Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Early Crusader Rabbit

Crusader Rabbit didn’t appear on television until July 15, 1950, but newspaper readers got a sneak peak at him a year earlier.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a picture article on him in its issue of April 3, 1949.

What’s interesting about these drawings is while the design looks like the TV Crusader, the story in the panels is entirely different. Crusader seems to be on a crusade to keep kids safe.

There’s no Rags Tiger or any bad guys, and no adventure.

The text accompanying the drawings:
A NEW cartoon character has been created for children’s television movie shorts. He is Crusader Rabbit, who energetically copes with a variety of difficulties, some of them facetious. In one series of films, he has a serious purpose—the teaching of playtime safety practices. In the safety crusading he plays opposite a little boy who gets exposed to several of the typically harrowing hazards of childhood. Each time the little boy is preserved for the next episode by nick-of-time appearances of Crusader Rabbit, whose rescues serve to dramatize dangers for children in familiar surroundings of home, yard and street. The cartoons, animated by a process developed for television, are produced by Jerry Fairbanks Productions.

Even though Crusader hadn’t appeared on TV when this article appeared, he was in development as early as January 1949. You can read more about the start of the series in this post.


  1. I have a hunch standards may have came up with the safety angle. Ward and company probably politely declined and wanted a straight adventure, plus decided that they didn't want Crusader as a solo act.

  2. Slide those drawings around a little and you'll have just about as much movement as there is in some of those Crusader Rabbit animated cartoons.