- “This is Rabbit's garden and Rabbit does his harvesting by the BOOK!”
Rabbit is a fussy and compulsive anthropomorphic rabbit who first appeared in Disney's 1966 animated short, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. Rabbit lives in the Hundred Acre Wood, and—despite his frustration with the residents' antics—is a cherished member in Winnie the Pooh's circle of friends.
Rabbit lives in a large tree in the Hundred Acre Wood, surrounded by an expansive vegetable garden. When not adventuring with Pooh and the others, Rabbit mainly spends his time either tending to his crops, or indulging in some of his other hobbies like reading and cleaning. He is also a harvester of honey, which often leads to unwanted visits from a hungry Pooh Bear.
Rabbit is unique in that he is traditionally portrayed as a real animal, rather than a stuffed toy like Pooh, Piglet, or Tigger. As such, he lacks stitches and has noticeable, animalistic features such as fur and whiskers. His movements are also more realistic, in contrast to the stiff movement of Pooh—a character stuffed with fluff. Despite this, he has occasionally been referred to as a toy belonging to Christopher Robin in some Winnie the Pooh media, the most notable of which being "How Much is That Rabbit in the Window".
Despite being one of the more mature characters in the Hundred Acre Wood, Rabbit is extremely accident-prone, and he is regularly met with the misfortune to some degree. The most frequent example of this comes in the form of Tigger, who is perhaps Rabbit's most frequent nuisance—mainly due to Tigger's habit of pouncing Rabbit at unsuspectedly.
Rabbit is arguably the most complex character in the Winnie the Pooh films. At his core, Rabbit is good-hearted and well-meaning. He enjoys the "finer things in life", such as gardening, tea time, and ice-skating in the winter. Contrary, Rabbit has numerous shortcomings as well—he is controlling and precise, with firm opinions and a strict way of going about his business.
Being one of the smarter and sensible residents of the Hundred Acre Wood, Rabbit is mostly intolerable of the other characters' quirks, such as Pooh's obsession with honey and Tigger's affinity for bouncing. This is, however, mainly due to the fact that these habits often result in Rabbit's misfortune. For example, when Pooh runs out of honey, he sometimes visits Rabbit for a "small helping" and eats the latter out of house and home. In the case of Tigger, he enjoys pouncing Rabbit when he least expects it, which oftentimes causes unintentional damage to Rabbit's prized garden; despite being all in good fun, Rabbit is usually given the shorter end of the stick when it comes to the antics of his friends.
Though Rabbit has felt neglected by his friends at times, in truth, the Hundred Acre Wood gang think highly of him; when trouble occurs, Rabbit is often the appointed leader, mainly due to his intelligence and craftiness. This has inflated Rabbit's ego to some degree, but at the same time, it's left him feeling burdened with responsibility. When he is unable to assist his friends, Rabbit becomes overwhelmed with guilt. He also becomes incredibly frustrated when his friends do not take dangerous situations seriously (such as when they neglected winter preparation in The Tigger Movie). This ties into Rabbit's most positive trait—he is extremely loyal, and even paternal, towards his friends. Protective and cautious, Rabbit looks out for the wellbeing of each member of the Hundred Acre Wood and has risked his own life numerous times for their safety. This is most prominently displayed in Pooh's Grand Adventure and The Tigger Movie. In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Rabbit came to adopt a bird named Kessie, whom Rabbit raised and loved as his own daughter, despite how troublesome she was as a fledgling.
Rabbit first appears in Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. Pooh invites himself over for lunch after he fails to get honey from a honey tree. Rabbit's horrified reaction implies that this happens often, but though Rabbit pretends he isn't home, Pooh comes in the back door. Resignedly, Rabbit offers his honey to Pooh, which results in Pooh eating so much that he becomes stuck in Rabbit's front door. After getting Christopher Robin's assistance, they realize that the only solution is to wait for Pooh to get thin again so that he can be removed. Rabbit attempts to make the most of it, by decorating Pooh's lower half. Later, he stops Gopher from giving Pooh honey, as he worries it would delay Pooh's removal. When Pooh budges one day, he excitedly tells Christopher Robin. During the tug of war, Rabbit tries to push Pooh out and is removed from the doorway, much to Rabbit's relief.
In Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, Rabbit is seen harvesting his garden. Though he is initially worried when Pooh is dragged, though, he changes his attitude when he realizes that Pooh has essentially harvested all his carrots for him and wonders if he can do the same to his rutabaga patch. That night, he is forced to go to Christopher Robin's home as a result of the flood. During Pooh's hero party, Eeyore announces that he has found a new home for Owl. But everybody, unfortunately, learns that the one Eeyore found is Piglet's house. When Piglet decides to reluctantly give his home to Owl, Rabbit immediately asks Piglet where he will live, to which a touched Pooh offers to let Piglet live with him. Afterward, Rabbit and the gang celebrate both Pooh’s and Piglet's good deeds that day.
In the third segment, Rabbit has grown annoyed by Tigger's constant bouncing, especially after he ruins his garden. He holds a meeting consisting of himself, Pooh and Piglet. His intent is to take the vain feline into the mists and lose him there, which would supposedly humble Tigger. However, the plan fails. Rabbit himself gets hopelessly lost, and Tigger retrieves him, announcing happily that Tigger's never get lost. Later on, when Tigger is stuck in a tree, Rabbit forces a promise that Tigger would never bounce again. He quickly comes to regret it, after everyone expresses their love of the old bouncy Tigger. He allows Tigger to bounce again, which Tigger does joyfully. Tigger later encourages Rabbit to bounce, insisting that Rabbit has the feet for it. Rabbit surprisingly enjoys it himself and tells the others to join them.
Rabbit is first seen playing Poohsticks with Pooh, Piglet, and Roo. They all see Eeyore floating in the river below. After a somewhat successful attempt to get him to shore, Eeyore tells them that he was bounced in by Tigger. When Tigger arrives on the scene, Rabbit immediately accuses him of bouncing Eeyore, to which Tigger claims that his bounce was actually a cough. With some outside help from narrator Laurie Main, the animals find out that Tigger had indeed deliberately bounced Eeyore. Rabbit appears again during Eeyore's birthday party, which Tigger attends. This angers Rabbit, who opines that Tigger should leave because of the way he treated Eeyore before. Christopher Robin's solution is for everyone to go to the bridge and play Poohsticks.
In Pooh's Grand Adventure, Pooh comes across a mysterious message but cannot read the inscription. He consults Rabbit for help, but all the honey distorts the message. Rabbit, being too embarrassed to admit he cannot read it himself, joins Pooh and the others in visiting Owl, who comes to the conclusion that Christopher Robin has gone missing. After creating a map to an ominous location known as Skull, a rescue mission team is rallied together, consisting of Rabbit, Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. Rabbit leads the group with the map at hand. At one point, Pooh believes to have found the route to Skull, but as it contradicts the map, Rabbit demands that they go the opposite direction. The group ends up getting lost as a result. Rabbit tries to cover this up for hours, but eventually suffers a breakdown. Though Pooh tries to comfort a Rabbit, things look bleak. They find shelter in a save, though Rabbit is unable to sleep. He soon finds Pooh outside the cave lamenting the loss of Christopher. Rabbit looks on sympathetically, and covers Pooh with the map as a blanket after the latter falls asleep outside.
The next morning, Piglet discovers that the cave they had been sleeping in was actually Skull. The friends fearfully venture inside to find Christopher Robin, though they are separated by Pooh along the way. Rabbit, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore eventually find the Eye of Skull, where Christopher Robin is supposedly being held. In honor of Pooh, the remaining friends rally together to reach the Eye. Rabbit proves his intelligence by devising a plan to accomplish this, which they successfully do with additional help from Piglet's bravery and Tigger's strength. At the Eye, they find Christopher Robin alive and well, who explains he had only been away at school for the day. Rabbit angrily berates Owl for the misunderstanding. Christopher Robin is also able to recover Pooh, and with all well again, the friends return home.
Rabbit is first seen attempting to use a pulley system to remove a rock from Eeyore's home. However, the machine is ruined by Tigger. Rabbit's temper reaches his peak and wonders why all Tigger cares about is bouncing. This saddens Tigger and he leaves and it shows Rabbit could care less.
From this point, Rabbit is absent through most of the second half of the story, busy preparing for the oncoming winter as opposed to entertaining Tigger's longing for a family. When he realizes the others are doing just that, he scolds them, bashing their attempts and neglect towards the raging blizzard upon them before returning home for his own preparations.
