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Crusader Rabbit

1 9 4 9 – 1 9 5 7 (USA) 

Crusader Rabbit was one of Jay Ward’s creations and closely resembled Rocky and Bullwinkle.

The stars were the titular Rabbit and his sidekick Rags the Tiger. Our hero battled arch-bad guys Dudley Nightshade, Whetstone Whiplash and Achilles the Heel in the mode of a modern-day Don Quixote.

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With a budget of just $2,500 per episode (about as cheap as you could get in the labour-intensive world of animation), Crusader Rabbit rode out, originally sponsored by Carnation Evaporated Milk, from 1949 to 1957 and was oft-repeated in the 60s and early 70s.

Equipped with an army surplus Kodak film camera and several veteran draughtsmen, Television Arts Productions left no corner uncut. Single poses lasted on screen for anything from one to fifteen seconds, and loops of motion were reused with shameless regularity. Verbal gags did most of the work, but mouth movements were minimal (in the pilot, a fast-talking radio announcer blatantly hides his behind a sheet of paper).

crusaderrabbit4Crusader Rabbit 
Lucille Bliss (1)
Ge Ge Pearson (2)
Ragland T. (Rags) Tiger 

Vern Louden
Dudley Nightshade 

Russ Coughlan
Narrator 

Roy Whaley