Thumper or Miss Bunny: A Figurine Investigation

So most cartoon bunnies look alike. Male or female, they all look alike. So what do animators do to differentiate one from another? Sometimes they will use color changes, size, or most often eye lashes. We will consider some of these techniques and others to determine if the ceramic figurine we have in this post is Thumper or his girlfriend, Miss Bunny.

Before we get into our investigation, let’s have a look at the suspect:

Suspect: Bucktoothed and Cute

CLUE No. 1

When we purchased this figurine the Seller gave us a card that was given to him when he himself obtained it. Such provenance is often helpful in determining exactly what an object is. Take a look:

After some research we were able to determine that these ceramic figurines, made by Evan K. Shaw Pottery, were indeed produced in the early 1940’s. But we were still unconvinced that what we had was ‘Thumper’s Girl’.

We began our investigation by checking the Internet for other examples of the piece to see what online Sellers were claiming it was. Some said ‘Thumper’ while others said ‘Miss Bunny’, or ‘Bixbi’, as some Disney fans have named her (she is not given a name in the original movie).

We also found other small ceramic figurines that were definitely depicting a female bunny, that were brown, and posed differently than ours. It was this figurine that was consistently called ‘Miss Bunny’ and not the version we have. So we now had a majority consensus.

But our figurine could still be another version of Miss Bunny, as some were claiming.

CLUE No. 2

Next we need to consider the color of the piece. Let’s have another look at it:

Brown Fur

This is a confusing clue, but stay with us. Thumper, in the movie Bambi, was gray, not brown. So we could arbitrarily pronounce this character to be Miss Bunny, who was brown, based solely on that parameter. However, pottery companies were notorious for going off-model when creating their pieces, getting features and colors wrong more often than not. It wasn’t until later that Disney started to tighten up on its demands for standardization of its character merchandise.

So this clue is inconclusive.

CLUE NO. 3

Eyelashes have been the stereotypical way of depicting a female character in the world of animation since the beginning of the medium. Our figurine has three short upward eyelashes, and not the multiple swept-back lashes of a female character.

CLUE NO. 4

Sometimes, if you know the character well enough, you can recognize them by body language. Of course, in the case of a sculpture, this technique will depend on the artist portraying such characteristics in his artistry.

Thumper was very expressive with his ears. Many times he would have one ear up with the other ear down. This was a way of distinguishing him from his many brothers and sisters in the film.

The ceramic figurine we have exhibits this trait.

CLUE NO. 5

Lastly, we checked the figurine for any markings that could help us to identify it.

No such luck!

Ceramic figurines are either stamped with black ink, engraved, or sport a sticker, usually on the bottom of the piece. This example has none of these markings, so no help there for our investigation.

CONCLUSION:

We believe this figurine to be Thumper. And here’s why:

  • General consensus gathered from Internet Sellers
  • Frequency of wrong use of color for Disney characters by manufacturers
  • Eyelashes are consistent with male characters
  • Body language, specifically the ears, is consistent with the character

We hope the techniques of this detailed investigation will help you to identify your treasured pieces of merchandise!

Donald Duck

Happy Birthday Donald Duck!

Donald Duck

This photo from 2007 shows the excitement Sophie had for Donald Duck!

On June 9, 1934, Donald Duck made his debut in The Wise Little Hen, one of the Silly Symphony productions that Walt Disney did back in those days.  Donald Duck was created as a companion character for Mickey Mouse; according to Wikipedia, there is a rumor that Donald Duck got his name from Australian cricket legend Donald Bradman, who, the story goes, was dismissed for a “duck” in a match. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I could certainly see that happening!  Interestingly enough, a bit of trivia for you — did you know that Donald Duck has been in more films than any other Disney character, and that he is the most published comic book character outside of the superhero genre?

For me, my enjoyment of Donald Duck really stems from two things: my daughter and the Gran Fiesta Tour attraction in the Mexico Pavilion.  The picture at the top of this post is an old one — back then, Sophie was so excited for Donald Duck!  She was so excited during this meet and greet that she started bouncing, so of course Donald had to do the same!  Another time, we saw Donald in the Mexico Pavilion, where Sophie gave him a big hug.  She really enjoyed Donald back in the early days of our visits to Walt Disney World.

Now that she’s almost 15, I think her fascination with the characters has kind of waned a bit, and she’s more all about the adventures she makes with her friends.

The second thing that has caused me a lot of enjoyment with Donald is his role in the Gran Fiesta Tour.  That simple little boat ride, which I’ve written about before, is just one of my favorite attractions at Epcot.  I love all of the different scenes as we go looking for Donald!

So, happy birthday Donald!  If you wish, take a look at the start of it all — The Wise Little Hen!