After Tigger runs away, however, Rabbit is convinced to lead the expedition to find him. He refuses at first but relents after seeing his saddened friends. When they find Tigger, Rabbit tells him to forget about his family tree, accidentally offending Tigger, who screams "No!" and scolds Rabbit for his early treatment towards him, which causes a large and dangerous avalanche. Rabbit is the last to be saved by Tigger but survives the storm along with all the others. Rabbit later becomes a part of Tigger's true family. At the end of the film, Tigger promises Rabbit that he would watch where he is bouncing in the future, which Rabbit accepts gratefully.
Rabbit appears working on a plan to extract honey from a hive. His job is to "soothe" the bees by playing music on his violin. Piglet is able to carry out the task, but no one realizes what he has done. Later on, when Piglet goes missing, Rabbit is the first to notice and takes part in a search party to find him, using Piglet's scrapbook as an aid.
On the way to Kanga's house, they reminisce about when Kanga and Roo first arrived in the Hundred Acre Wood. Everyone was afraid of the newcomers and Rabbit devised a plan to use Piglet as a decoy so they could kidnap Roo. Eventually, Rabbit had become good friends with Roo and everyone agreed that they should both stay.
Back in the present, Rabbit gets into an argument with Tigger, causing them to lose the sketchbook to the river. He and the others proceed to make a new one, detailing Piglet's adventures. The new book gives Rabbit and the friends a warm feeling centering Piglet which encourages them to return to the woods to find him.
The scrapbook is seen over a waterfall and while, Pooh attempts to retrieve it, Rabbit, being the most worried, begins to panic. Eventually, Piglet rescues Pooh and the friends return home. During a party, the most carefree side of Rabbit is exposed even laughing at his own misfortune when cupcakes splat in his eyes.
In the film, Rabbit's role is akin to that of the character Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol. Roo is shown to be puzzled when Rabbit seems to prefer to work and clean for Spring rather than enjoy Easter. Rabbit even goes as far as to ban the holiday. Eventually, both the Narrator and Tigger take Rabbit out of the story in an attempt to remind him how much he had loved the holiday.
In the flashback, which takes place the prior year, Rabbit is shown to be in charge of Easter celebrations, being the Easter bunny. However, he attempted to make Easter orderly and organized rather than fun and enjoyable, treating it more like a business than a holiday. Tigger would later steal the Easter Eggs and hide them himself. Rabbit would be deeply hurt when he realized that the group was enjoying Easter without him. Upon seeing this, Rabbit agrees that he used to enjoy Easter, but refuses to renew the holiday, due to continued hurts as to Tigger's usurpation of the Easter Bunny role.
Rabbit returns home, however, the narrator intervenes again, taking Rabbit to Roo's home to show him how his friends care for him. Rabbit again refuses, so that night, the narrator takes Rabbit to the future. Everything is neat and organized, but Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Roo, Kanga, and Eeyore have long since left the Hundred Acre Wood. Christopher Robin, Owl, and Gopher have also left as well (although it is unknown if that is true, seeing how neither of them appears in the movie), making Rabbit the last person in the Hundred Acre Wood.
Rabbit comes to realize the error of his ways; he had been focusing on himself rather than his friends and was wrong to try to control an event everyone enjoyed and because of that, they left him alone and miserable. Rabbit tries to renew Easter but realizes that his friends took the decorations when they moved.
However, Rabbit awakens at his home and realizes that it is Easter morning. Rabbit finds the Easter supplies and happily plans an enjoyable Easter for his friends. The Easter celebration is shown to proceed as planned.
Rabbit is awakened by his friends who claim to hear a terrifying noise. Rabbit is the first to know there is a creature in their forest, a Heffalump. He proceeds to organize an expedition to go try to catch it. Roo wants to come along, but Rabbit tells him he is too young and small to go. During the expedition, Rabbit is just as terrified but tries to keep cool in front of his friends.
When the gang returns home to find Rabbit's garden a mess, they conclude that the heffalump has invaded. When Lumpy and Roo are discovered, Rabbit thinks that Lumpy has captured Roo. He and the others chase Lumpy through the heffalump traps they set up earlier in the film. Lumpy evades the traps, but Roo gets caught in the last one as Lumpy escapes into the woods. Roo frees himself from the trap and runs to free Lumpy stuck in a giant cage.
Then Rabbit and the gang come running around the corner, still thinking that Lumpy has captured Roo, and lasso Lumpy. Roo yells at them to stop and explains that Heffalumps aren't scary or mean. While Roo is explaining this, Lumpy stumbles and accidentally knocks Roo into a pile of giant, heavy logs.
