Rabbit Ears Productions

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Rabbit Ears Productions
Format Animated series
Starring Denzel Washington
Robin Williams
Geena Davis
Danny Glover
Whoopi Goldberg
John Candy
Meryl Streep
Susan Saint James
Amy Grant
Glenn Close
Morgan Freeman
Jonathan Winters
Anjelica Huston
Laura Dern
Michael Keaton
Sissy Spacek
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 63
Production
Running time 30 minutes per episode

Rabbit Ears Productions is a children's series that aired from 1984-1995 on PBS. The series features famous actors such as Robin Williams, Raul Julia, Laura Dern, Denzel Washington, Danny Glover, and others narrating classic children's classics either well known in the United States or from around the world. The series was featured in limited animation where the images move from one scene and disappear in the next scene. Rabbit Ears Productions has also won numerous awards, including Parents' Choice Awards and Grammy Awards.

Stories[edit]

Storybook Classics[edit]

From 1984-1990, Rabbit Ears Productions had created a set of storybook classics that were well-known around the world. Probably the most popular storybook classic from Rabbit Ears Productions was the Velveteen Rabbit. The Velveteen Rabbit was the first story that Rabbit Ears Productions had created. The Velveteen Rabbit has also received many awards such as Parents' Choice award and a Grammy nomination.

We All Have Tales[edit]

From 1991-1993, Rabbit Ears Productions created the next set of stories which are stories that come from all around the world. These stories come from many countries such as Russia, France, Jamaica, England, Germany, Colombia, Scandinavia, Japan, and India.

American Heroes and Legends[edit]

From 1992-1993, Rabbit Ears Productions made another set of stories that come from America and are about great American Heroes such as John Henry, Johnny Appleseed, and many other heroes and heroines that made a great impact on American society.

The Greatest Stories Ever Told[edit]

From 1991-1993, Rabbit Ears Productions created their final installment of stories that relates to stories from the Bible.

Holiday Classics[edit]

Holiday Classics are stories that are found throughout all the Rabbit Ears Productions series whether they are Christmas, Halloween, or Easter themed.

Cast and crew[edit]

Cast[edit]

  • Denzel Washington: told John Henry/Anansi
  • Robin Williams: told The Fool and the Flying Ship/Pecos Bill
  • Danny Glover: told Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion/Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby/How the Leopard Got His Spots/Moses in Egypt
  • Meryl Streep: told The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher/The Tale of Peter Rabbit/The Velveteen Rabbit/The Night Before Christmas/The Tailor of Gloucester
  • Glenn Close: told The Emperor and the Nightingale/The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Raul Julia: told The Monkey People
  • Laura Dern: told The Song of Sacajawea
  • John Candy: told Stormalong
  • Morgan Freeman: told Follow the Drinking Gourd/The Savior is Born
  • Jack Nicholson: told The Elephant's Child/How the Rhinoceros got his Skin/How the Camel got his Hump
  • Sigourney Weaver: told Peachboy

Crew[edit]

List of episodes[edit]

Storybook Classics: 1985-1990[edit]

# Title Year released Summary Narrator Illustrator Music
1 The Velveteen Rabbit 1985 When a young boy receives a toy rabbit for a gift, the toy rabbit realizes that when someone loves you so much you can become real. Meryl Streep David Jorgensen George Winston
2 The Ugly Duckling 1985 When a young duckling is rejected from his family because of his ugly looks, he embarks on a journey to realize the true meaning of beauty. Cher Robert Van Nutt Patrick Ball
3 The Elephant's Child 1986 When a curious elephant child wants to know about the crocodile that lives in the river, he gets a big surprise that might change his life forever. Jack Nicholson Tim Raglin Bobby McFerrin
4 The Steadfast Tin Soldier 1986 This is the story of a one-legged tin soldier who goes through many perilous adventures in the outside world to get back to his true love, the ballerina. Jeremy Irons David Jorgensen Mark Isham
5 The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher/The Tale of Peter Rabbit 1987 The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher: Mr. Jeremy Fisher, the frog, wants to go fishing for minnows for his dinner. Unfortunately, he is about to find out the dangers of going fishing alone.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit: Naughty Peter Rabbit goes off to Mr. McGregor's garden against his mother's warnings, but he soon learns about the consequences of disobeying his mother.

Meryl Streep David Jorgensen Lyle Mays
6 The Emperor and the Nightingale 1987 When the Emperor of China finds out about the beautiful music of the nightingale, he wishes to have the nightingale by his side. That is, until a new rival, a mechanical bird, shows up and outstages the nightingale. But, when the Emperor faces death, he will soon realize that the nightingale is the one who truly cares for him in his time of need. Glenn Close Robert Van Nutt Mark Isham
7 How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin/How the Camel Got His Hump 1987 How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin: When the Rhinoceros rudely eats the Parsee Man's cake, the Parsee Man's revenge causes the Rhinoceros to have the skin he has today.

How the Camel Got His Hump: When the Camel refuses to do any work in the desert, it is up to the Djinn of the desert to set him straight.

