Crusader Rabbit Crusade 1 Episode 08

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The Lawsuit
Crusader Rabbit's original run would end in 1952, and soon the character would become the center of a legal dispute. At the end of its run, Jerry Fairbanks, who had been the executive producer of Crusader Rabbit, wished to purchase the series from NBC in order to distribute the show to new stations that were cropping up across the country looking for cheap programming to air. The asking price NBC gave Fairbanks was to the tune of $170,000, well outside of Fairbanks’ price range. He set up a deal with NBC that they would loan Crusader Rabbit to him to do as he wished for the price of $8,000 a month. This deal worked for a time, until Fairbanks quickly began to miss payment after payment. NBC pulled out of the deal, and eventually the distribution rights to the series would wind up in the hands of a man named Shull Bonsall.
Alexander Anderson and Jay Ward, who had liked Fairbanks, were uncomfortable with their creation now being owned by someone who had absolutely no involvement with the production of Crusader Rabbit, and, in 1954, sued NBC and Bonall to regain the rights to their creation. The trial went on for several years, and Television Arts Production was stuck animating commercials just to stay operating while they waited for a verdict. In 1956, Jay Ward was contacted by an old friend from high school, Leonard Key (whose brother, Ted Key, would eventually create “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” for Ward’s Rocky and Bullwinkle show), who felt it was the right time to revive Crusader Rabbit. While Ward agreed, feeling confident they would win the lawsuit, said lawsuit had drained Television Arts Production of finances and manpower, so another studio would have to handle producing a new Crusader Rabbit.

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 Crusader Rabbit
https://theoldestcartoon.fandom.com/wiki/Crusader_Rabbit
Crusader Rabbit is the first animated series produced specifically for television. The concept was test marketed in 1948, while the initial episode - Crusader vs. the State of Texas - aired on KNBH (now KNBS) in Los Angeles, California on August 1, 1950.

History
The concept of an animated series made for television came from animator Alex Anderson, who worked for Terrytoons Studios. Terrytoons preferred to remain in film animation, so Anderson approached Jay Ward to create a partnership, Anderson being in charge of production and Ward to be in charge of arranging financing. Ward became business manager and producer, joining with Anderson to form "Television Arts Productions" in 1947. They tried to sell the series (initially presented as part of a proposed series, The Comic Strips of Television, which also featured an early incarnation of Dudley Do-Right) to the NBC television network, which assigned Jerry Fairbanks to be "supervising producer". NBC did not telecast Crusader Rabbit on their network, but allowed Fairbanks to sell the series in national syndication, with many of the NBC affiliates (including New York and Los Angeles) picking it up for local showings. WNBC-TV in New York continued to show the original Crusader Rabbit episodes from 1949 through 1967, and some stations used the program as a time filler as late as the 1970s.
The original series had limited animation, appearing almost as narrated storyboards with frequent cuts and minor movement by the characters, much in the style of another early NBC "animation" program Tele-Comics. This was due to the limited budget that producers Jay Ward and Alex Anderson had to film the series.
Each program began with a title sequence of a mounted knight galloping across the screen. The episodes then featured a short, usually satirical, adventure in the form of a movie serial, ending with a cliffhanger.
Crusader Rabbit was originally syndicated from 1950 to 1951, totaling 195 episodes (divided into ten "crusades"), and was re-aired for many years. It featured Crusader Rabbit, his companion Ragland T. Tiger (Rags), and their occasional nemesis - Dudley Nightshade (called Ill-regard Beauregard in a few episodes), and his sidekick Bilious Green. Some episodes also featured Crusader & Rags's friends Garfield the Groundhog and/or Arson & Sterno (a two-headed dragon). Ragland Tiger's name came from the jazz tune "Tiger Rag" his middle initial "T" stands for The (as in Rags The Tiger), while Dudley Nightshade's was a play on the poisonous plant, "deadly nightshade". As a running gag, one of the other character would ask Rags what the "T" stood for, to which he'd reply, "Larry. My father couldn't spell!"
The series was revived and 13 new "crusades" (totaling 260 color episodes) were produced in 1957 by Shull Bonsall's Capital Enterprises. Bonsall had bought out Television Arts Productions and gained the rights to Crusader Rabbit, after a long legal battle among Jay Ward and Alex Anderson, Jerry Fairbanks and NBC over who owned the series. Animation was provided by Bonsall's Creston Studios, also known as "TV Spots, Inc.", supervised by Bob Ganon and Gerald Ray. Bonsall was one of the animators on the original Anderson and Ward episodes. The new series was not seen until early 1959.
Lucille Bliss provided the voice of Crusader Rabbit in the original series; she was replaced by Ge Ge Pearson in the revived series. Vern Louden played Rags in both. Dudley Nightshade was voiced by Russ Coughlan, and narration was by Roy Whaley.

