The Seventh Brother
|The Seventh Brother|
|Music by||Wolfgang von Henko, Don Stirling, Kurt Bestor, Sam Cardon, Merrill Jenson|
|Edited by||Madga Hap|
Feature Films for Families (VHS/DVD)
The Seventh Brother (Hungarian: A hetedik testvér; German: Bobo und die Hasenbande) is a 1991 American-German-Hungarian animated fantasy-comedy-drama film for children made and produced at Hungary's Pannonia Film Studio. It was co-produced with Magyar Televízió, Germany's RealFilm, and the U.S. outlet Feature Films for Families.
The story begins in the forest, with the viewer being addressed by Dr. Albert E. Owl, a "famous storyteller". Noting that the viewer is lost in the forest, he decides to recount the tale of Tiny the puppy, the seventh brother (occasionally interspersing his story with various comments of his own).
The doctor's tale begins the previous spring, with Tiny the puppy riding in a car with his owner-a little girl named Angie-and her grandpa after an enjoyable trip to a big city. On the way home, their car breaks down in the middle of a storm and the grandpa goes out to fix it. Angie goes out to help, telling Tiny to stay in the car, but leaving the door open. Spotting a frog outside, Tiny goes after it, but falls down a hill (unbeknownst to his owners, who drive off without him and can't hear his barks over the storm). Heartbroken, he decides to wait out the storm by sleeping in a little hollowed-out area in a bush (sleeping through Angie calling for him, as she noticed his absence soon and told her grandpa to go back to find him).
The next morning, a band of rabbits discover Tiny. Their opinions on him are mixed (most of them believe Tiny to be some form of monster), but the leader of the group-the ruffian of the family, J.C. (his real name is Jerald Cuthbert)-feels that he should be left to survive on his own; luckily, one of his sisters, Joanna, decides that they should help him. She quickly convinces her siblings to join up after putting the matter to a vote with the other rabbits- Rebecca (the eldest sister), Mimi (the sensitive one), Cody (the glutton), Marty (the cautious one) -and Tiny is welcomed into the family as a "bunny-puppy". Tiny accepts, but on one condition- they must come back later to see if Angie came back. The bunnies agree and bring him back to their home following a musical number in which they introduce themselves. However, they teach him to act like a rabbit, such as hopping and keeping his ears up straight. J.C. is frustrated with Tiny because he doesn't act like a rabbit, but when J.C. is caught by a hawk, Tiny scares the hawk away by barking at it, causing it to fly away in a panic. Because of this, the family afterwards decides to accept Tiny as their brother, which makes the puppy very happy, although their parents are afraid at first.
The morning after, Miss Magpie, the nosy leader of the forest, is very scared of the news and tells her friend, Birdie, and the whole forest about it. Most of the forest is scared of Tiny at first, but when they see that he isn't vicious, the animals are relieved. The sole exception for this rule is Miss Magpie, who is still heavily convinced that he is a monster. When Tiny smells the scent of his owners and hears Angie calling for him, he runs up the hill to the road where he first met the bunnies. But when he arrives, he is too late, and thinks that his owners don't want him anymore (luckily, his new family is able to turn his frown upside down). Miss Magpie hires a fox named Mr. Fox to try and intimidate the rabbits, but Tiny teaches them to growl at him, which scares Mr. Fox and sends him running. Human poachers arrive in the forest to try and kill the bunnies, but the puppy teaches the rabbits to howl while hiding in their home, which send the poachers running.
Later that night, a flood reaches the bunnies' home. J.C. and his father stay in their hole trying to dig their way out while the other rabbits climb up a branch, but Cody is caught in the raging waters and Tiny jumps in. The puppy saves Cody, and the rabbits hop onto dry land, but J.C. and their dad are still in their hole trying to dig through as the water rises. Tiny senses them and digs a hole where they escape. Their father applauds Tiny, saying he is proud for him to be their son.
Winter is not far from arrival, and Miss Magpie mocks Tiny for being a dog, not knowing how to prepare for winter. Unfortunately for her, fortunes turn when a ferret tries to kill her because she failed to stop the rabbits. The ferret bites Tiny's leg, but he eventually throws the ferret into a pond. Fearing for his safety, Miss Magpie warns the rabbits. When the rabbits discover that Tiny is alive, they celebrate. But he is sick due to the effects of the bite, and he is taken to see Dr. Owl, who tells the parents that he must be returned to his owners. The rabbits carry Tiny back home, but along the way, they come across a big crease between two hills. J.C. uses a large stick to successfully carry the family over the crease, and they finally reach his owners' home. As Tiny is dragged into his doghouse, the rabbits howl and then disappear, causing Angie to wonder if it's her puppy howling. When Angie sees Tiny, she and her grandpa are very happy to see him again and welcome him home.