A ‘Trip to Disneyland Game’ by Somerville

I have quite a collection of Disney games. With the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland I thought it might be nice to take a closer look at one game that features that iconic park, namely:

Made in Canada by Somerville Limited

This is a very simple game. It can be played by 2 or 3 players. Let’s have a look at the game pieces:

Still on the original card

Note that the wild card is called a Master Card and, of course, it is Walt Disney! I was delighted to find that this game had not even been used, which boosts its value as a collectible. Now let’s see the game board:

    

That’s one long game board!

Each player puts his pawn on the start area under one of the three lanes and draws 6 cards. The player will stay in this lane throughout the game. The first player spins and moves the amount of spaces indicated. To advance, the player must have a card that matches the character on the space he occupies. If not, they draw a card. If they still do not have the character, play moves to the next player.

There are free spaces and wild cards to help things along. The game ends when someone arrives at Disneyland! Unfortunately, not the real one.

Which color do you want? (I want red)

The game can be won in 19 moves plus however many missed turns a player may get. Again, not the most difficult game in the world, but that’s why it is for ages 6-10.

It is likely that this game is from the 1970’s or 80’s based on the artwork.

FUN FACT: This game was manufactured in London, ON which is under 2 hours away from where I currently live! Well, it’s a fun fact for me.

Top 5 Disney Characters Frozen in Time

Every Disney character embarks on a journey of personal discovery and change. None are the same at the end of their movie. Usually the character is stronger and better for the effort, and we cheer when we see the ‘New Them’!

But do we always see them in their new and improved versions? Here is a list of my Top 5 Disney characters that we stubbornly insist on seeing as they started, not as they finished:

N U M B E R     F I V E

Rapunzel

    

Rapunzel went through quite a change in the course of her movie. From a shy, dominated shut-in to an independent go-getter with a frying pan! She chose to follow her dream and found true love by helping to redeem a lost soul. Not bad in just under 2 hours of screen time!

The most visible change was the cutting of her hair at the end of her movie, which robbed her of her healing powers (mostly) and her trademark long golden locks. But we refuse to see her as a short-haired brunette and so she is forever stuck in our minds and hearts as a blonde with mile-long strands of hair.

N U M B E R     F O U R

Ariel

    

Ariel is another Princess who had a lot to learn before she matured. Making the journey from an irresponsible daughter to a strong bridge between two worlds wasn’t easy, but Ariel made the journey one step at a time. And that brings us to our premise.

Ariel starts off as a mermaid, complete with tail and land-based mobility issues. But thanks to some undersea magic, she switches to legs and… what are those things called again? Oh yeah: feet! Ariel is lower on this list because we do see her in both configurations.

But with a nickname like The Little Mermaid, I think it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of us still see her with a tail, even though she walked into her happily ever after on two strong legs.

N U M B E R     T H R E E

Beast

    

For the majority of his time in the movie Beauty and the Beast, the Beast was, well… a beast, not a man. It wasn’t until he won the love of Belle in the last few minutes of screen time that he became the human prince of Belle’s dreams.

But we definitely see him as he was, not as what he became. And after all, if we didn’t, we’d have to change the title of the movie to Beauty and the Prince, which we all can agree just wouldn’t be the same!

N U M B E R     T W O

Bambi

    

The Prince of the Forest made quite a transformation in his movie, actually growing up into a majestic stag before our very eyes by the end credits. But just like overly possessive parents, we still think of Bambi as our little baby!

Bambi is high on this list, although not Number One, because he made one of the most drastic transformations, but we still refuse to acknowledge it.

N U M B E R     O N E

Pinocchio

    

So who went through more changes than our Number One Disney character stuck in time? Pinocchio started off as just a piece of wood carved to resemble a little boy. Then, this marionette came to life, walking and talking and getting into all sorts of mischief. But this wasn’t the end of little Pinocchio’s journey!

By the end of the film, Pinocchio achieves his fondest wish: To become a real boy. The Blue Fairy deems the puppet worthy because of his selfless act to save his ‘father’,  Geppetto. Now that’s a change, not only worthy of cheering, but remembering!

But poor Pinocchio! He is doomed to live out his time in our memories as an animated piece of wood, and not the real boy he worked so hard to become.

disH O N O R A B L E     M E N T I O N

Yzma

    

Yzma spends most of her screen time in The Emperor’s New Groove as a very old woman who most describe as ‘scary beyond belief’ before becoming a cute little white kitten. A cute little white kitten with homicidal tendencies, but a cute little white kitten nonetheless.

However, despite transforming into a completely different life-form, we still remember her as that scary-beyond-belief woman of our nightmares. Doesn’t seem fair somehow…

So did I miss any Disney characters that you feel are stuck in time? If so, fill us all in by leaving a comment below!

