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TV Reviews

MPAA Rating
Kids, Comedy, Animation
Paul Asay
Rabbids Invasion

Rabbids Invasion

The Rabbids are coming! The Rabbids are coming! One if by land! Two if by sea! Three if by Internet connection!

Oops—I guess they're already here. These cute-yet-spastic animated imports star in more than a half-dozen video games (and have cameos in others, including Splinter Cell: Conviction and Just Dance 2). Now they've set down a bulkhead in TV Territory too, with Nickelodeon's appropriately named Rabbids Invasion.

Oh, sure, they look reasonably harmless, with their little pink bellies and perky ears and curiously buggy eyes. They're smallish, too. They'd struggle even to be literal knee-biters. They typically only mass in groups of three or four. And while that might be enough to conquer France (where the Rabbids originally came from), it's certainly not going to be enough to humble the U.S. of A.

Or perhaps it will be. After all, the Rabbids are both annoying and persistent—the same recipe for world domination that the folks from Jersey Shore used.

Just sayin'.

Not that Rabbids Invasion is nearly as problematic as MTV's most notorious well-tanned clique. The show's on Nickelodeon, after all, and most of its programming is still intended for those too young to go clubbing. The Rabbids like to make mischief, but they do not engage in drinking or smoking, nor do they seem particularly amorous—never mind the reputation of their real-world cousins. And while they're all technically naked, they're also covered with fur. (Their rears are the only thing with any hint of human realism at all, presumably because entertainment executives believe 8-year-olds find posteriors insanely funny.) The Rabbids are unable to say anything but variations on bwah and thus never swear.

But neither is Rabbids Invasion morally edifying. There are no cogent lessons of the importance of eating one's vegetables, no sober reminders to say "please" and "thank-you." Indeed, the Rabbids pay no mind to any guidelines that mandate civility or courtesy. Or traffic laws. Or basic principles of physics. And the violence! They smack and kick and bonk and bink with frenetic glee, as if they were height-challenged rejects from The Three Stooges.

The end result is what feels like an updated version of your standard Road Runner short—without all the high explosives. Each half-hour episode (split into three segments) features slapstick violence and humor, seriously put-upon humans and lots and lots of Rabbids screaming "Bwah!"

Episode Reviews

"Elevatorus Rabbidinus/Until Rabbids Do You Part/Rabbid Radar"

In "Elevatorus Rabbidinus," The Rabbids mistake an elevator as some sort of magical transformation device: People walk in, the door closes, it opens again and different people walk out. When their leader gets trapped in the device, the Rabbids freak out and, later, mourn when they think he might've vanished down a toilet. A Rabbid slips on a banana peel, which sends him careening through a mall.

"Until Rabbids Do You Part" has the Rabbids mucking up a wedding photo shoot. They try to smack a fly (sometimes hitting one another in the face), then chase said fly into the shoot, where they tangle with bride, groom and photographer. The picture-taker sometimes kicks the Rabbids a long way—sending one careening into a trash can. Someone gets a toilet plunger stuck on his face. The photographer settles into a yogic pose at one point, apparently to regain self-control.

The Rabbids then pester a rural traffic cop in "Rabbid Radar." They eat paper and get kicked and thrown around a lot. One's hit by a car. (It doesn't kill him, of course.) The cop eventually smashes some of his equipment in frustration and appears to temporarily lose both his mind and his job.