Film - Screen Talk With Bright Eyes


With the Easter Bunny still a chocolate-scented memory, Alwyn Ash rabbits on about ... er ... rabbits...

If there is anything particularly bright about this writer then it must surely be the eyes, bright and eager, as they wash over the on-screen text. If there is an opinion, my thoughts gather from that dusty attic to wax lyrical. We are not our thoughts, some people say, but I am most certainly mine. I live for words, and without thought there would be no article to read or write, and so allowing electrical impulses to weave their magic is nothing short of a miracle. So, just what have I been thinking of lately? Rabbits, that’s what, those cute furry creatures that dwell in a land not so distant. Except… mine aren’t of the normal variety, as you will soon see. If I am still sane upon completion then that, too, will be a miracle…

We only have to go as far as Lewis Carroll’s 1865 Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland to find such an animal, in the form of a white talking rabbit whose obsession with time-keeping is legendary. One of the most stunning depictions of this creature is The White Rabbit by English illustrator John Tenniel. Childhood memories of such tales (almost said “tails”) stay fresh, colourful recollections that ask to be revisited from time to time. As an adult, I wish my time-keeping was just as important. Sadly, I am far more like the Hare from Aesop's Fables than I like to admit. Did I just admit that?

Though I’m not keen on “actor” and “comedian” (sorry, folks) Russell Brand, 2011 was an interesting year, for it brought us an Easter egg surprise in Hop, the live-action film with a mix of animation that introduced us to young rabbit E.B., whose idea of growing up does not include taking over from his father as the Easter Bunny. I have always enjoyed these kinds of productions, my favourite being...

Who Framed Roger Rabbit... Starring British actor Bob Hoskins and the voice of Charles Fleischer, the 1988 blockbuster merged live action with cartoon characters including those from Looney Tunes. But of course, Roger Rabbit was the true star; the movie was an instant hit with cinema goers and critics alike. If there is such a place as Toontown, I want to live there, unless I am likely to have a piano fall on my head...

Those of you who enjoy a little gore will remember the Rabbit of Caerbannog, the “monster” that guards the The Cave of Caerbannog in 1975’s comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail. To think, one little bunny versus a band of brave knights, who would have thought… But in true Monty Python fashion the ensuing battle results in death. Honestly, who needs to worry about a Terminator or Predator when all you need is a killer rabbit?

As the title of this article would suggest, there could be no conclusion to this piece of writing without the inclusion of Watership Down, the 1978 film that featured such a dark story of premonition, death and adventure. Based on the book of the same name by Richard Adams, it is equally as famous for the song written by Mike Batt but sung by American singer Art Garfunkel: Bright Eyes, a favourite of mine, such a beautiful melody. Martin Rosen’s animated masterpiece remains in my Top 10 films of all time; alongside The Fox and The Hound, and Howard The Duck - why are you laughing?

Oh, and one more thing, Bugs Bunny would need an article entirely dedicated to him, so perhaps one for another time... I will, however, mention Gremlins 2: The New Batch, and thank those responsible for his inclusion in what can only be described as a brilliant sequel. At least the Gremlins didn’t eat him. Rabbit pie, anyone?

Image - Amazon.