Popular children’s books often get modernized with film adaptations, but television shows are a little less common.
If you were a kid in the 90s then you might remember seeing Bunnicula stories at the book fair. Now the little vampire rabbit is gearing up for his own TV show on Cartoon Network thanks to WB Animation.
As the press release explains, the show will be “Based on Deborah and James Howe’s 1979 novel of the same name…the series tells the story of Bunnicula, a vampire rabbit who victimizes vegetables. Bunnicula makes lots of mischief, and said mischief often attracts other supernatural creatures. When this happens, it falls to Bunnicula and his friends Harold (a sweet-natured but not-too-bright mutt) and Chester (a smart but extremely nervous cat) to protect their owner, Mina.”
In the book, Bunnicula isn’t actually a vampire… its just that all the other animals perceive him to be one.
In the new cartoon, however, he clearly has supernatural powers and is a member of the undead, as one source explains:
“He’s weakened by sunlight, he can fly by transforming his ears into batwings, he can turn into mist, has no reflection in a mirror, all the typical vampire stuff. He can remove his own head and other various limbs. Instead of drinking blood he drains vegetables of their juice. Unlike the book, different vegetables give him different abilities. Again, these were added to give the show a more supernatural/spooky tone. It takes place in New Orleans, which is a perfect location for a series like Bunnicula.”
In addition, most episodes will feature Bunnicula saving his friends from other monster-animal hybrids, which is a recurring theme in the books, but is also meant to be imaginary.
Considering WB’s bread and butter is milking Scooby-Doo spin-offs you’d think they’d be alright with keeping the monsters imaginary, but I digress.
The show, surprisingly, will be made up of an all-star cast. SNL alumni Chris Kattan, who plays Frankie’s friend Bob on The Middle, voices Bunnicula. And by voices we mean “makes unintelligible sounds.”
Sean Astin, Patty Duke’s son, is the voice of Chester the cat, who really wants to kill Bunnicula… because it’s clearly a matter of time before he kills everyone else. Maxwell Atoms, creator of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, is set to produce and write the show.
This is also not the first time Bunnicula has had a cartoon adaptation. ABC produced an animated telefilm in 1982, as seen below. As with the new cartoon, Bunnicula is once again portrayed as an actual vampire, and not just a rabbit in the wrong place and the wrong time.
To anyone who doesn’t get the joke, the Latin word for rabbit is cunniculus. Combine it with “bunny,” and you get, “Bunniculus.” Replace the last two letters with an “a,” for no actual reason, and you get “Bunnicula.”