Legacy

The success of Crusader Rabbit inspired many more television cartoons series. Jay Ward would later produce The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. In 1985, Rhino Entertainment released the first two volumes of Crusader Rabbit in a planned home-video release of all the original episodes. However, 20th Century Fox claimed right by their acquisition of previous owner Metromedia Producers Corporation. No further video releases of Crusader Rabbit were produced.

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An Everlasting Impact
As for Television Arts Production, following the cancellation of the Hanna-helmed Crusader series, it more or less reformed as Jay Ward
Productions. In 1959, a full 10 years after Crusader Rabbit’s debut, Jay Ward, Alex Anderson, and Len Key created “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” as well as its accompanying shorts. And what became of William Hanna? Well, he teamed back up with Joseph Barbera and, thanks to the experience and knowledge about television animation that Hanna gained while working at Shield Productions, the two formed a studio that would come to dominate animation for the next several decades: Hanna-Barbera Productions.

While Crusader Rabbit himself would eventually fade into obscurity (though reruns of his show ran well into the 1970s), it demonstrated that television was a viable market for original animation and paved the way for the cartoon legends who would soon follow.


Additional Reading
Scott, Keith. "The Moose That Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose" Macmillan, 2014. Print.
The first series aired in syndication, with production of 195 episodes ending in 1951.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusader_Rabbit 


Production History
The concept of an animated series made for television came from animator Alex Anderson, who worked for Terrytoons Studios. Terrytoons turned down Anderson's proposed series, preferring to remain in theatrical film animation. Consequently, Anderson approached Jay Ward to create a partnership – Anderson being in charge of production and Ward arranging financing. Ward became business manager and producer, joining with Anderson to form "Television Arts Productions" in 1947. They tried to sell the series – initially presented as part of a proposed series, The Comic Strips of Television, which featured an earlier incarnation of Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties – to the NBC television network, with Jerry Fairbanks as the network's "supervising producer".  NBC did not broadcast Crusader Rabbit on their network, but allowed Fairbanks to sell the series in national syndication, with many NBC affiliates, including those in New York and Los Angeles, picking it up for local showings. WNBC-TV in New York continued to show the original Crusader Rabbit episodes from 1950 through 1967, and some stations used the program as late as the 1970s.

The original series employed limited animation, appearing almost as narrated storyboards with frequent cuts and minor movement by the characters, much in the style of another early NBC animated program Tele-Comics. This was due to the limited budget that producers Jay Ward and Alex Anderson worked with to film the series. In 1948 Clarence E. Wheeler created the original opening and closing theme for the animated series, adapting and composing the folk melodies "The Trail to Mexico" (known on cue sheets as "Rabbit Fanfare") and "Ten Little Indians" (known as "Main Title Rabbit").

Each program began with a title sequence of a mounted knight galloping across the screen. The episodes then featured a short, usually satirical, adventure in the form of a movie serial, ending with a cliffhanger.

Crusader Rabbit was syndicated from 1950 to 1952, totaling 195 episodes (divided into ten "crusades"), and then re-aired for many years. It featured Crusader Rabbit, his companion Ragland T. Tiger ("Rags"), and their occasional nemeses – Dudley Nightshade and Whetstone Whiplash with his sidekick Bilious Green. Some episodes featured Crusader's and Rags' friend Garfield the Groundhog. Ragland Tiger's name came from the jazz tune "Tiger Rag" and his middle initial "T" stood for The (as in Rags The Tiger), while Dudley Nightshade's name was a play on the poisonous plant, "deadly nightshade". As a running gag, another character would ask Rags what the "T" stood for, to which he would reply, "Larry. My father couldn't spell!"

The series was revived and 13 new "crusades" (totaling 260 color episodes) were produced in 1956 by Shull Bonsall's Capital Enterprises. Bonsall purchased Television Arts Productions and gained the rights to Crusader Rabbit, during a protracted legal battle between Jay Ward, Alex Anderson, Jerry Fairbanks and the NBC network, over ownership of the series. Animation was provided by Bonsall's Creston Studios, also known as TV Spots, Inc., supervised by Bob Ganon and Gerald Ray. The new series was not seen until early 1959.

