One of (if not the
) the first Animated Series
produced for television, Crusader Rabbit
was created by Jay Ward and Alex Anderson in 1948, and subsequently sold to NBC
. It featured the serialized adventures of a rabbit and his tiger sidekick, Ragland T. Tiger (Rags for short).
Anderson's original intent was not to create a rabbit or tiger character, but to create characters whose personalities were contrary to their appearance. The rabbit was conceived by Ward as a crusading Don Quixote. Some of the earliest episodes can be found in the Internet Archive's Moving Picture Collection.
A total of 195 episodes were produced and released between 1949 and 1951. A second series of Crusader Rabbit
cartoons, this time in color, was produced for syndication
in 1957. Another 260 episodes were released. This was after Ward and Anderson lost the rights to the characters to series bankroller Jerry Fairbanks, who had Creston Films make this second batch.
This series provides examples of: