The logo for the franchise.
Rayman Raving Rabbids|
November 14, 2006
Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show|
November 18, 2014
Raving Rabbids, known in France as Les Lapins Crétins (The Cretinous Rabbits), is a video game franchise spin off from the Rayman series, which consists mainly of party games, though also includes some platform games and a fighting game. The series focuses on large, crazy rabbits known as Rabbids, who like to cause havoc and mischief and yell "BWAAAH!" whenever they experience adrenaline rushes.
Though they were initially shown as part of the Rayman series of games, the popularity of the characters, aided by various viral videos and media appearances, led Raving Rabbids to become its own separate franchise, dropping the Rayman name as of 2009's Rabbids Go Home. The Rabbids have made several appearances in non-Rayman games as well, such as Red Steel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and Watch Dogs. The song "Here Comes the Hotstepper" in Just Dance 2 includes a Rabbid who attempts to dance with the choreographer. There has also been a Raving Rabbids themed version of the card game Jungle Speed, which was released in France, a TV show and a feature film, that is under development.
Concept and creation
The earliest Rayman 4 trailers depicted menacing and zombie-like rabbits, simply appearing from underground with a blank stare in various shapes and forms, smaller eyes and furry. At this point, trailers showed the game as an adventure game with fight stages, where Rayman would need to punch and kick himself kung fu style through a horde of zombie-bunnies. As the game concept evolved, from one of a central objective to minigames, and viral videos were created, the rabbits slowly evolved into the Rabbid figures, which were much more conscious and amusing, changing from merely being enemies to fight through into more memorable characters with various traits and quirks. Rayman creator Michel Ancel described the bunnies as "vicious, but at the same time [...] totally stupid". In a recent video review, project lead Loïc Gounon confirmed the possibility of splitting the Rayman and Rabbid series apart, mentioning that the Rabbids seem to appeal more to younger gamers, due to its slapstick humor and minigames deviating from the Rayman series' more fantasy-oriented gameplay.
Rabbids – Rabbids are large, crazy rabbits who like to cause havoc and mischief and yell "BWAAAH!" whenever they experience adrenaline rushes. They were originally the antagonists; however, due to increase in popularity, they became the protagonists in Rabbids Go Home.
Rayman – the main protagonist of the first three games. He always foils the Rabbids' evil plans. When the Rabbids became the protagonists of the franchise, Rayman was dropped, but continues to appear in his own.
Professor Barranco III – the overall true main antagonist of the series, he is the supreme leader of the Rabbids who remained evil and the one who planned out all of their invasions on Rayman's world, Earth and others. He is seen in the games Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Rabbids: Travel in Time and Rabbids: Alive and Kicking as the main antagonist (despite having a minor role in RRR 2 and RTiT). He is one of the rare smart Rabbids to exist, but can be easily fooled as well. In RAaK he has a Rabbid scientist as his second in command, who would later go on to become a major character in the TV series.
Serguei – Serguei is the main villain of Rayman Raving Rabbids. He is a large, black rabbid who abducted Rayman and the Globox kids and forced them to take part in the Rabbids Olympics filled with deadly challenges. In the end, Rayman manages to escape and free most of the Globox kids. It is unknown what happens to Serguei at that point, though his absence in further games suggest that he was relieved of his duties due to failure in keeping Rayman.
The Semi-Leaders – the Semi-leaders are fat, lazy and angry Rabbids who serve as the secondary antagonists of Rayman Raving Rabbids 2. They constantly force the Rabbids to bring them food and don't to pretty much anything than sitting or lying around and keeping things in check. They each have different themes in clothing.
Verminators – the main antagonists of Rabbids Go Home. They mistake the Rabbids as a large threat and go on a wild hunt to kill them. Throughout the game, there are many kinds of Verminators who keep trying to kill the rabbids, but fail miserably. At the end, they use bombs to launch them straight into space to the moon (which was the Rabbids' goal to begin with) and celebrate, but this is short-lived as all the stuff the Rabbids took for their tower to the moon start falling from the sky right on them.
|2006||Rayman Raving Rabbids (handheld version)||Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft Bulgaria||PS2||Windows, Xbox 360||Wii, GBA, DS|
|2007||Rayman Raving Rabbids 2||Ubisoft Paris||Windows||Wii, DS|
|2008||Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party|
|2009||Rabbids Go Home||Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft Sofia||Windows|
|2010||Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time||Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Casablanca||Wii, 3DS|
|Rabbids Go Phone||Ubisoft||iOS|
|2011||Rabbids: Alive & Kicking||Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Milan||Xbox 360|
|Raving Rabbids: Party Collection (Feat Rayman)||(Compilation of Rabbids, Rabbids 2 and TV Party)||Wii|
|2012||Rabbids Land||Ubisoft Paris||Wii U|
|Rabbids Rumble||Headstrong Games||3DS|
|2013||Rabbids Big Bang||Ubisoft Milan, Ubisoft Paris||iOS, Android, Windows Phone|
|2014||Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show||Ubisoft||PS4||Xbox 360, Xbox One|
|2016||Rabbids Heroes||iOS, Android|
In other media
In October 2010, Ubisoft and Aardman announced a partnership to produce a TV series pilot and several shorts based on the franchise. One year later, it was announced that 78 7-minute CG animated episodes would be made solely by Ubisoft Motion Pictures, and broadcast as 26 half-hour episodes by Nickelodeon on August 3, 2013. In early 2012, Ubisoft Motion Pictures called on the French animation studio TeamTO to create most of the CGI parts of the series. On E3 2013, it was announced that it would be an interactive Xbox One show entitled Rabbids Invasion. The show premiered on Nickelodeon on August 3, 2013.
