- This article is about the multimedia franchise. For the video game, see Rayman Raving Rabbids.
The logo for the franchise.
|First release||Rayman Raving Rabbids
November 14, 2006
|Latest release||Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show
November 18, 2014
The Raving Rabbids franchise, known in France as Les Lapins Crétins, is a video game franchise spin off from the Rayman series, which consists mainly of party games, though also includes some platform games and a fighting game. The series focuses on large, crazy rabbits known as Rabbids, who like to cause havoc and mischief and yell "BWAAAH!" whenever they experience adrenaline rushes.
Though they were initially shown as part of the Rayman series of games, the popularity of the characters, aided by various viral videos and media appearances, led Raving Rabbids to become its own separate franchise, dropping the Rayman name as of 2009's Rabbids Go Home. The Rabbids have made several appearances in non-Rayman games as well, such as Red Steel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and Watch Dogs. The song "Here Comes the Hotstepper" in Just Dance 2 includes a Rabbid who attempts to dance with the choreographer. There has also been a Raving Rabbids themed version of the card game Jungle Speed, which was released in France, a TV show and a feature film, that is under development.
As of April 2014, the series had sold over 14 million units worldwide.
Concept and creation
The earliest Rayman 4 trailers depicted menacing and zombie-like rabbits, simply appearing from underground with a blank stare in various shapes and forms, smaller eyes and furry. At this point, trailers showed the game as an adventure game with fight stages, where Rayman would need to punch and kick himself kung fu style through a horde of zombie-bunnies. As the game concept evolved, from one of a central objective to minigames, and viral videos were created, the rabbits slowly evolved into the Rabbid figures, which were much more conscious and amusing, changing from merely being enemies to fight through into more memorable characters with various traits and quirks. Rayman creator Michel Ancel described the bunnies as "vicious, but at the same time [...] totally stupid". In a recent video review, project lead Loïc Gounon confirmed the possibility of splitting the Rayman and Rabbid series apart, mentioning that the Rabbids seem to appeal more to younger gamers, due to its slapstick humor and minigames deviating from the Rayman series' more fantasy-oriented gameplay.
|2006||Rayman Raving Rabbids (handheld version)||Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft Bulgaria||PS2||Windows, Xbox 360||Wii, GBA, DS|
|2007||Rayman Raving Rabbids 2||Ubisoft Paris||Windows||Wii, DS|
|2008||Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party||Wii, DS|
|2009||Rabbids Go Home||Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft Sofia||Windows||Wii, DS|
|2010||Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time||Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Casablanca||Wii, 3DS|
|2011||Rabbids: Alive & Kicking||Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Milan||Xbox 360|
|2012||Rabbids Land||Ubisoft Paris||Wii U|
|2012||Rabbids Rumble||Headstrong Games||3DS|
|2013||Rabbids Big Bang||Ubisoft Milan, Ubisoft Paris||iOS, Android, Windows Phone|
|2014||Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show||Ubisoft||PS4||Xbox 360, Xbox One|
In other media
In October 2010, Ubisoft and Aardman announced a partnership to produce a TV series pilot and several shorts based on the franchise. One year later, it was announced that 78 7-minute CG animated episodes would be made solely by Ubisoft Motion Pictures, and broadcast as 26 half-hour episodes by Nickelodeon on August 3, 2013. In early 2012, Ubisoft Motion Pictures called on the French animation studio TeamTO to create most of the CGI parts of the series. On E3 2013, it was announced that it would be an interactive Xbox One show entitled Rabbids Invasion. The show premiered on Nickelodeon on August 3, 2013.
Variety reports that Ubisoft are developing a Rabbids film, along with Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed and Far Cry films. On February 10, 2014 it was announced that Sony Pictures Entertainment and Ubisoft are teaming-up to develop a full-length feature film.
Comic book series
A comic book series based on the franchise exists, but is only sold in France. All comic strips are drawn by the French cartoonist Thitaume Pujol. There are three volumes thus far.
Aside from video games and the comic book series mentioned above, the Rabbids also have other merchandising such as t-shirts, figurines, plush toys, school equipment, fan club magazines, and for a limited time, a Happy Meal toy(only sold in France).
