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:
- Animated Series
- Art Shift: Crusader started out with droopy jowls. It was later refined and he was made cuter.
- Cliffhanger: Usually twenty episodes made up a story arc, each episode ending with a single title for the following episode (as opposed to the Either/Or Title that Rocky and Bullwinkle made popular). When Creston and TV Spots took over making the show, two packages were made available—the serialized episodes and then, around 1960, story arcs re-edited as a 45-minute featurette "movie."
- Dastardly Whiplash: Crusader and Rags' arch-nemesis Dudley Nightshade.
- Limited Animation: In the first seasons episode (like the first one), except for the intro (the titular character appear wearing an armour and riding a horse like a knight) and the brief scenes where Crusader and Rags are walking, only the mouths of the characters are really animated, and the rest are static drawings described for the narrator.
- Righteous Rabbit: His first crusade is to stop the slaughter of rabbits in Texas.
- Species Surname: Crusader's sidekick Ragland T. Tiger (a.k.a. "Rags") who is a tiger. (Crusader himself might count if Crusader is his first name and not some kind of title.)
- Talking Animal
- White Bunny