Short Stories: Bunny

With Easter on the way and bunnies and rabbits on the brain, for this weeks short I would like to re-introduce a short film that is child appropriate and has depth at the same time.

Bunny, Blue Sky Studios, Ice Age DVD extra, Oscar winner 1998, death
Bunny, a computer animated short created by Blue Sky Studios (makers of Ice Age) happens to be very poetic for the studio’s first acknowledgement to the film industry that won them an Academy Award in 1998. The story of Bunny, is about and elderly rabbit trying to have a quiet evening in while making carrot cake. Her evening is interrupted by a noisy, clumsy moth who fancies the overhead kitchen light. In an almost Tex Avery like way, Bunny and the moth duke it out for a while until the moth reached a dark fate. The moth falls into the cake batter, Bunny churns it up and bakes it. Once all is quiet again, Bunny falls asleep in a chair and is startled awake when the oven opens and starts to emit a strange white light. When she sticks her head in the oven she is greeted by the moth who beckons her to come to the light where in the end we watch her spout wings and fly to the light.

Bunny, Blue Sky Studios, Ice Age DVD extra, Oscar winner 1998, death

Bothered by the clumsy moth flying around the overhead light

The textures of the animation are a bit course when it comes to the main character, but I think it was to give depth of a rabbit that like a life of hardship. The setting was very dark in giving a feeling of loneliness and to help the viewer focus on the character and what was happening. The music is subtle through out, and has a “blissful” feeling toward the end. But I did find the ending vocal song during the credits too jarring for the peaceful ending.

Bunny, Blue Sky Studios, Ice Age DVD extra, Oscar winner 1998, death, the dying experience

Most of the story takes place in a small, dark kitchen.

My over thinking self saw a fair amount of metaphors both good and bad. Bad first; as a short film about death as an egg timer to foreshadow something happening in the oven. I could help but see that the rabbit committed suicide by putting her head in the oven, justified by seeing the light at the end (hearing that elderly suicides are sometimes chosen over living alone) but chances are more likely that Bunny passed away in the chair when she starts to slump after putting the cake in the oven. Although I saw the moth as a symbolic metaphor for the rabbit’s late husband with is somewhat hinted at in the last few frames. Bunny’s anger is probably the most mysterious. I imagine the anger is connected to the death of her husband, or a feeling of betrayal for dying first. Whatever it may have stemmed from, when she releases that anger she was set free.

Bunny, Blue Sky Studios, Ice Age DVD extra, Oscar winner 1998, death, the dying experience

Light from the oven.

When this film first came out in 1998, I remember it made some waves for touching the topic of death. When researching the name of this film, I found another blog that suggested showing Bunny to your children/class/ elderly to address the question of the experience of death and the after-life. Despite the age of this film and the graphic being a bit dated, I would highly recommend it for a viewer of any age today. I have great respect for this film to cover such a difficult topic without showing a commonly depicted afterlife/ heaven.

Bunny, Blue Sky Studios, Ice Age DVD extra, Oscar winner 1998, death, the dying experience

Floating in a starry space in the oven.

If you haven’t seen the film yet, click here to watch on Dailymotion!