The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real is a children's novel written by Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson. It chronicles the story of a stuffed rabbit and his quest to become real through the love of his owner. The book was first published in 1922 and has been republished many times since.
A boy receives a Velveteen Rabbit for Christmas. The Velveteen Rabbit is snubbed by other more expensive or mechanical toys, the latter of which fancy themselves real. One day while talking with the Skin Horse, the Rabbit learns that a toy becomes real if its owner really and truly loves it.
When the boy's china dog is misplaced, the Velveteen Rabbit is given to the boy as a quick replacement by the maid. The Velveteen Rabbit soon takes his place as the boy's constant companion. The Rabbit becomes shabbier, but the boy loves him no matter what. In the woods near the boy's home, the Velveteen Rabbit meets actual rabbits, and learns about the differences between himself and the real rabbits when the real rabbits prove he is not real by his inability to hop and jump.
The Velveteen Rabbit's companionship with the boy lasts until the boy falls ill with scarlet fever. The boy becomes too ill to play for a very long time; upon his recovery, he is sent to the seaside on doctor's orders. The doctor orders all the toys the boy has played with, including the Rabbit, be burned in order to disinfect the nursery. The boy is given a new plush rabbit and is so excited about the trip to the seaside that he forgets his old Velveteen Rabbit. While awaiting the bonfire, in which the Velveteen Rabbit will be burned, the Rabbit cries a real tear. This tear brings forth the Nursery Magic Fairy. She tells the Rabbit that he was only real to the boy, and then brings him to the woods and kisses him, making him real to everybody. He soon discovers that he is a real rabbit at last and runs to join the other rabbits in the wild.
The following spring, the boy sees the Rabbit hopping in the wild and thinks he looks like his old Velveteen Rabbit, but he never knows that it actually was.
The following adaptations have been made of The Velveteen Rabbit.
- Pre-1980s L.S.B. Productions made a 16mm film version with a runtime of 19 minutes.
- In 1984 it was part of the "Enchanted Musical Playhouse" series, where Marie Osmond played the part of the Velveteen Rabbit.
- The Velveteen Rabbit was adapted into a video recording and soundtrack in 1985 by Rabbit Ears Productions with Random House Video; narrated by Meryl Streep, with music by George Winston. It received a Parents' Choice Award for Multimedia and was a Grammy award nominee.
- In 1985, two different animated adaptations were made at almost the same time:
- In 2003 it was also adapted into a clay-animated film by Xyzoo Animation.
- In 2007 a live action short film adaptation was released by Horse Fly Studios. It was nominated for two Young Artist Awards.
- Feature Films for Families, Family1 Films and Believe Pictures released their adaptation in 2009. It is distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, Thomas Nelson and Vision Films. The film adaptation was illegally telemarketed to over 500,000 telephone subscribers in the United States. Verizon successfully sued Feature Films For Families for the practice.
- ↑ "Margery Williams - The Velveteen Rabbit at Embracing the Child". Embracingthechild.org. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- ↑ Williams, Margery. "The Velveteen Rabbit, By Margery Williams , Illustrated by William Nicholson: HarperCollins Children's Books". Harpercollinschildrens.com. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- ↑ Barrett, Rick (2009-02-27). "Telemarketer sued for cell-phone calls". JSOnline. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
|40x40px||Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- The Velveteen Rabbit at Project Gutenberg
- The Velveteen Rabbit (flip book with original illustrations) at Internet Archivehe:ארנב הקטיפה