Rabbids

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Rabbids
Raving Rabbids logo.png
Genre(s)Party
Developer(s)Ubisoft Montpellier
Ubisoft Sofia
Ubisoft Paris
Ubisoft Milan
Ubisoft Casablanca
Headstrong Games
Ubisoft Barcelona
Publisher(s)Ubisoft
Creator(s)Michel Ancel
Platform(s)Wii
PlayStation 2
Microsoft Windows
Xbox 360
Game Boy Advance
Nintendo DS
Nintendo 3DS
Kinect
Wii U
iOS
Android
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch
Web Browser
First releaseRayman Raving Rabbids
November 14, 2006
Latest releaseRabbids Wild Race
2020

Rabbids, also known as Raving Rabbids, is a video game franchise published by Ubisoft. It originated as a spin-off video game from the Rayman series, 2006's Rayman Raving Rabbids, and is centered on a fictional species of mischievous rabbit-like creatures known as Rabbids, who speak gibberish and scream wildly whenever they experience an adrenaline rush. The series consists mainly of party video games, though other genres have been explored as well.

The Rabbids were initially introduced as antagonists in 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.[1][2] The success of the Rabbid characters led the developers to create more games in the franchise, eventually leading to the removal of the Rayman character from the franchise entirely.

The Rabbids have gone on to appear in other expanded media, such as a TV show and a feature film currently in development, as well as making guest appearances in other Ubisoft games. As of June 2019, the series had sold over 20 million units worldwide.[3]

Development[edit]

The earliest Rayman 4 trailers depicted menacing 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, a series of viral videos were created by Marketing Manager Adrian Lacey and Animator Charles Beirnaert which became incredibly successful on the new media platform YouTube. The rabbits slowly evolved into various merchandising products such as 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".[4]

In a video interview, project lead Loïc Gounon confirmed the possibility of splitting the Rayman and Rabbid series apart, mentioning that the Rabbids "managed to hit a bit more adult and a bit more older audience than the previous Raymans".[5] By 2009's Rabbids Go Home, Rayman does not make an appearance; when asked about the omission of Rayman during an interview about Rabbids Go Home, director Jacques Exertier provided an assurance that Rayman would return for more action-adventure video games.[6]

The music style for the franchise was created by composer Mark Griskey. Mark worked with Audio Director Yoan Fanise to define the comedic style of the early games and the style was continued with the further versions of the franchise. [7]

Characters[edit]

A cosplayer in a Rabbids costume.

Rabbids – Rabbids are wild rabbit-like creatures who like to cause havoc and mischief on Rayman's world (where they came from), the human world, and others and are gibberish speaking and yell "BWAH!" whenever they experience adrenaline rushes. They were originally the antagonists; however, due to increase in popularity, they became the protagonists in Rabbids Go Home. A notable Rabbid who first appeared in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is Rabbid Peach.

Rayman – the main protagonist of the first three games. He always foils the Rabbids' evil plans. When the Rabbids became the protagonists of the franchise, Rayman was dropped, but continues to appear in his own games.

Professor Barranco III – the supreme leader of the Rabbids who planned out all of their invasions on Rayman's world, Earth and others. He is seen in the games Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Rabbids: Travel in Time and Rabbids: Alive and Kicking as the main antagonist (despite having a minor role in RRR 2 and RTiT). He is one of the rare smart Rabbids to exist, but can be easily fooled as well. In RAaK he has a Rabbid scientist as his second in command, who would later go on to become a major character in the TV series.

Serguei – Serguei is the main villain of Rayman Raving Rabbids. He is a large, black rabbid who abducted Rayman and the Globox kids and forced them to take part in the Rabbids Olympics filled with deadly challenges. In the end, Rayman manages to escape and free most of the Globox kids. It is unknown what happens to Serguei at that point, though his absence in further games suggest that he was relieved of his duties due to failure in keeping Rayman.

The Semi-Leaders – the Semi-leaders are fat, lazy and angry Rabbids who serve as the secondary antagonists of Rayman Raving Rabbids 2. They constantly force the Rabbids to bring them food and don't do pretty much anything other than sitting or lying around and keeping things in check. They each have different themes in clothing.

Games[edit]

Year Title Developer(s) Platform(s)
2006 Rayman Raving Rabbids (handheld version) Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft Sofia Windows, Xbox 360, PS2, 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
Rabbids Go Phone Ubisoft iOS
2011 Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking Ubisoft Milan, Ubisoft Paris Xbox 360
Raving Rabbids: Party Collection (Feat. Rayman) (Compilation of Rabbids, Rabbids 2 and TV Party) Wii
2012 Rabbids Land Ubisoft Paris Wii U
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 Barcelona Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4
2016 Rabbids Heroes[8] Ubisoft iOS, Android
2017 Rabbids Crazy Rush[9]
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Ubisoft Milan, Ubisoft Paris Nintendo Switch
Virtual Rabbids: The Big Plan Ubisoft Android
2018 Mario + Rabbids: Donkey Kong Adventure (DLC) Nintendo Switch
2019 Rabbids Coding![10] Ubisoft Microsoft Windows
2020 Rabbids Wild Race Ubisoft Browser
2021 Rabbids Volcano Panic BETA Ubisoft Browser
2022 Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Ubisoft Nintendo Switch
TBA Rabbids: Adventure Party Ubisoft Chengdu Nintendo Switch

In other media[edit]

Other video games[edit]