The revived (2nd) series used an opening and closing theme from the British "Impress" production music library licensed by Emil Ascher publishing of New York. It was titled "Juggins", and was composed by Van Phillips, the professional name of Alexander Van Cleve Phillips.

Lucille Bliss provided the voice of Crusader Rabbit in the original series; she was replaced by Ge Ge Pearson in the revived series. Vern Louden played Rags in both. Dudley Nightshade was voiced by Russ Coughlan, and narration was by Roy Whaley.


Legacy

The success of Crusader Rabbit inspired many more television cartoon character packages. Jay Ward would later produce The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.  In 1985, Rhino Entertainment released the first two volumes of Crusader Rabbit in a planned  home-video release of all the original episodes. However, 20th Century Fox claimed the distribution rights by their acquisition of previous owner Metromedia Producers Corporation. No further video releases of Crusader Rabbit have been produced.

First Series - Episodes

Crusader vs. the State of Texas (15 chapters)
Crusader vs. the Pirates (20 chapters)
Crusader and the Rajah of Rinsewater (20 chapters)
Crusader and the Schmohawk Indians (15 chapters)
Crusader and the Great Horse Mystery (20 chapters)
Crusader and the Circus (10 chapters)
Crusader in the Tenth Century (30 chapters)
Crusader and the Mad Hollywood Scientist (15 chapters)
Crusader and the Leprechauns (25 chapters)
Crusader and the Showboat (25 chapters)


Production staff

Executive Producer: Jerry Fairbanks
Producers: Jay Ward, Alex Anderson
Director: Alex Anderson
Story: Alex Anderson, Joe Curtin, Hal Goodman, Arthur North, Lloyd Turner
Artists: Alex Anderson, Bob Bastian, Bob Bemiller, Chuck Fusion, Randy Grochoski, Ed King, Ted Martine, Bob Mills, Lee Mishkin, Grim Natwick, Russ Sholl, Jim Scott, John Sparey, Dean Spille, Spaulding White, Volney White
Camera: Bob Oleson, Jack Williams
Music: Clarence E. Wheeler
Editor: Tom Stanford


Voices
Lucille Bliss — Crusader Rabbit
Vern Louden — Ragland T. Tiger
Russ Coughlin — Dudley Nightshade
Roy Whaley — Narrator


Second Series
The second series premiered in 1956 syndication with 260 episodes produced, 20 "chapters" per episode. They were later edited into 13 one-hour programs.
Second Series- Episodes

"The Great Uranium Hunt" (also known as "Mine Your Own Business")
"The Yukon Adventure" (also known as "Thar's Gold in Them Fills")
"Tales of Schmerwood Forest" (also known as "Crook's Tour")
"West We Forget"
"Sahara You"
"Gullible's Travels"
"Should Auld Acquaintance Be for Cotton" (also known as "Belly Acres Mystery")
"Nothing Atoll"
"Scars and Stripes"
"Apes of Rath"
"Caesar's Salad" (also known as "No Place Like Rome")
"The Great Baseball Mystery" (also known as "Gone With the Wind-Up")
"The Search for the Missing Link"


Production staff

Executive Producer: Shull Bonsall
Director: Sam Nicholson
Animation Director: Bob Bemiller
Story: Chris Bob Hayward, Barbara Chain
Story Sketch: Jack Miller
Music Scoring: Art Becker
Sound Effects: Ray Erlenborn, Gene Twambley
Layout: Ed Levitt
Animators: Alex Ignatiev, Bob Matz, Reuben Timmens, Joseph Price, John Sparey, Marv Woodward
Backgrounds: David Weidman, Eleanor Bogardus, Rosemary O'Connor
Ink and Paint: Martha Buckley, Maggi Alcumbrac
Production Planning: Dave Hoffman
Camera: Julian E. Raymond, Ted Bemiller
Editors: Charles McCann, Norman Vizents
Production Supervision: Bob Ganon


Voices
GeGe Pearson – Crusader Rabbit
Vern Louden – Ragland T. Tiger
Roy Whaley – Narrator
Russ Coughlan – Dudley Nightshade


