse than a guy who's supposed to be there, transporting children to a magical world where hope and imagination are alive but who chooses instead to phone in a lacklustre display?
The Worst: The Ice Cream Bunny
I don't think anyone with any serious knowledge of bunnies could have imagined this spot could be taken by any other. Introduced to the world by Rifftrax--we can safely assume Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny was not widely distributed--this dead eyed, nightmare chauffeur seems to constantly scream even as he makes no audible sound. But more than any mediocrity or sense of physical threat the most horrible thing about the Ice Cream Bunny is the impression he conveys to us of life's worthlessness. Somehow this misguided and poor rendering of a rabbit in a peculiar way makes everything else seem equally pointless, like a personification of a black hole.
Okay, enough of that, onto the good stuff. Here are the five best rabbits:
Fifth Best: Fran
Fran represents the ultimate in evolution for the bunny girl, far removed from the concept origins at Playboy. In Japan, bunny girls have long had a life of their own and in Final Fantasy XII Fran brought an elegance and dignity to the classic, undeniably fetching silhouette.
Fourth Best: Bugs Bunny
A lot of excellent cartoon rabbits are absent from this list. With such a wide field to choose from, I chose the first bona fide cartoon rabbit star who remains, arguably, one of the best. Crafty and insolent, Bugs could also switch to taking pratfalls with the best of them, without question a versatile performer who's never been equalled.
Third Best: Harvey
Demonstrating handily that less sometimes really is more, this pooka's presence is felt entirely by the reactions he inspires. Hints of Harvey's actual existence are so few that one is forced to contemplate the nature of reality and the worth of fiction. Harvey selflessly forsakes the spotlight so that we can more clearly see the power impression can have to enrich human life.
Second Best: The White Rabbit (Carroll/Tenniel)
The events of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland are famously instigated by Alice's irresistible urge to discover just why this fellow is in such a hurry. He has something of Harvey's light touch in his creating so much presence with his absence but also manifests the subtle logical conundrums that make Carroll's work so endlessly delightful and intriguing.
The Best: DAICON IV Bunny Girl
Triumphing over Darth Vader, the xenomorph, the starship Enterprise, the entire roster of Marvel and DC's Superheroes, as well as over copyright infringement, the girl created by the fledgling GAINAX in 1983 has a power beyond time and space. And she owes it all to an enormous radish. I think.
Twitter Sonnet #983
In opals stirred beyond the pale to stand
Reflections flounder gasping from the space
Permitted in by stewards rash and bland
Too dull to press against a gleaming face.
Availing hay encrusted pleas the horse
Refrains affronting tamer chows for pens
Appointed ink in tubes along the course
Where lightning breaks the greenly feathered fens.
Internal yellow shells reflect the yolk
Of passing jaundice danced in time for saints,
For clovers ranged in even eggs we broke
Revealed in purple beer and mad complaints.
Important rabbits pillage with regret.
On days like these messiahs hit reset.