The Adventures of the American Rabbit
The Adventures of the American Rabbit 1986
On this Easter Sunday, after my daughter’s romp through the house finding all of her Angry Bird eggs I decided to kill two birds with one stone by putting on a somewhat Easter themed superhero movie. It’s got to be Easter themed since it has rabbits in it, right? Anyway I actually vaguely remember watching this movie when I was a kid but man does it totally not hold up in any way shape or form. Even Jena herself got bored with the movie when it was about halfway through and it’s only 80 minutes long. I thought it was great because I recognized a few voices from my childhood viewing, like the voice of The American Rabbit was Barry Gordon who also voiced Donatello in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a smaller part, the gorilla Ping Pong was played by Lorenzo Music who voiced Garfield for a long time, though his voice here reminded me a lot more of Tummy Gummy from the Adventures of the Gummi Bears. But even viewing this movie through a soft haze of nostalgia wasn’t able to save it from the ludicrous plots of villainy and barely there presence of the hero himself.
The movie starts out when the birth of Rob the rabbit, and follows him through a couple scenes of his childhood, playing soccer and piano. And through it all there’s the presence of this odd elderly rabbit who asks questions about Rob and then mysteriously disappears. And then during a picnic next to a cliff, a boulder comes crashing down and Rob runs really fast, trailing an American flag behind him only to turn into the American Rabbit, complete with roller skates for some reason, because roller skates really screams “America” I guess. Not only that, but even though he has roller skates, he can also fly. He saves his parents, and they immediately thank this stranger and wonder where Rob went. They then learn that Rob is the American Rabbit, their town’s destiny, and it’s up to him to stop evil in the world. So what does he do next? He moves to San Francisco and joins a rock band in a little club.
The villains of this movie are a pack of Jackals led by a suit with a glowing pair of glasses and a pet Buzzard who goes by the name Vultore, even though you don’t actually hear the name spoken out loud until about the third time he appears on screen. The Jackals are a typical dumb motorcycle gang that goes around trying to collect protection money and generally roughing up the place. And through it all, Rob just kind of sits there and watches it happen. And while he does try to rally the town against the hoodlums by staging a march, and while on the Golden Gate Bridge the buzzard bites through the steel cables prompting Rob to finally turn into the American Rabbit and fly up to tie the steel cables back together. After destroying the rock club, they also follow the band around on their country-wide tour to try and destroy them. Their final plan is revealed when they capture the chocolate-making moose and his son, because “when you control the chocolate, you control the world!”
It’s very episodic and disjointed, going from one place to the next, and everyone except for Rob is completely clueless about what’s going on. But it’s almost as bad because Rob appears to realize what’s going on when his band and friends keep walking into these traps, and yet he doesn’t say anything to stop them, he just lets them all get into trouble and then turns into the American Rabbit at the last moment to save them all while creating an excuse as to why he didn’t also save Rob. The villain’s plan is ludicrous and while they make a lot of talk about this whole chocolate scheme, there’s never really any payoff. Instead it’s much more focused on this abstract “Doomsday switch” which I guess blows up the Statue of Liberty, which would be bad I guess, but not really something to give the entire city over to a bird for. The ending also just kind of ends without a real happy solution, the villain is defeated but the band’s club is still burned down and they still have no instruments to make back any money either. There’s not really even any cheesily bad stuff going on that’s fun to laugh at. It’s mostly just a boring mess. It held a bit of nostalgia factor for me, but aside from that there’s not really much left to enjoy about this movie. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.