- Aaron Bybee - Tiny
- Joey Lopez - J.C.
- Christina Schaub - Rebecca
- Logan Hall - Marty
- Laura Schulties - Joanna (credited as Laura Schulthles)
- Andrew Soren - Cody
- Sarah Baker - Mimi
- Mary Sperry - Mrs. Rabbit
- Scott Wilkinson - Mr. Rabbit/Poacher 3/Weasel
- Joe Requa - Dr. Albert E. Owl
- Linda Bierman - Mrs. Magpie
- Dick Canaday - Grandpa
- Danielle Holliday - Angie
- Don A. Judd - Silly Crow (credited as Don Judd)
- Mary Parker Williams - Mrs. Bird
- Carson Boss - Mr. Bird
- Jim Wright - Groundhog
- Duane Stevens - Father Hedgehog
- Karily Baker - Whiny Hedgehog/Sniffing Mouse
- Nate Gee - Spikey 2/Squirrel 3/Tiny 2
- Justin Martin - Spikey 3/Squirrel 4
- Richard Bugg - Fox
- Mark Probert - Hawk
- Rick Macy - Stork/Poacher 1
- Aaron Watson - Alf/Poacher 2
- Aisha Mortimer - Squirrel 1
- Lance Bradshaw - Squirrel 2
- Wade Wisan - Squirrel 5
- Forrest Beker - Father Mouse
- Sydney Lowry - Mouse
- Mel Martin - Melk the Elk
- Annie Baker - Forest Animal
- Jacque Pace, Kaye Tolbert, Brooks Holm, Christy Peterson, Cindy Overstreet and Kerri Odom - Ladies Bird Group
- Constantin von Jascheroff - Bobo (Tiny)
- Jan Steilen - Theo (J.C.)
- Shalisar Haftchenari - Julchen (Rebecca)
- Matthias Ruschke - Maxie (Marty)
- Lena Krüper - Karotta (Joanna)
- Stanley Dannbrück - Puffer (Cody)
- Jana Raschke - Coco (Mimi)
- Theo Branding - Hubert (Mr. Rabbit)
- Beate Hasenau - Elster (Mrs. Rabbit)
- Renier Baaken - Opi (Grandpa)
- Katja Liebing - Angie
- Gerd Duwner, Joachim Kemmer, Claus Wilcke, Regine Albrecht, Gisela Ferber, Fabian Kärner, Michaela Kametz, Gerd Kilbinger, Jürg Löw, Lou Richter, Christian Rode, Friedrich Schoenfelder, Santiago Ziesmer, and Wolfgang Ziffer - Additional voices
- Csongor Szalay - Vacak (Tiny)
- Balázs Simonyi - Tasli (J.C.)
- Álmos Elõd - Okoska (Rebecca)
- Balàzs Szvetlov - Malé (Marty)
- Kata Nemes-Takách - Karotta (Joanna)
- Dani Halasi - Pufi (Cody)
- Zsófia Manya - Musz-Musz (Mimi)
- Iván Verebély - Nyuszipapa (Mr. Rabbit)
- Györgyi Andai - Nyuszimama (Mrs. Rabbit)
- Gyula Szabó - Bagoly (Dr. Albert E. Owl)
- Károly Kassai - Szarka (Mrs. Magpie)
- György Simon - Nagypapa (Grandpa)
- Julcsi Szönyi - Ágnes (Angie)
- Vilmos Izsóf - Hugó (Poacher 1)
- Endre Botár - Elek (Poacher 2)
- Magdolna Menszátor - Anya (Mother)
- András Stohl - Sün (Father Hedgehog)
- Tibor Kristóf - Héja (Hawk)
- Péter Barbinek - Róka (Fox)
Release and reception
As a theatrical release, The Seventh Brother began in theaters on 7 September 1995 in Germany and in on 4 April 1996 in Hungary.[Vacak 3] Feature Films for Families, one of the production companies, released it direct to video in the U.S. on 21 June 1991 in the United States, 20 April 1994, and on DVD nine years later.
The movie was followed by a 1997 sequel, Tiny Heroes (Vacak 2 - az erdő hőse).
In this sequel, a band of poachers is on the hunt for several forest animals (as informed by Dr. Owl). Unfortunately, during an attempt at rescue, Dr. Owl ends up captured. J.C. and the other young bunnies rush off to save him, but end up captured as well. Running low on options, Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit go to get Tiny's help. Tiny- who has become annoyed with his easy, boring and predictable house life -rushes off to free his adoptive siblings, break loose the other animals and send the poachers packing.