Lumpy and Roo's other friends try to rescue Roo, but the logs are too heavy. Lumpy gets an idea and calls to his mother. Lumpy's mother comes and tosses the logs aside, freeing Roo. Everyone realizes that the "monster" they were all afraid of was just a mother looking for her baby. Rabbit then apologizes to Lumpy for his prejudice and the way treated him, to which Lumpy forgives him, jokingly calling him by Tigger's given nickname ("Long Ears").
Rabbit joins his friends in a Halloween night and the decides to organize the year's Halloween by pairing the friends up and limiting their candy. Soon enough, Rabbit is the only friend to oppose Tigger's ghost story being that it frightens Lumpy who has never experienced Halloween before. When Pooh eats Rabbit's entire stock of candy for trick-or-treating, Roo and Lumpy set out to capture the Gobloon to wish for more candy.
While the gang waits, Rabbit, dressed as a scarecrow, offers to use vegetables as a substitute. Later, Roo separated from Lumpy, arrives and recruits the gang to help him capture the Gobloon and save Lumpy. They arrive at the trap and, hearing Lumpy trying to break out of the trap, assume the Gobloon was trapped already. The group is unsure what to wish for, but Roo wishes to have his friend back. Hearing Roo's voice, Lumpy is inspired to finally break his way out of the trap, much to the joy of his friends. The group finally goes trick-or-treating, throws a Halloween party for the friends, complete with Jack-o-lanterns carved in everyone's likeness.
Rabbit returns in the new traditionally animated Pooh film. Rabbit is voiced by Tom Kenny and animated by Eric Goldberg. To further the film's comedy, Rabbit was given a more delicate temper that is far easier to set off.
While Rabbit is picking carrots out of his garden, Pooh stops by and leaves an excessive amount of signs informing Rabbit of a very important meeting that is to take place. Rabbit and the others attend and become excited to hear that a contest is to be held for the recovery, or replacement, of Eeyore's lost tail. Later at Owl's house, Rabbit was seen rewarding Owl the honey pot prize as Pooh walks in to show everyone a message left by Christopher Robin. Owl reads that Christopher has been kidnapped by a creature called the Backson. Rabbit and the others then go on a search for the monster to save Christopher.
Rabbit acts as the ringleader of the expedition, telling everyone where to plant bait and traps for the Backson's planned incarceration. Pooh, however, falls for the honey trap and falls into a deep pit. Rabbit plans on using the chain on Eeyore's anchor tail to pull Pooh out. Instead, the anchor pulls the rest of the group in. Piglet is the only member left above, and Rabbit attempts to guide Piglet in a rescue mission. As Piglet's cowardliness gets the better of him, Rabbit begins to lose his temper more and more.
After Piglet and Tigger get trapped as well, Rabbit loses all hope. Pooh then notices a honeypot at the top of the pit and creates a latter using the text from to the book to reach it. Rabbit then becomes hysterically ecstatic when he realizes the opportunity to escape. Once they're freed, Christopher Robin arrives with the gang's "friend" balloon. Rabbit then awards the honeypot to balloon. In the end, Pooh recovers Eeyore's real tail and receives a massive jar of honey from Rabbit and the others. as gratitude for the recovery.
Rabbit appears in the live-action film. As usual, he, alongside Owl, remains a living creature instead of a toy, his design resembles both the traditional Disney iteration (with the big head and skinny barrel) and E.H. Shepard's (with the brown fur as opposed to the traditional yellow and looking more like a real rabbit).
In Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons, Pooh is given a calendar by Christopher Robin as a way to keep track of the seasons. Unfortunately, Pooh doesn't know what the seasons are, prompting Rabbit to teach Pooh about different seasons and weather conditions, with help from Owl.
In this TV series, Rabbit is portrayed by a live actor in a puppet suit and voiced by Will Ryan. Besides being a gardener, he is portrayed as a talented magician. His brother, Robert Rabbit, comes to visit twice.
Rabbit is portrayed similarly to his earlier film appearances and has greener fur than in the films (this must be due to a coloring error). He is often faced with fighting threats to his garden, which include crows, bugs, and Gopher's destructive plans. He is sometimes presented in an antagonistic role, though he usually repents. Though normally he is portrayed as a living animal, the episode "How Much is that Rabbit in the Window?", presents him as a toy. The episode has an unappreciated Rabbit run away from home not feeling special by thinking that the others were taking advantage of him, only to be picked up by the owner of a store, who puts him up for sale.