Crusader Rabbit DVD
CRUSADER RABBIT-3 DVD SET-OVER 10 HOURS-WITH DVD MENUS
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However, beneath the limited animation is the story. As one of the first serialized cartoons, and indeed as one of the first cartoons to have cliffhangers, Crusader Rabbit is reminiscent of the movie serials of the time. Each episode would begin with a recap of the previous day's events, advance the story slightly more, until ending with the characters in a predicament that would leave the viewer waiting in anticipation until the next episode. As each of Crusader Rabbit's ten crusades would last anywhere from 10 parts to a whopping 30 parts, pacing had a habit of being all over the place. Some episodes might greatly advance where the story is headed next, while others may have the characters just end up in the same place as they were at the start of the episode. The plot might even be stretched to the point where, to fill time, an entire episode might simply be recap. But there's also a charm to the storytelling, as Crusader Rabbit chock full of tons of sight gags and twists on cliches, which would become a staple in future Jay Ward cartoons.
The titular character of Crusader Rabbit was the first role performed by Lucille Bliss, who would go on to have an extensive 68-year career in animation, such as Smurfette in the 1981-1989 Smurfs cartoon and Ms. Bitters in 2001-2002's Invader Zim. She and Vern Louden as Rags perhaps served as the vocal basis for how June Foray and Bill Scott would later play Rocky and Bullwinkle, as much of their approaches to the characters are similar in tone. Additionally, Roy Whaley voices the ever-present narrator, who fills in the unclear gaps that the limited animation leaves in the story.

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The Second Crusade
So, what of the second series that did see the light of day in 1957? Capital Enterprises produced 260 episodes, twice the amount initially given to the first series. Like the series that Hanna had been developing, this one was in color, and had slightly better animation (though still very limited). Vern Louden and Roy Whaley both reprised their roles as Rags and the Narrator respectively, but Lucille Bliss did not return, being replaced by radio actress GeGe Pearson as Crusader. A new foil to Crusader and Rags was added in the form of the evil mustache-twirling villain Dudley Nightshade, voiced by Radio/TV personality Russ Coughlan.
It more or less follows the same format as the original series, though the stories now feel less like serialized adventures and more like a 20 minute episode chopped up into bite-sized bits. Overall it’s a fine continuation of the original series, though, outside of having a recurring villain, it doesn’t distinguish itself enough from the original to feel like a separate series (whether that’s good or bad is up for interpretation)
.

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                                 Crusader Rabbit

Josh Measimer - Taking a Risk

Crusader Rabbit is the first animated series produced specifically for television.  Its main characters were Crusader Rabbit and his sidekick Ragland T. Tiger, or "Rags". The stories were 4-minute-long satirical cliffhangers.
The concept was test marketed in 1948, while the initial serial – Crusader vs. the State of Texas – aired on KNBH (now KNBC) in Los Angeles beginning on August 1, 1950 (not August 1, 1949 as some sources erroneously state). The program was syndicated from 1950 to 1952 for 195 episodes, then was revived in 1959 for 260 color episodes.  Jay Ward, who went on to create The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, was involved as business manager and producer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusader_Rabbit 

https://reelrundown.com/animation/Crusader-Rabbit-How-Televisions-First-Cartoon-Reshaped-Animation  
Created in 1947 (and tested in 1948 before finally making his debut in 1949), Crusader Rabbit was the first cartoon created specifically for television. Alexander Anderson, an animator at Terrytoons Studios, wanted to try a made-for-TV cartoon series, having been inspired by the 1941 film The Reluctant Dragon to the idea of limited animation, which would be more cost-effective for a format like television. However, his idea was turned down by Terrytoons, who felt it would be too risky an endeavour as television was an unproven medium. He then turned to his childhood friend, Jay Ward, and together they formed their own production studio, "Television Arts Productions".
Initially, Crusader Rabbit was to be part of a compilation series called The Comic Strips of Television, which would have also included shorts centered around the characters of Hamhock Jones, a Sherlock Holmes-esque private eye who would be the foil of a pair of siamese twin villains, and Dudley Do-Right (who'd finally gain his own shorts over ten years later). Crusader Rabbit by itself caught the interest of stations, and the program was picked up separately for syndication, primarily by NBC affiliates, ordered for 130 four-minute shorts split across ten serialized adventures. After it was proven a success, they ordered an additional five adventures, bumping the episode count to 195.

