The title card for the Playhouse Disney series "Bunnytown".
|Created by||David Rudman
|Directed by||David Rudman|
|Country of origin||Great Britain,
|Executive producer(s)||David Rudman
|Producer(s)||Martin G. Baker
|Original network||Disney Channel|
|Original release||November 3, 2007
November 10, 2007
January 13, 2008
January 27, 2008
March 21, 2008
April 7, 2008
Bunnytown is a children's television program that airs on Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney block in the United States and Great Britain, as well as more than seventy other countries. It is Disney's first large-scale international production.
The program, created by David Rudman, his brother Adam and Todd Hannert, under their Spiffy Pictures banner, began airing in Great Britain on November 3 2007, and in the USA a week later. It is produced by Martin G. Baker and Pete Coogan, who both previously worked for Jim Henson Productions. Canadian viewers got a premiere of this program on January 13th, 2008 on the Playhouse Disney channel sublet of pay-broadcaster Family. In France, the series began on January 27th, 2008, and kept its original title Bunnytown. The show is produced at Elstree Film Studios in London, England with many of the outdoor segments done at Clarence Park and Verulamium Park in nearby St Albans.
Characters and locations
The animated bunny characters are mostly archetypes found in masterpieces. Among others are the King and his court, pirate bunnies, Superbunny and his archnemesis Little Bad Bunny, Spacebunny Suzi who rides a rocket-powered scooter, two "cave bunnies" and their pet dinosaur, Inventor Bunny (an Einstein-like bunny), and Farmer Gramps. Other original bunnies include Underwear Bunny and Norbert.
Most of the action takes place in Bunnytown itself, but other locations include the King's castle, the high seas, outer space, and a prehistoric landscape complete with volcano.
Each episode features between ten and twelve segments as follows:
- A running gag, played out in four parts.
- One example has bunnies getting ready to race, but instead disco dancing in the first part, sleeping in the second part, followed by flying in the third part, and finally racing in the last part; with the payoff that instead of a finishing tape, the bunnies run into a rubber band, and they rebound to the starting point.
- A song.
- A journey to Peopletown to watch Red and Fred.
- Another skit or song.
- The Bunnytown Hop, done by a rock-and-roll band inspired by mega-groups such as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Sly and the Family Stone.
- Another journey to Peopletown to watch Super Silly Sports, hosted by Pinky Pinkerton.
- This is a spoof of sports contests and their telecasters. One example is a staring contest between an 11-year-old boy and an Idaho potato.
- Another skit, followed by a song.
- Following the payoff of the running gag, all the rabbits gather to sing the closing song, It's a Bunnytown Life.
Puppets and sets
The bunny puppets are rod puppets similar to Jim Henson's Muppets. Many leading crew members have experience with Henson's characters. They are made from foam rubber and covered in fake fur, with wire supports in their ears. They can take up to eight puppeteers to operate. Their mouths are moved by a trigger at the bottom, and invisible marionette strings work from above on other parts, such as hands and feet.
The visual design of the bunnies is a simple "bunny with an overbite". They have one tooth, or two in some cases, and a large, round, blue nose.
The puppets do not interact with humans directly, so the scale can be smaller than other puppet shows which do, such as The Muppet Show. This smaller scale allows the sets to become quite elaborate, on a par with stop-frame animation sets.