The Rabbids have made several appearances in games outside of their own series or the Rayman franchise. In Red Steel, the Rabbids appear as enemies in one of the game's later stages. The Wii version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up includes three different types of Rabbids as playable characters, along with a stage based on Rabbids Go Home. Toys of the Rabbids appear as hidden easter eggs in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction and Watch Dogs. In Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, a cheat can be used to turn the game's enemies into Rabbids. The song "Here Comes the Hotstepper" in Just Dance 2 includes a Rabbid who attempts to dance with the choreographer. Similarly, the alternate version of the song "Naughty Girl" in the Nintendo Switch version of Just Dance 2018 via Just Dance Unlimited subscription service includes Rabbid Peach from Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle as the main choreographer. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features three Rabbids from Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle as unlockable spirits[11] and a Rabbid Mii Fighter hat was available as downloadable content on January 28, 2020.[12] On April Fools' Day 2019, For Honor featured a limited time event in which Rabbids replaced all of the game's characters.[13] In 2021, they have been featured in The Crew 2 as their own LIVE Summit Event, as well as introducing two vanity cosmetic items into the game. The first is roofrack of a Rabbid hanging on to it and the second being a window tint full of Rabbids which can only be acquired by scoring platinum in the LIVE Summit.[14]

TV series[edit]

In October 2010, Ubisoft and Aardman announced a partnership to produce a TV series pilot and several shorts based on the franchise.[15] One year later, it was announced that a series of 7-minute CG-animated episodes called Rabbids Invasion had been commissioned by France Televisions and that it would be produced in-house by Ubisoft Motion Pictures in France. In 2013,[16] The series premiered on France 3 in France and Nickelodeon in the United States.[17] In early 2012, Ubisoft Motion Pictures called on the French animation studio TeamTO to create most of the CGI parts of the series.[18][19][20] At E3 2013, it was announced that it would be an interactive Xbox One show entitled Rabbids Invasion. The show aired for four seasons, with the fourth season premiering exclusively on Netflix on July 1, 2019.

Film[edit]

In 2014, a live-action/animated movie based on the franchise was in the works by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment.[21] However, in 2019, Ubisoft signed a deal with Lionsgate to produce the Rabbids movie instead, with Todd Strauss-Schulson in talks to direct the movie with Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman as producers. It is now being developed by Lionsgate, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, Mandeville Films, and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, with Matt Senreich, Tom Sheppard, and Zeb Wells set to write the film, while revised by Todd Rosenberg.[22]

Comic book series[edit]

A comic book series based on the franchise has been released in France, Belgium and Switzerland. All comic strips are drawn by the French cartoonist Romaine Pujol and written by Thithaume. There are ten volumes thus far.

Merchandising[edit]

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. A Raving Rabbids themed version of the card game Jungle Speed was also released in France.

Licensing[edit]

The Rabbids franchise has also been licensed for the out-of-home entertainment market such as the recent collaboration with arcade game manufacturer LAI Games to produce Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride, an attendant-free VR attraction.[23][24]

Reception[edit]

The Rabbids series, along with its titular characters, have become very popular. IGN has stated that the Rabbids have "more personality and charisma than 10 of the most popular video game mascots combined",[25] and that the bunnies have literally "upstaged Rayman himself".[1]

GameSpot noted that 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."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Matt Casamassina (2006-10-13). "Rayman Raving Rabbids: Impressions and Video". Archived from the original on June 21, 2009. 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.
  2. ^ a b Alex Navarro (2006-11-19). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review on GameSpot". Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-12. It might have Rayman in the title, but the real stars of the show are the adorably bizarre raving rabbids.
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures" (PDF). June 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  4. ^ Matt Casamassina. "Rayman Raving Rabbids Interview". Archived from the original on October 2, 2010. Retrieved 2007-11-12. The Rabbits are hundreds and they are vicious, but at the same time they are totally stupid.
  5. ^ "Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 interview". 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ http://www.griskey.com
  8. ^ Frank, Allegra (25 May 2016). "The Raving Rabbids return with a collectible card game on mobile". Polygon. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  9. ^ Rabbids (2017-02-23), Rabbids Crazy Rush, retrieved 2017-03-10
  10. ^ Robinson, Andy (September 30, 2019). "Ubisoft announces free Rabbids game designed to teach coding". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  11. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fccgHnBQ0YM
  12. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdrTcSlqjqk
  13. ^ https://www.polygon.com/2019/4/1/18290666/for-honor-rabbids-rainbow-six-siege-april-fools-day
  14. ^ The Crew 2 [@TheCrewGame] (March 23, 2021). "This week in The Cre... BWAAAAH! Raving Rabbids are invading Motornation! t.co/mAi99AIjHC t.co/hLtophyi8W" (Tweet). Archived from the original on April 5, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Ubisoft & Aardman to Create Pilot for Animated Television Show Based on Raving Rabbids, IGN
  16. ^ "Rabbids Invasion: Debut Date Announced and Trailer Revealed". IGN. 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
  17. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (October 6, 2011). "Nick licenses 'Raving Rabbids'". Variety. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  18. ^ "Des news de l'anim numéro 48 été 2012". SPFA. Summer 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  19. ^ "Drôme: Le studio TeamTO recrute". France3 Rhône-Alpes. June 6, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  20. ^ "De retour d'Annecy 2012". Catsuka. June 10, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  21. ^ https://www.polygon.com/2014/2/10/5398054/ubisoft-teams-with-sony-pictures-for-rabbids-movie
  22. ^ https://news.ubisoft.com/en-us/article/5RDXurrIc8q7gyZuU3vY3i/ubisoft-and-lionsgate-to-develop-rabbids-film
  23. ^ "LAI Virtual Rabbids – December 2017 | RePlay Magazine". www.replaymag.com. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  24. ^ "Ubisoft's Rabbids Are Back In VR With Virtual Rabbids – The Big Ride". VRFocus. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  25. ^ 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.

External links[edit]