Crusader Rabbit vs the Pirates

Before the great Rocky & Bullwinkle, creator Jay Ward started his TV career with the long-forgotten show, Crusader Rabbit, which also happens to be the first animated series in TV history. It’s crude and rough, often seeming more like a narrated storyboard than a cartoon, but it’s charming and clever, enough to keep the attention of both 3 and 33 year olds alike.

Crusader Rabbit created a blueprint for animated TV shows that’s been copied time and time again, though apart from Rocky & Bullwinkle, no one really picked up on the hip, self-aware, self-referential jokes until decades later. The big takeaway from Crusader Rabbit is that writing is everything, and a clever script can overcome the limitations of a tiny budget and the extremely limited animation it allows. It’s super fun, and a welcome contrast to the hyperactive, 1000 mile-a-minute pacing of most kid stuff today that trades in good storytelling for loudness and flash. Force this one on your kids, ignore their initial protests, and watch as they get sucked into the episodic adventure, asking for the next installment with glee.

Crusader Rabbit vs the Pirates is just one of the storylines within the entire show’s run, but this one lasts 20 episodes, each one 4 minutes long, giving you a feature film length’s entertainment if you watch them in one sitting. It’s like binging a Netflix show from 1950!

6 thoughts on “Crusader Rabbit vs the Pirates

  1. If Rocky And Bullwinkle can wit their way through low-bid animation…
    then bring on Crusader Rabbit! You’ve been right about every show I’ve seen here.
    Besides, Jay Ward could use the publicity!!!
    Thank you, in advance!!!


  2. Was there really a Cat In The Hat?
    Did Crusader Rabbit get swashbuckled by the Jolly Roger?
    Yo Ho Ho on a deadman’s chest…
    Or, did somebody forget to pay their SAG dues?
    Shiver me timbers and stuff!
    Was this a really short movie?
    Or a long preamble…
    ANXIOUSLY waiting for Jay Ward’s breakthrough venture
    before Bullwinkle ever pulled a rabbit out of a hat,
    LET’s mutiny!!!
    Kwai Chang


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