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:

Thumper Front

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:

Thumper Card

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:

Thumper LeftThumper Right

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 Back

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.

Thumper Bottom

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!

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:

Trip to DL Game 001

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:

Trip to DL Game 002

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:

Trip to DL Game 003     Trip to DL Game 004

Trip to DL Game 005

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.

Trip to DL Game 006

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 Blonde     Rapunzel Brunette

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 w Tail     Ariel w Feet

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

Beast Animal     Beast Human

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

Bambi Young     Bambi Older

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

Pinocchio Puppet     Pinocchio Real

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 Human     Yzma Kitten

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!