Crusader Rabbit was an animated TV series that ran for three seasons from 1950 to 1957. It was the first-ever animated series on television and has inspired multiple successors, including “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.”
Crusader Rabbit tells the comical adventures of the ingenious Crusader and his companion, Rags T. Tiger (Rags).
The first episode of Crusader Rabbits was aired on KNBH, which is now KNBS. It is a television station that NBC now owns.
The show’s opening features a galloping horse with a rabbit knight mounted on its back. Crusader is a series composed of short satire episodes that end with a strong element of suspense.
It leaves the viewers anxious about what’s going to happen next. The popularity of cartoon crusader has created an impulse on other animators to produce similar materials for television.
Crusader Rabbit Beginning
Alexander Anderson Jr. created the animated television series Crusader Rabbit. He was the nephew of Paul Houlton Terry, an American cartoonist, screenwriter, film director, and producer.
Paul Terry was the founder of Terrytoons, an animation studio that has produced animations for theaters since 1929. Alex Anderson worked as an animator for Terrytoons Studio, where he developed the revered character Crusader Rabbit.
The idea of an animation series specially made for television was not popular back then. Later, he collaborated with his childhood friend Joseph Ward Cohen Jr., and they formed an animation studio together that gave birth to the animation series.
Anderson has originally drawn the series in black and white at his garage studio in California.
Crusader Rabbit Concept
Anderson developed the concept when he was working as a cartoonist in his uncle’s studio. He was tasked to draw a donkey named “Donkey Hote” but animated a simpler character instead.
It was then that a crusading knight in the form of a rabbit was born. Rabbit is a character inspired by Don Quixote of La Mancha. It was from a novel written by Miguel de Cervantes and one of the greatest literary works.
Like the gentleman from La Mancha, Crusader Rabbit was also an ingenious character who filled his life with comical adventures. The main character was originally voiced by Lucille Bliss but was later replaced by Ge Ge Pearson in the succeeding series.
His companion Ragland T. Tiger, better known as Rags, was inspired by Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s sidekick. Rags was voiced by the actor Vern Louden. The rivals of Crusader Rabbits in the series include Dudley Nightshade, Whetstone Whiplash, and Bilious Green.
Crusader Rabbit’s Legacy
The rabbit cartoon show legacy has lived on in the numerous television animations that continue to amuse the children of the present generation.
It brought animation into the homes and within reach of the innocent generation who were in dire need of imagination.
Crusader creators pursued their passion and have created other series, such as “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,” that have later inspired the next generation of animated series for television.