https://youtu.be/C3hHQvkUhJo
TV's First Animated Hero
Crusader Rabbit is about the adventures of the small, yet brave titular rabbit, and his dimwitted friend, Rags the Tiger, as theytake on such foes as pirates and the entire state of Texas. The juxtaposition of having the small character acting tough and confident, while the large character is comparatively timid, was a type of comedic pairing that hadn't been widely used up to that time. It would be one of the most lasting impressions Crusader Rabbit made on animation, being used as the basis for many future cartoon duo's, such as Jay Ward's later creation, Rocky & Bullwinkle.
To say the animation for Crusader Rabbit is primitive would be generous. Due to the miniscule budget that the animators were given, rather than being able to animate 40 cels per foot of film like an average theatrical cartoon, the animation would have to be done using 4 cels per foot. In this way, Crusader Rabbit was more like a picture book mixed with a puppet show: still images with only the bare minimum amount of animation necessary to progress the story. While TV animation budgets have generally gotten better since Crusader Rabbit's time, many of the techniques used here still crop up in television animation from time to time as cost-saving measures, especially in anime.

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Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger

 Crusader Rabbit
 Josh Measimer 
Taking a Risk

Crusader Rabbit is the first animated series produced specifically for television.  Its main characters were Crusader Rabbit and his sidekick Ragland T. Tiger, or "Rags". The stories were 4-minute-long satirical cliffhangers.
The concept was test marketed in 1948, while the initial serial – Crusader vs. the State of Texas – aired on KNBH (now KNBC) in Los Angeles beginning on August 1, 1950 (not August 1, 1949 as some sources erroneously state). The program was syndicated from 1950 to 1952 for 195 episodes, then was revived in 1959 for 260 color episodes.  Jay Ward, who went on to create The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, was involved as business manager and producer.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusader_Rabbit 

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Around this same time in 1955, MGM was shutting down their theatrical animation division. The running force behind the animation studio since its formation in 1937, Fred Quimby, was retiring and had just put William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, who had both been two of MGM’s best animation directors, in charge. Their leadership of the animation division would be short-lived, as MGM executives, scrambling to recover the drop in film revenue caused by television’s emergence, decided that reselling the already-existing shorts would be far more profitable than creating new ones. In 1957, the entire animation studio was abruptly shut down and its entire staff fired with a single phone call. Out of a job, William Hanna looked towards television animation and met with Jay Ward, who pitched the idea of Hanna helming the new Crusader Rabbit. Hanna enthusiastically agreed, and formed the new studio Shield Productions to produce this new Crusader Rabbit. The new series would be in color rather than the original’s black-and-white, which was rare among TV shows for the time as color televisions were still very much a luxury item, but the idea of producing TV cartoons in color from the get-go was gaining traction, with “Colonel Bleep” airing that same year as the first TV cartoon produced in color. Alexander Anderson decided to sit out of this rendition of the show, having become tired of the constant legal problems over the past few years. Meanwhile, Len Key met with RCA to create a distribution deal for the revival. As the deal was about to be made, an important question came up: Who exactly owned the rights to Crusader Rabbit?
Elsewhere, Shull Bonsall, who had legally gained ownership to Crusader Rabbit, was also producing a new series under the “TV Spots” division of his Capital Enterprises. With two different series in production by two separate studios claiming to own the same character, the heated legal struggle accelerated. In the end, thanks in part to being the bigger fish in the pond, Bonsall won out, and both Alexander Anderson and Jay Ward were forced to give up their rights to Crusader Rabbit. This resulted in the termination of Shield Productions, and once again Anderson, Ward, and William Hanna found themselves out of jobs.

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Busch Advertising preview from 1967 with Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble Part 2

The Flintstones: I Yabba Dabba Do (Preview Clip)

Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are finally getting married...or are they? Thanks to the feuding of Fred and Barney, the Flintstones and the Rubbles may never talk to each other again! Will these star crossed lovers ever tie the knot? Watch your favorite stone age family's movie, I Yabba-Dabba Do and find out!!!

Snoopy | A Visit to Peppermint Patty | He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown | Videos for Kids | Kids Movie

Snoopy stops by Peppermint Patty's house on his way to school. ► Subscribe for more videos : https://goo.gl/fmMX7g

Wikipedia Exposed Media - WEM www.wikipediaexposed.org

FREEDOM TO PROVIDE FACTS, INFORMATION, OPINION AND DEBATE WIKIPEDIA EXPOSED MEDIA - TRUTHFUL NEWS MEDIA, ENCOURAGE OPEN DEBATE

Crusader Rabbit Crusade 2 Episode 07