I'm sure this means huge nostalgia to many Americans, but I hadn't even heard of the film when I ran into it at a thriftstore on an old VHS cassette. The Adventures of the American Rabbit is an indie-produced, but mainly Japanese-made American animated film. I'm sure there's a financial analysis somewhere in this, but I can't make it. (The film's title in Finnish is Jenkkijänis, by the way, which is an almost literal translation. It was never shown in theaters here.)
I've been carrying obscure animated films home on VHS for some years now, many of them remain unwatched, some I take a glimpse at by myself, but I managed to make my kids to watch this with me. Maybe they thought it was cute to have a rabbit as a superhero, but eventually they pretty much wore out. The film is dated, the animation is not very imaginative and the story lacks pace and coherence (just who is the old guy saying that the rabbit in the lead must become a superhero?). I was also a bit suspicious of the film's concept: a rabbit changing into an American superhero and fighting the baddies... but luckily the idea of being American in the film is having fun and hanging out with your friends in a bar listening to the music. One might want to take a closer look at the film's politics, though, but I wasn't in the mood and didn't really pay attention to the film all the time myself. One point, though: the name of the band in the film is The White Brothers, which seems to say the blacks are not welcome.
I thought this was only a mildly interesting curiosity, but then again I hadn't seen it as a kid. When I posted about this in Facebook, I got many responses from people younger than me that this was a favourite in the eighties in Finland as well. That goes on to show that one doesn't know everything.
Here's IMDb on the film. And here's more Overlooked Films. Edit: after checking out some links and Googling for more, I found that the famous internet person Christian Weston Chandler has talked about this film and has used it as inspiration for his - seemingly notoriously bad - own comics. Hadn't heard of Christian Weston Chandler before!
Here's the opening credit sequence:
PS. I made better with watching Budd Boetticher's 7 Men from Now: taut and very short, expertly paced Western thriller, with Randolph Scott and Lee Marvin. Burt Kennedy's excellent script with an excellent twist or two in the middle. Highly, highly recommended, though I'm sure all the people reading this blog have seen it. You should, if you haven't!