Many superheroes are usually vigilantes with a cause, or accident victims that acquired superpowers. Very few are chosen based on a legacy like the hero in The Adventures of the American Rabbit.
In a world where everyone is a talking animal, there’s a legacy about a chosen hero of justice. This chosen hero is Rob the rabbit. He’s a smart young man that’s great at sports and plays piano like a pro. Not many rabbits can do that, which shows that Rob has a lot of potential in more ways than one.
As the American Rabbit, Rob can fly, life heavy objects, and run fast with the roller-skate wheels attached to his feet. The transformation is simple. Rob turns into the American Rabbit by sprinting a short distance and turns back by saying his own name. I wonder what Captain America or Wonder Woman would say about this patriotic superhero.
The wise old rabbit that tells Rob about his destiny is only known as Mentor, though it would’ve been nice to know his real name. He pops in and out throughout Rob’s childhood and occasionally provides counsel when necessary while in a different guise.
Rob’s journey begins in San Francisco, where he finds a job as a piano player at a nightclub called the Panda Monium. It’s a catchy name since a panda named Teddy owns it. Rob becomes a fast friend with Teddy and the other employees. I like that they are such a friendly bunch.
The villains in this film are a gang of jackals that run a Mafia-style protection service. When Teddy refuses to pay, the jackals destroy his nightclub. Knowing that the jackals won’t stop there, Teddy and co-owner Bunny O’Hare organize a rally and eventually take their house band the White Brothers on a cross- country tour in order to raise money to rebuild the nightclub.
The jackals’ leader is Vultor. This guy is a man of mystery. His face is completely hidden under his shirt and tie and he walks awkwardly, which leaves the impression that he’s not entirely what he appears to be. Vultor will do anything to keep the people from rebelling against him, even trying to kill Rob and his friends at every city on the tour.
Another one of Rob’s friends who travels with the group is Ping-Pong the gorilla. He’s the hired muscle, but is very friendly and soft-spoken just like Teddy. It’s also interesting to know that Lorenzo Music voices Ping-Pong. Unlike some of his other characters like Garfield and Tummi Gummi from The Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Ping-Pong doesn’t crave food so frequently. Somehow it just seems out of character for that distinctive voice.
This was a good animated movie. It had great 80s style superhero action and the potential for a TV series. Unfortunately, that never happened which is a real shame. I could only imagine what other adventures the American Rabbit would’ve had.