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Bunny (1998)

Unrated  |   |  Animation, Short, Comedy  |  1998 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,438 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

An elderly widowed rabbit is encouraged by a moth to commit suicide by sticking her head in an oven so that she may join her husband in death.

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Title: Bunny (1998)

Bunny (1998) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Storyline

Bunny, an elderly rabbit who uses a walker, is in her kitchen one night baking a cake. A photograph from her wedding day is on her wall. A pesky and persistent moth bangs about the kitchen. She shoos it outside, turns off the porch light, and returns to her baking. The moth finds its way back into the kitchen, she bats it with a wooden spoon, and it falls into the mix. She stirs it up, pours the batter into a pan, and pops it into the oven. But the moth isn't done: it has a different mission, turning the oven into a portal, and inviting Bunny on a voyage of reunion. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

moth | kitchen | oven | baking | rabbit | See All (32) »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nyuszkó  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris Wedge regretted that he didn't get Bunny into his movie Ice Age as an Easter egg. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ice Age (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Bend Down the Branches
Written and Performed by Tom Waits
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User Reviews

 
An animated short whose brilliant animation takes second billing.
28 January 2005 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Sometimes I read reviews by other users on the IMDb as I write my own and I made the mistake of doing that for this film. Only about 15 people have written reviews at the time I am writing this, but as is generally the case, I was astounded at some of the things that people had to say about this brilliant film. Just as many people praised the quality of the animation as people who pointed it out as a way to see how far animation has come since it was released. One user even wrote that the animation was clearly dated, as though it were old and unimpressive. What is truly odd is that I think that the person who wrote that has written more reviews on the IMDb than anyone else on the site, and yet he completely missed the fact that the ragged, worn out stuffed-animal appearance of Bunny is all animated. This is not go-motion, it's pure animation and it's absolutely stunning.

Even more astounding were a couple of complaints that the ending was stupid, or confusing. At the moment I'm having a hard time deciding which of these ludicrous claims is more foolish. The movie is an animated short with more of a somber feel than the typical animated short, and deals with what might happen to people when they die. This is, of course, all explained in the intro to the film, although had I not watched it I find it hard to believe that I would have been confused by an ending that featured an elderly bunny rabbit crawling into her oven and then flying into a white light, especially since she sprouts wings on the way. Director Chris Wedge describes it as sort of a fun way to look at the reality of death if, as Tigger might say, you can imaginate such a thing.

The entire film is very quiet and almost depressing, even when we identify with Bunny for wanting to get rid of the pesky moth, she shuts it outside in the dark, turning off the porch light and leaving it in darkness, at which point feelings of annoyance turn instantly into feelings of sympathy. In the space of no more than a second or two we go from wanting to swat the moth to wanting to bring it back inside. This, I have to say, is absolutely brilliant screen writing (by the way, another IMDb user made the astonishing comment that animated short films should stick entirely to comedy and cuteness, which itself is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read on this site or anywhere else. I personally take it to be the same as saying that female actors should stick to romantic comedies).

There are lots of clever touches in the film, such as the fact that Bunny uses a walker just as any aging woman would, but she still hops along with it. It's one of those things that you wouldn't even think about but that add tremendously to her character when you see it. Bunny is, even without the hopping, probably the most complex character that you could hope to see developed in a 7 1/2 minute animated film without a syllable of dialogue. She has lost her husband, lives alone, and while we want to feel sympathy for her (and ultimately do), it is unsettling that she shuts the moth out in total darkness, almost as though she were starving it, and then even more unsettling that she swats it dead, stirs it viciously into her batter and loses her temper, hurling it into the oven and slamming the door with what must be the great majority of her might.

When she falls asleep just afterwards, it is, as Chris Wedge explains in the intro, her symbolic death, and the film changes drastically from a lonely old woman cooking alone in her lonely cabin and into a portrayal of her path to Heaven and reunion with her lost husband.

What I especially like is that the movie never becomes preachy, it doesn't show her becoming young again and dancing in Heaven with her husband, it simply shows her growing wings on her way into the light and then, in possibly the most moving few seconds that have ever been animated, there is a dissolve to her and her husband's wedding photo and moths fly up behind them, superimposing angel's wings onto the photo.

My grandfather passed away recently and, since I own an editing studio, I made a video eulogy using family pictures that spanned something like the last 30 years, and am now making DVD copies to send out to my 10 aunts and uncles and countless cousins, and I ended the video with my grandparents' black and white wedding photo from the early 1950s in Colombia and superimposed it over a short clip of the sun shining through moving clouds. It is truly a moving video, so I can clearly understand the motivation behind Chris Wedge using it as an ending. I feel honored to have had a similar idea, and even more disturbed that anyone would call it stupid or confusing.

This is finally an animated short film that is not about it's animation, unlike Scrat's Missing Adventure, Boundin', and even Geri's Game, which is one of the cleverest and most charming animated short films I've ever seen. All of these are wonderful and fun animated short films, but none of them approach the power of Bunny.

Bravo.


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