The Rabbids from the Raving Rabbids series became massively popular both through the teaser trailers and the game itself. IGN has stated that the Rabbids have "more personality and charisma than 10 of the most popular video game mascots combined", and that the bunnies have literally "upstaged Rayman himself". GameSpot has noted, "The Rabbids themselves are almost exclusively responsible for [selling the game's humor], as they are, without a doubt, hysterical. They're adorably designed, with their dumb stares, high-pitched shrieks, and a penchant for taking comedic bumps."
The success of the Rabbid characters led the developers to create more games in the franchise, and eventually even remove Rayman from them entirely. This was first hinted at in the launch trailer of the first game, where Rayman, despite being the title character, only appears for a fraction of a second, only to be squashed flat by a couch taken over by Rabbids. In Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Rayman disguises himself as a Rabbid, causing the game to put more emphasis on them than on Rayman himself. Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party was considered further evidence, as Rayman, who is no longer playable, only appears in the game's cutscenes. This was then proven to be true with the announcement of Rabbids Go Home, which does not feature Rayman at all.
The Rabbids have been accused of causing the series' perceived decline in quality. Before Rabbids Go Home 's release, when asked about why Rayman was omitted, director Jacques Exertier confirmed that Rayman would return for more action-adventure video games. A Rayman-only game was released on March 1, 2011, but was merely a Nintendo 3DS re-release of Rayman 2: The Great Escape, titled Rayman 3D. However, Rayman Origins, a new Rayman game, was released in 2011 followed by a sequel, Rayman Legends released in September 2013.
At E3 2013, Ubisoft revealed that they were not going to make any more exclusives for the Wii U until sales of the console improve, thus putting the Raving Rabbids series on hold. However, this does not prevent Ubisoft from releasing further games on Xbox One, or PlayStation 4. Also a new game called Rabbids Big Bang was released on October 17, 2013 on smartphones and tablets.
- Matt Casamassina (2006-10-13). "Rayman Raving Rabbids: Impressions and Video". Retrieved 2007-11-12.
The bunnies in the game are so well-designed, animated, and voiced, that they have actually upstaged Rayman himself to become the spotlight of Ubisoft's marketing efforts for the title.
- Alex Navarro (2006-11-19). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review on GameSpot". Retrieved 2007-11-12.
It might have Rayman in the title, but the real stars of the show are the adorably bizarre raving rabbids.
- "Facts & Figures". Ubisoft. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Matt Casamassina. "Rayman Raving Rabbids Interview". Retrieved 2007-11-12.
The Rabbits are hundreds and they are vicious, but at the same time they are totally stupid.
- "Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 interview". 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- Ubisoft & Aardman to Create Pilot for Animated Television Show Based on Raving Rabbids, IGN
- Keslassy, Elsa (October 6, 2011). "Nick licenses 'Raving Rabbids'". Variety. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- "Des news de l'anim numéro 48 été 2012". SPFA. Summer 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "Drôme: Le studio TeamTO recrute". France3 Rhône-Alpes. June 6, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "De retour d'Annecy 2012". Catsuka. June 10, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "Rabbids Invasion: Debut Date Announced and Trailer Revealed". IGN. 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- Ubisoft To Make Movies Based on ‘Watch Dogs,’ ‘Far Cry,’ ‘Rabbids’ (EXCLUSIVE)
- "Sony To Make Movie Based On Ubisoft’s ‘Rabbids’". deadline.com. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Matt Casamassina (2006-11-16). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review". Retrieved 2007-11-12.
Although we could honestly take or leave Rayman himself, Ubisoft has with the bunnies created characters with more personality and charisma than 10 of the most popular videogame mascots combined.
- Matt Casamassina (May 5, 2009). "Why You'll Love Rabbids Go Home: Two and a half years in development, a brand new engine, no mini-games and it's a full-blown comedy adventure.". IGN. News Corporation.
- Totilo, Stephen (June 6, 2013). "Ubisoft to Nintendo: Sell More Systems and We'll Make More Exclusives". Retrieved July 11, 2013.