Jack Nicholson Tim Raglin Bobby McFerrin
8 Pecos Bill 1988 Join the legendary cowboy Pecos Bill on his adventures of being raised as a coyote to being the hero when a cyclone threatens Texas. Robin Williams Tim Raglin Ry Cooder
9 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow 1988 Washington Irving’s eerie tale of romantic rivalry along the Hudson pits the new schoolmaster Ichabod Crane against the local hero and bully, Brom Bones, for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel. This haunting drama climaxes with the appearance of one of the great, legendary ghosts of all time: the headless horseman. Glenn Close Robert Van Nutt Tim Story
10 The Tailor of Gloucester 1988 When a poor tailor has to make a lovely Christmas coat for the mayor on his wedding day, he gets help from an unexpected source. Meryl Streep David Jorgensen The Chieftains
11 The Fisherman and His Wife 1989 When a poor Fisherman discovers a magic flounder in the sea, he goes home to tell his wife. But, as his wife's greed for the better life comes to the point where she wants to take over the world, the fisherman soon realizes that his wife's greed will get the best of them yet. Jodie Foster Diana Bryan Van Dyke Parks
12 Thumbelina 1989 A long time ago in Denmark, a childless couple is blessed with a radiantly beautiful baby girl. She is no bigger than a thumb, so she is called Thumbelina. Snatched from her family by an ugly toad who wants to marry her, Thumbelina escapes, befriending various creatures of the forest. Ultimately, she meets the king of the flower angels, with whom she finds happiness forever. Kelly McGillis David Johnson Mark Isham
13 How the Leopard Got His Spots 1989 When all the animals in the forest has fled to the jungle to avoid being eaten, the Leopard and the Ethiopian both have to change their colors in order to blend in with the jungle and find the animals. Danny Glover Lori Lohstoeter Ladysmith Black Mambazo
14 The Three Billy Goats Gruff/The Three Little Pigs 1989 The Three Billy Goats Gruff: When a troll threatens to eat up the billy goats who want to eat the grass on the other side of the bridge, the biggest billy goat is the one who teaches the troll a lesson he'll never forget.

The Three Little Pigs: When the wolf eats up the first and second little pigs, he'll learn the hard way that he shouldn't mess with the smartest pig of the three little pigs.

Holly Hunter David Jorgensen Art Lande
15 The Emperor's New Clothes 1990 Like everyone else in the kingdom, two clever swindlers understand the king's passion for new clothes. Claiming to be creators of the richest and most beautiful cloth in the world, they cleverly announce that the "magical" garments they are weaving for the Emperor are invisible to anyone lacking intelligence. Who will have the courage to speak the truth? Sir John Gielgud Robert Van Nutt Mark Isham
16 Paul Bunyan 1990 Big as a mountain and strong as a grizzly bear, Paul Bunyan was the greatest lumberjack to swagger through the North American forests. All the larger-than-life characters in Paul's supporting cast are here, including Babe the Blue Ox, eating her ton of grain a day, and Hotbiscuit Sally with her acre-and­a­half griddle. The outrageous adventures of this quintessential American hero represent the very best in the proud tradition of American storytelling. Jonathan Winters Rick Meyerowitz Leo Kottke
17 Little Red Riding Hood/Goldilocks 1990 Little Red Riding Hood: When a young girl with a red cape encounters a wolf in the woods, she learns the hard way that nothing good comes out of talking to strangers.

Goldilocks: When a spoiled little girl goes to the house of the three bears without permission, she will soon get a surprise of her life when the bears come home from their walk.

Meg Ryan Lazlo Kubinyi Art Lande
18 Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby 1990 When Brer Fox gets tired of Brer Rabbit's sassiness, he decides to make a Tar Baby that will trap Brer Rabbit for sure. But Brer Fox soon finds out that Brer Rabbit is trickier than he looks. Danny Glover Henrik Drescher Taj Mahal (musician)

We All Have Tales: 1991-1993[edit]

# Title Year Released Summary Narrator Illustrator Music Country
15 Jack and the Beanstalk 1991 When Jack sells his cow for some lousy looking beans, his mother goes into a rage and throws the beans out the window. However, Jack soon discovers that those beans were no ordinary beans and he begins a journey to get the riches that lies on top of the beanstalk. However, Jack soon discovers that the riches are not the only things on the beanstalk. Michael Palin Edward Sorel David A. Stewart England
16 Anansi 1991 Two stories feature Anansi the Spider outsmarting various creatures to get their stories. The first story involves Anansi tricking Snake to get the stories from Tiger. The second story involves Anansi trying to admit to the other animals that he is a man after his mother-in-law dies. Denzel Washington Steven Guarnaccia UB40 Jamaica
17 East of the Sun, West of the Moon 1991 When a young girl befriends a mysterious bear, she learns about the curse that has been set upon the bear and embarks on a journey to set him free from the curse. Max von Sydow Vivienne Flesher Lyle Mays Scandinavia
18 The Fool and the Flying Ship 1991 When the Tsar of Russia proclaims that whoever builds a flying ship will marry his daughter, a country fool takes the challenge and meets some odd superhumans along the way. Robin Williams Henrik Drescher Klezmer Conservatory Band Russia
19 King Midas and the Golden Touch 1991 When King Midas is given the gift to turn objects into gold, he learns that there are things that are more precious than any gold in the kingdom. Michael Caine Rodica Prato Ellis Marsalis featuring Yo-Yo Ma Greece
20 Koi and the Kola Nuts 1991 When a young boy leaves his village because the village does not know how to treat the son of a chief, he embarks on a journey to find a village that will treat him with respect. Whoopi Goldberg Reynold Ruffins Herbie Hancock Africa
21 The Tiger and the Brahmin 1991 When a Brahmin accidentally releases a tiger, the tiger is bent on eating the Brahmin. However, a clever jackal is the one who helps the Brahmin in his time of need. Ben Kingsley Kurt Vargo Ravi Shankar India

Audio Books[edit]

Many of the stories have been made available as audio books through Listening Library.

External links[edit]