Two episodes depict Rabbit's softer side. In "Find Her, Keep Her", Rabbit rescues a baby blue bird named Kessie, and raises her. He is shown to be overprotective of her, even forbidding her from flying, though in the end, he reluctantly allows her to migrate South for the winter. Kessie returns in "A Bird in the Hand", and Rabbit still treats her as a child, despite her being grown up. After a run in with heffalumps and woozles, however, he comes to realize that though she is grown up he can still be Kessie's good friend.
In the episode "Party Poohper", Rabbit is shown to have over 500 baby bunny relatives who he tried to throw a party for but continued to suffer numerous problems due to his hectic schedule.
Rabbit is a major character in the series and has a role similar to The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Like the previous series, Rabbit is a master gardener and is often seen trying to find new ways to avoid the annoyance of Tigger.
In the computer-animated series, Rabbit is a supporting character and much like prior appearances, his garden is usually on the verge of destruction in some way. Here, Pooh, Tigger, and their new friend Darby go around the Hundred Acre Woods, solving various problems. Rabbits, typically, serves as one of the denizens that provides the sleuths with problems and mysteries to solve. Outside of this, however, Rabbit was also one a substitute member of the Super Sleuths team, whenever the originals were unavailable.
He played a major role in Tigger & Pooh and a Musical Too, where Rabbit and Tigger get into an argument that divides the Hundred Acre Woods, and they each declare themselves mayor of the respective sides that agree with them.
Rabbit made several cameos in House of Mouse with Winnie the Pooh and friends. In Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, He is seen at the end with Pooh, Tigger, Christopher Robin and all their friends singing "The Best Christmas of All".
Rabbit plays a supporting role in this game, appearing in cutscenes and assisting Tigger in collecting honey pots for a special occasion in Pooh's honor. He also hosts the mini-game "Rabbit Says", a version of Simon Says.
Rabbit is a friend in the Hundred Acre Wood that facilitates many mini-games throughout the series. In the original game, echoing the events of Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Pooh is rendered trapped within Rabbit's back door, though Sora (the protagonist of the game) and the others help free him.
In Birth by Sleep, he is briefly shown running away from a large pumpkin rolling down a hill. In Kingdom Hearts, he attempts to pretend to not be home as he didn't want to share his honey with Pooh. Tigger bounces on his garden, initiating a mini-game where Sora has to stop him.
A recreation of him appears in Chain of Memories, forged from Sora's memories.
In Kingdom Hearts II, he reappears in a few more mini-games. As the story goes, Pooh has lost his memories as a result of the recklessness of the Heartless. To help him recover, Rabbit uses his impressive stash of honey, hoping Pooh's love for the treat will help spark the memories they've shared. Though it seemed futile at first, the plan works.
In the Disney theme parks, Rabbit is a rare walkaround character and is typically seen exclusively on special occasions.
During the Christmas season, Rabbit appears in alongside Kanga in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, wearing a winter scarf.
In the former attraction, Mickey Mouse Revue, Rabbit was one of the characters that played as part of Mickey's band, playing a slide whistle.
He also appeared, daily, in the Happiness is Here Parade, leading the "Dream" unit, riding a Woozle.
- Although Rabbit's official color is yellow, in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, his fur is green. This might be due to coloring errors, though.
- He is one of the few Hundred Acre Wood characters to have fingers, probably because of him being one of the few animal characters to be portrayed as a real animal as opposed to a toy one, and thus have much more organic appearance and movements compared to some of the toy characters.
- Rabbit is sometimes named the smartest resident in the Hundred Acre Wood, but the title also goes to Owl at times.
- In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Three Little Piglets", Rabbit is the Big Bad Bunny, and he is wearing a suit that looks like a bunny version of the Big Bad Wolf.
- Rabbit is the first, and so far the only, recurring Disney character voice role for Tom Kenny.
- Out of all Christopher Robin's friends Rabbit, Owl, and Gopher are the only ones that look like real animals rather than stuffed. The others, of course, look stuffed.
- This is because Rabbit and Owl are not based on any of the real-life Christopher Robin Milne's stuffed animals, but are created by A.A. Milne, and that Gopher is not even a character in the book but one created by Disney.