Prayers for the Week – Sin

mdod-prayers of the week

Anger. Greed. Pride.  Simple words, but they all add up to one big word: SIN.  My friends, in today’s world, with the evil, debauchery, and sexual immorality in this world, we as Christians must be ever vigilant to make sure we don’t lower ourselves to the level of those that don’t follow Christ.  It is a struggle for me, and one that I would appreciate your prayers on, please.  At times, it can be really easy for me to see the injustices of the world — for example, major department stores opening at 8PM on Thanksgiving Day, a move that is absolutely nothing but greed at it’s ultimate — and allow the anger and frustration at the situation creep into my heart, and the next thing I know, I’ve sinned.  Do you experience times like this?  If you do, the only thing I know to do is to talk to God — pray, tell Him what you are going through (which, of course, He already knows) — and you will distract your mind and heart off of the potential sin, and put your focus on your Heavenly Father instead.  Thank you for joining us for this week’s Prayers for the Week!

Praises!

God is so good to us!  I wrote last week’s post and titled it “Praises in the midst of Trials”.  Well, throughout the week, I saw many praises — almost as if God was saying to me to keep my eyes open, they exist everywhere!  Here are some of the ones that I saw:

  • My friend Autumn, the daughter of the Baptist Minister that baptized me, reminded me of the good that exists in the world. Here is her statement on Facebook:It’s pretty bittersweet when you realize that tonight is your last shift on one of the most amazing hospital floors I have ever been on. To say that I will miss the floor is an understatement. I don’t know that I can even say thank you enough to the men and women there that taught me so much… thank them for their support, help, love, and friendship. Thanks also to the amazing patients on the floor.. Bone Marrow Transplant is truly the most amazing calling, and I am honored to have been a part of that for two years. I hope to see you all (under good circumstances–not an ICU transfer) still as I move in to the Cardiac ICU.
    love forever & always
    Today, I give praise to God for her and others like her, that work for those that have special needs, and give of themselves, rather than always taking.
  • Here’s another praise-worthy event from my friend Heidi, one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met!13 years ago today, Brian and I laid eyes on this girl for the first time, and our lives were forever changed. Not only did we gain a new daughter that day, but we extended our family through the bond that is adoption So, today, I’m thanking God for bringing Gracie into our lives and for the all the joy she has brought us. And I’m also thankful for our far-away (yet very loved) family – RoseMarie (the lady who made it all possible), Karen, and Lora (and the “other” Gracie). HAPPY ADOPTION DAY!!!
  • Praises for a safe journey for my niece Stephanie and her husband Shane and their dog Zazzy!
  • Praises for my friend Bambi, who has been through so much but has more that she needs to go through even still.  Despite the pain she has had this year, she still has one of the best souls of anyone I know, and I give thanks to her and her husband Ricci for the love they have for one another and for the family they have created together!  In addition to this, the other praise for Bambi is that she passed the kidney stone!

Prayer Requests

  • From my friend Aunesty:Gabe has his first Nerve Block tomorrow morning, please pray that it is successful and gives him some relief.May God grant him the relief he needs today and for the rest of his days! May the Peace of God descend upon him, and give him all the rest he will ever need! Amen.
  • I’ve received an anonymous prayer request.  Please pray for this situation:Hi Everyone, I am writing to you this morning to ask for some prayers. As you may or may not know, our daughter is at grad school where she is studying to become a physician assistant. Recently she became concerned about some heart palpitations that she has been having, so decided to go get an EKG just in case. Yesterday the dr. contacted her because they found something that could potentially be a problem and want her to see a cardiologist for further evaluation. The dr. stressed that it was just as a precaution, and that is what we are trying to focus on…..but it could also be something very bad too. This syndrome that they want to check for, can cause the heart to actually just stop, and is one of the leading causes of sudden death in otherwise healthy young adults. She is scared as we all are, because she knows exactly how serious this could end up being. We are just trying to stay positive at least until we know more when she sees the cardiologist on Thursday. So if you wouldn’t mind keeping her in your prayers this week, I would be beyond grateful.Healing prayers for their daughter.  May God take care of the family, give them His Peace, Comfort, and Strength, and may He also guide the doctors looking after their daughter so that she may be healed physically and emotionally!  It is in Jesus’ name we pray with Thanksgiving. Amen!
  • In addition to the praise for Bambi, we’ve also got a big prayer request for her too:A few weeks ago I had to visit the ER with abdominal pain. After a few CT scans, diagnosis, kidney stones. However those same CT scans showed a mass on my left kidney. Today I had that mass biopsied. The test at the hospital was positive for asymmetrical cells (cancerous). I will need half if not all of my kidney removed. All I’m asking for is prayer!! Because with God, all things are possible!! Thank you!
  • Please pray for my friends in California.  They are in the ER right now, and Randy is experiencing chest pain and has been vomiting for three days now.  Please pray along with me:
    Heavenly Father, please be with your servant Randy as he strives to get over whatever is bothering him.  Please guide his doctors as they work on solving his vomiting and heart trouble, and bring him the Peace that only You can provide, and give them all the comfort and strength they require at this worrying time.  It is in the name of Your Son Jesus that we pray this day and every day with Thanksgiving. Amen!