Chances are, at some point in the last couple of years, you have seen animated rabbits re-enact at least one famous movie in thirty seconds. This is because of Jennifer Shiman. In 2004, the independent animator’s website, angryalien.com, already had novel, interactive Flash-animated shorts such as Pigeon Kam, which showed the world through the eyes of a pigeon, and Amy’s Diary, a re-telling of a child’s diary. It was just a tiny blip on the internet’s radar until she debuted a new feature, The Exorcist, as re-enacted by bunnies in 30 seconds. Slowly but surely, the success of this short, and its hilarious follow-ups of Jaws, The Shining, and most notably, Titanic, led to international attention. Spotlighted on CNN and the Today show, the “buns”, as Shiman lovingly refers to them, garnered praise and requests from internet visitors from all over the world.
This led to a deal with Starz, who got exclusive first access to newer send-ups of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sixteen Candles, No Country for Old Men, March of the Penguins, and others, which they aired on their website and during airings of the original movies on their cable network. In 2005, the Titanic short was included as a bonus feature of the 1997 movie’s four-disc DVD re-release. As her website won Webby awards for Online Animation and the people’s choice, Shiman denied rumors that the buns would move on to their own TV series or movie, saying that she hardly had the time. Still, the bunnies became quite an internet presence, with annual animated holiday “cards” featured on the website and official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Now after six years and 68 re-enactments, Shiman announced that the upcoming Evil Dead II short would be the bunnies last, but “Never say never; we may be back some day with our interpretation of more movies.” Stating that her partnership with Starz had ended, she left no reasons as to why, but revealed that she would continue work on other projects. Though this could start rumors about an upcoming TV special or series, all bunnies fans can do for now is see most of their work on the “30-Second Bunnies Theatre Collectible DVD”, available at Amazon.com.
// Notes from the Road
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