Rabbit Ears Productions
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|Rabbit Ears Productions|
Susan Saint James
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||63|
|Executive producer(s)||Mark Sottnick and Mike Pogue|
|Running time||30 minutes per episode|
Rabbit Ears Productions is a production company best known for producing three TV series that feature individual episodes adapting popular pieces of children's literature, all of which aired from 1984-1995 on PBS. The series features actors such as Robin Williams, Raul Julia, Laura Dern, Denzel Washington, Danny Glover, and others narrating children's books either well known in the United States or from around the world. The series made use of a limited animation technique whereby still images were moved throughout the scene, similar to modern motion comics. Rabbit Ears Productions has also won numerous awards, including Parents' Choice Awards and Grammy Awards.
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
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
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
From 1991-1993, Rabbit Ears Productions created their final installment of stories that relates to stories from the Bible. There are nine Bible stories in this series.
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
- Denzel Washington: told John Henry/Anansi
- Robin Williams: told The Fool and the Flying Ship/Pecos Bill
- Jonathan Winters: told Paul Bunyan
- 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
- Kelly McGillis: told Thumbelina
- 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
- Whoopi Goldberg: told Koi and the Kola Nuts
- Mark Sottnick: Executive Producer, Producer, Director
- Mike Pogue: Executive Producer
- Eric Metaxas: Writer
- Brian Gleeson: Writer
- C.W. Rogers: Animation Department, Film Editing, Production Design
- Tim Raglin: Illustrator, Art Direction, Director
- Clay V. Stites: Executive Producer
- Joel Tuber: Producer
- Henrik Drescher: Illustrator
- Ken Hoin: Producer
- Doris Wilhousky: Executive Producer
- Susan C. Anderson: Production Director
List of episodes
Storybook Classics: 1985-1990
|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 Big Bad 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 Emperor'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 the Big Bad 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 and sneaks inside, 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
|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 by the name of Koi 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. Koi then makes a few unexpected jungle friends along the way.||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|
|22||Rumpelstiltskin||1991||A greedy king tells a young daughter of a miller that she must spin a room full of straws into gold by morning... or die. Then a little man tells her anything she please.||Kathleen Turner||Peter Sis||Tangerine Dream||Germany|
|23||Finn McCoul||1991||Finn McCoul is the greatest champion in all of Ireland. But when the brutish giant Cucullin is after him, he is a bit nervous.||Catherine O'Hara||Peter de Seve||Boys on the Lough||Ireland|
|24||Puss in Boots||1991||Claude, a youngest son of Miller, feels short-changed leaves him nothing more than a tomcat. However, when Claude decides to do away with his feline inheritance, the cat devised a plan to transform his dim-witted owner into a prince.||Tracey Ullman||Pierre Le-Tan||Jean-Luc Ponty||France|
|25||Aladdin and the Magic Lamp||1991||This enchanted tale is based on "One Thousand and One Nights" where a young rouge receives wishes from a genie and wins The Sultan's daughter.||John Hurt||Greg Couch||Mickey Hart||Saudi Arabia|
Many of the stories have been made available as audiobooks through Listening Library.