Comic book series
A comic book series based on the franchise exists, but is only sold in France, Belgium and Switzerland. All comic strips are drawn by the French cartoonist Romaine Pujol and written by Thithaume. There are seven volumes thus far.
Aside from video games and the comic book series mentioned above, the Rabbids also have other merchandising such as T-shirts, figurines, plush toys, school equipment, fan club magazines, and for a limited time, a Happy Meal toy.
The Rabbids from the Raving Rabbids series became massively popular both through the teaser trailers and the game itself. IGN has stated that the Rabbids have "more personality and charisma than 10 of the most popular video game mascots combined", and that the bunnies have literally "upstaged Rayman himself". GameSpot has noted, "The Rabbids themselves are almost exclusively responsible for [selling the game's humor], as they are, without a doubt, hysterical. They're adorably designed, with their dumb stares, high-pitched shrieks, and a penchant for taking comedic bumps."
The success of the Rabbid characters led the developers to create more games in the franchise, and eventually even remove Rayman from them entirely. This was first hinted at in the launch trailer of the first game, where Rayman, despite being the title character, only appears for a fraction of a second, only to be squashed flat by a couch taken over by Rabbids. In Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Rayman disguises himself as a Rabbid, causing the game to put more emphasis on them than on Rayman himself. Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party was considered further evidence, as Rayman, who is no longer playable, only appears in the game's cutscenes. This was then proven to be true with the announcement of Rabbids Go Home, which does not feature Rayman at all.
The Rayman series' genre shift and decline in critical acclaim has been linked to Rabbids by fans and critics. Before Rabbids Go Home's release, when asked about why Rayman was omitted, director Jacques Exertier confirmed that Rayman would return for more action-adventure video games. A Rayman-only game was released on March 1, 2011, but was merely a Nintendo 3DS re-release of Rayman 2: The Great Escape, titled Rayman 3D. However, Rayman Origins, a new Rayman game, was released in 2011 followed by a sequel, Rayman Legends released in September 2013.
The music style for the franchise was created by composer Mark Griskey. Mark worked with Audio Director Yoan Fanise to define the comedic style of the early games and the style was continued with the further versions of the franchise.
- Matt Casamassina (2006-10-13). "Rayman Raving Rabbids: Impressions and Video". Retrieved 2007-11-12.
The bunnies in the game are so well-designed, animated, and voiced, that they have actually upstaged Rayman himself to become the spotlight of Ubisoft's marketing efforts for the title.
- Alex Navarro (2006-11-19). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review on GameSpot". Retrieved 2007-11-12.
It might have Rayman in the title, but the real stars of the show are the adorably bizarre raving rabbids.
- "Facts & Figures". Ubisoft. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Matt Casamassina. "Rayman Raving Rabbids Interview". Retrieved 2007-11-12.
The Rabbits are hundreds and they are vicious, but at the same time they are totally stupid.
- "Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 interview". 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- Frank, Allegra (25 May 2016). "The Raving Rabbids return with a collectible card game on mobile". Polygon. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Ubisoft & Aardman to Create Pilot for Animated Television Show Based on Raving Rabbids, IGN
- Keslassy, Elsa (October 6, 2011). "Nick licenses 'Raving Rabbids'". Variety. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- "Des news de l'anim numéro 48 été 2012". SPFA. Summer 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "Drôme: Le studio TeamTO recrute". France3 Rhône-Alpes. June 6, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "De retour d'Annecy 2012". Catsuka. June 10, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "Rabbids Invasion: Debut Date Announced and Trailer Revealed". IGN. 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- Kroll, Justin (October 14, 2015). "'Robot Chicken' Writers to Pen 'Rabbids' Movie for Sony, Ubisoft (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- "Sony To Make Movie Based On Ubisoft's 'Rabbids'". deadline.com. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Matt Casamassina (2006-11-16). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review". Retrieved 2007-11-12.
Although we could honestly take or leave Rayman himself, Ubisoft has with the bunnies created characters with more personality and charisma than 10 of the most popular videogame mascots combined.
- Matt Casamassina (May 5, 2009). "Why You'll Love Rabbids Go Home: Two and a half years in development, a brand new engine, no mini-games and it's a full-blown comedy adventure.". IGN. News Corporation.