The Velveteen Rabbit
Our mission at Storybook Studio is to bring children’s literature to life in film and television, while remaining faithful to the original books. This will give the modern world a love of reading and storytelling, while also providing adventure and memories. I would like to invite you all to audition for Storybook Studio’s very first production: an animated version of the classic children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit”.
“The Velveteen Rabbit” is a classic children’s book written by Margery Williams and published in 1922. The story tells about a stuffed toy rabbit who wishes to become real. The story follows his steadfast friendship with the little boy who owns him, and it ends with the rabbit’s love saving the boy from a serious illness and later saving the rabbit himself from suffering a horrible fate. The film will be released in 2022.
Since this film is animated, the actors need only to provide the voices for the characters, which is good because I don’t want anyone in this project to risk getting COVID-19. Rest assured, this pandemic will not stop you for enjoying yourselves. I will make sure by staying home and providing the voices for your characters, you will not need to worry and will all be safe and sound at home. You may also invite your family and friends to audition as well. The more, the merrier! Please find the attached sides and roles at the bottom of this email. Auditions end on the final day of February. I will post the final cast list on the Storybook Studio Facebook site in early March.
Please note that the role of Wild Rabbit 1 has already been cast.
This film will have the same story as the original book as written by Margery Williams. As the book begins, a young boy receives a plush toy rabbit made of velveteen in his stocking for Christmas. Though he is initially excited about the rabbit, he accidentally forgets about him after he opens his other presents. The nursery is populated by a variety of different kinds of toys, some of which are mechanical and have moving parts. They like to boast and pretend that they are real, treating the Velveteen Rabbit unkindly and dismissively since he is just a stuffed animal with sawdust for filling. However, the wise old Skin Horse takes the Velveteen Rabbit under his wing. The Skin Horse, who has been in the nursery longer than any of the other toys, has gained a lot of wisdom and knowledge in that time. He tells the Velveteen Rabbit that having moving parts doesn’t make a toy real. Mechanical parts can only break and fall apart. The Skin Horse has seen many mechanical toys come and go from the nursery over the years.
The Skin Horse tells the Rabbit that if a child loves a toy and plays with it for a long time and truly loves it, then that toy becomes real. Having grown worn out and shabby from being played for a long time, the Skin Horse tells the Rabbit that it is worth it to become worn out as long as the children have fun. The process of becoming real is a long one, which is why the mechanical toys that break easily can’t achieve it. The Skin Horse is real. He explains to the Rabbit that the Boy’s uncle loved him so much that he became real, and now he can never become a toy again, no matter how much his current owner might ignore him. The Rabbit doesn’t want to get worn out, but it does like the idea of becoming a real rabbit. One night, the Boy can’t find the china dog that always sleeps with him. So Nana, the woman who controls and tidies the nursery, gives the Velveteen Rabbit to the Boy so he can sleep with him. After that, the Velveteen Rabbit is a great favorite of his. The Boy plays with the Rabbit, carrying it around all the time until the Rabbit’s fur begins to rub off and its seams start to come apart in places. One night, in the spring, the Boy leaves the Rabbit outside accidentally. He asks Nana to retrieve the Rabbit from the garden, claiming that he is not a toy, but that he is real. The Rabbit is overjoyed to hear that the Boy thinks he’s real.
In the summer, the Boy takes the Velveteen Rabbit outside to the woods at the back of their house to play. A pair of real rabbits approach him, wanting to play, but the Velveteen Rabbit cannot move because he is only a toy. The Velveteen Rabbit is amazed that these two rabbits have hind legs and can jump and dance. The wild rabbits tease the Velveteen Rabbit, who insists that he is real until the Boy comes back and frightens the wild rabbits away. Over time, the Rabbit looks more and more ragged. Adults comment often on how old and ragged he is looking, but the Rabbit doesn’t mind how he looks, and the Boy doesn’t notice.
One day, the Boy becomes very sick with a dangerous case of scarlet fever. He is confined to bed, and the Velveteen Rabbit stays with him the entire time. Eventually, the Rabbit’s love is so strong that the boy gets better, and eventually the doctor tells the Boy that he will be going to the seaside for a holiday. The Rabbit wants to go to the seaside too, but the doctor declares that all the toys and books he played with while he was ill need to be burned to keep them from spreading scarlet fever germs. This includes the Velveteen Rabbit, whom the doctor declares is contaminated of germs. The Rabbit is placed in a sack with the other toys and taken to the back of the garden where a bonfire will be built in the morning. The Boy is given a new stuffed rabbit to replace the old one. The Rabbit sadly remembers the old memories he had about everything and wonders what good being real is if he just gets burned anyway. He cries one real tear, and where it lands, a strange flower grows and a wonderful Fairy emerges from it. She tells the Rabbit that she is the Nursery Magic Fairy, a kind spirit who takes care of all the toys that were loved once and then discarded, turning them real forever. The Rabbit is confused, as he thought he was real, but the Fairy explains that he was only real to the Boy because of their love, and she will now make him real to everyone. She takes the Rabbit into the forest and leaves him with a group of wild rabbits. At first, the Velveteen Rabbit doesn’t move so that the wild rabbits won’t find out that he is a toy, but eventually, he does; he realizes the Fairy has transformed him into a living rabbit. One day, in the following spring, the Boy sees a pair of rabbits playing in the woods near his home. He thinks that one of them looks a lot like the toy he lost after he had scarlet fever. But he never realizes that it actually is his old toy! The Velveteen Rabbit has returned to get one last look at the Boy. Thus the story has a happy and heartwarming ending.