Continuing from where the original film left off, Tiny has grown up slightly and has a bit more freedom in life helping Angie's grandfather with his park ranger duties; despite this, he is still treated like a newborn puppy by Angie, his owner. Because of this, Tiny longs to be like Dr. Owl, the protector of the forest. Likewise, he also longs to see his bunny friends again.
While on a nightly patrol, Dr. Owl spies something odd- a car driving up to a run-down castle perched on a nearby mountain. Curious and concerned, Dr. Owl sneaks in for a closer look. What he finds concerns him- a wealthy man named Mr. Abbadon is hiring local poachers- the formerly noteworthy Boris E. Ratso and his dimwitted aide, Mr. Phineas Pike -to capture all of the forest animals. While Abbadon's motives aren't clear, he does stress heavily that the animals are to be unharmed and brought back alive. Worried for everyone, Dr. Owl contacts Tiny and tells him that the ranger must be informed of what has transpired. Alas, despite his best efforts, Tiny is the only one who sees the poachers as a threat (whilst Angie and her grandpa are completely hoodwinked by the poachers).
Thankfully, Angie's grandfather isn't entirely fooled and decides to keep an eye on the two; unfortunately, he can't be on duty forever, which allows the poachers to begin their work. To their frustration, Dr. Owl stops their work before it can begin, giving Ratso a case of hypothermia in the process. Later, Mr. Pike convinces Boris to catch the owl, too, thus earning them more money; alas, Dr. Owl doesn't quite fall for their tactics, but ends up captured all the same. Sending Ailsworth- a local mouse -to inform the rest of the forest as to what happened, Dr. Owl is carted away to the castle whilst the poachers recover from the past evening's failures.
Gaining the aid of Ms. Magpie, the forest gossip, Ailsworth is able to inform the forest of the incoming threat. Unfortunately, with the owl gone, morale is at a severe low. Of course, all is not lost- Ailsworth is able to convince the animals that they are all "someones in particular" and that, so long as they remember that, they can succeed. Inspired by Ailsworth, the forest animals all move ahead with separate plans to keep their families safe; the rabbits, however, decide to enact a bold plan- to sneak in the castle to save Mr. Owl. Receiving some unexpected help from the hawk that attacked J.C, the bunnies go to the castle (making sure to inform their parents via a bug messenger) under cover of darkness.
Alas, their plan goes up in smoke when a pack of weasels- the pets of Mr. Pike -surround them in the prison room where Dr. Owl is held. Learning of their children's daring plan, Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit are naturally concerned heavily. The two rush off to get the help of Tiny and the ranger, but find Tiny alone (courtesy of a trick from Mr. Ratso). With no other choice, Tiny (who receives aid from the hawk) makes off for the castle. Finding that the weasels are only loyal to Mr. Pike because of the fine meat he provides, the two heroes rain the stuff down on them (oddly, it continues long after the bag has emptied). Tiny quickly finds his adoptive family and Mr. Owl and sets them free; unfortunately, the majority of the weasels still stay loyal to the poachers and wake them just as the rabbits escape. A lengthy chase ensues, but the bunnies and Tiny are able to outwit Mr. Pike and his ravenous pets.
In the woods, Mr. Ratso is trying to catch the animals quickly, as the deadline is soon upon him. Fortunately, his attempts to capture a moose continue to blow up in his face. He comes very close to catching one when he feigns defeat, but Dr. Owl quickly arrives to aid the moose. Losing his patience, Mr. Ratso has Mr. Pike help him with one last trap- a net intended to capture all the animals in one fell swoop. Thankfully, the plan comes undone and the poachers end up caught in their own trap, arrested alongside Mr. Abbadon, who Tiny ends up saving when Ratso goes turncoat on his former employer. With the villains all rounded up, Angie's grandfather sends them off to court for their respective trials; while Ratso and Pike are incarcerated, Mr. Abbadon gets out relatively unscathed, perhaps suggesting a lighter side to him. The film concludes with a massive party back at Tiny's home with all the forest animals present and happily gorging themselves on food.
- "Bobo und die Hasenbande" (in German). Einhorn-Film. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- "Box-office data for Bobo und die Hasenbande". ProCinema.ch. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- "Bobo und die Hasenbande". Europa Cinemas. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- "Bobo und die Hasenbande, The Seven Little Brothers". European Children's Film Association. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- Dizseri, Eszter (1999). Kockárol kockára: a magyar animáció krónikája 1948-1998 (in Hungarian). Balassi Kiadó. p. 107.