Here is an online link to the original story, so that you can read the book that inspired this film: https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/williams/rabbit/rabbit.html
The Velveteen Rabbit (male or female, child)
The lead character of this story. He is a toy rabbit made of velveteen, stuffed with sawdust with boot-button eyes. He is shy, curious, playful, timid, caring, compassionate sensitive, gentle, positive, friendly, soft-spoken, optimistic and hopeful. He loves the Boy and the Skin Horse, and treasures their friendship greatly. He wishes to become real. Looking for a child between the ages of 6 and 12. Looking for a small child who can play innocent, lovable, curious and playful. Singing role.
The Skin Horse (male, adult)
The Skin Horse is the oldest and wisest toy in the nursery. He is very worn out and in dire need of repair, having been around of many years. He is a gentle rocking horse with loose seams, patches and faded color. He knows that being real isn’t about having moving parts, or being modern and new. It’s about playing with a child who truly loves you and is always there for you. He takes the Velveteen Rabbit under his wing and teaches him the true meaning of love and friendship. Looking for an actor who can play warm, caring, compassionate down-to-earth, gentle, wistful, soft-spoken, wise and nurturing. The actor playing the part should also do a perfect imitation of one of my childhood heroes, Walt Disney. Performing one of Walt’s quotes for the audition is not required, but it is welcome. Non-singing role.
The Boy (male, child)
The Boy is the Velveteen Rabbit’s best friend. Although he has many toys, the Rabbit is his personal favorite of them all. He is friendly, curious, caring, compassionate outgoing, happy, kind-hearted, playful, imaginative and sensitive. Looking for a child between the ages of 6 and 12 who can do a British accent and give a Christopher Robin feel to this character. Singing role.
Nana (female, adult)
Nana is the grownup person who rules the nursery with an iron fist and a strict attitude. She is obsessed with order and keeping things just so. But despite her prickly appearance she does have a good heart. She is fussy, stern, strict, intimidating, serious, graceful, strong, cranky, down-to-earth, uptight, bossy, practical, overreactive, grumpy, no-nonsense, and elegant. British accent. Non-singing role.
The Doctor (male, adult)
The Doctor has a brief role in the film. He is called to take care of the Boy when he has scarlet fever. When the Boy finally gets well again, he orders the Boy to go to the seaside for a holiday. He also orders the Rabbit (and anything else the Boy touched when he had been sick) to be burned in order to stop the dangerous germs from spreading. He means well, but he can be frightening. He is uncompromising, stern, strict, intimidating, serious, no-nonsense, practical and logical. British accent. Non-singing role.
Wild Rabbit 2 (female, adult)
Wild Rabbit 2 is one of the two rabbits that the Velveteen Rabbit meets in the forest. They have never seen a toy rabbit before, so they don’t understand why the Velveteen Rabbit doesn’t have hind legs or why he can’t jump and dance like they can. But in time, they warm up to them and befriend him. Looking for a female actor who can act energetic, playful, snarky, nervous, twitchy, curious and outgoing. Singing role.
Timothy Lion (male, adult)
Timothy Lion is one of the toys who lives in the nursery. He is modern and has been made of mechanical clockwork parts. He teases and bullies the Velveteen Rabbit for not having moving parts, as he thinks only having cogs, springs and a wind-up key can make a toy real. Speaks in a very proud, confident and growly way, like a proud and serious king. Few lines. Non-singing role.
Train Set (male or female, adult)
Train Set is one of the toys who lives in the nursery. He is modern and has been made of mechanical clockwork parts. He teases and bullies the Velveteen Rabbit for not having moving parts, as he thinks only having cogs, springs and a wind-up key can make a toy real. Speaks his lines long and loud, like a conductor or an engine’s whistle. Few lines. Non-singing role.
Model Boat (male or female, adult or child)
Model Boat is one of the toys who lives in the nursery. He/she is modern and has been made of mechanical clockwork parts. He/she teases and bullies the Velveteen Rabbit for not having moving parts, as he/she thinks only having cogs, springs and a wind-up key can make a toy real. Speaks like a sailor or a pirate. Few lines. Non-singing role.
Wind-Up Ballerina (female, child or adult)
Wind Up Ballerina is one of the toys who lives in the nursery. She is modern and has been made of mechanical clockwork parts. She teases and bullies the Velveteen Rabbit for not having moving parts, as she thinks only having cogs, springs and a wind-up key can make a toy real. Speaks in a voice that is snarky, sassy, and full of energy. Few lines. Non-singing role.
Toy Solider (male, adult)
Toy Solider is one of the toys who lives in the nursery. He is modern and has been made of mechanical clockwork parts. He teases and bullies the Velveteen Rabbit for not having moving parts, as he thinks only having cogs, springs and a wind-up key can make a toy real. British accent. Barks his lines in a very snappy and short military style. Few lines. Non-singing role.
Jack-in-the-Box (male or female, adult or child)
Jack-in-the-Box is one of the toys who lives in the nursery. He/she is modern and has been made of mechanical clockwork parts. He/she teases and bullies the Velveteen Rabbit for not having moving parts, as he/she thinks only having cogs, springs and a wind-up key can make a toy real. Must do a scary and loud laugh. Few lines. Non-singing role.
The Nursery Magic Fairy (female, adult)
The Nursery Magic Fairy is the patron guardian of all toys. Whenever toys are old and children don’t need them anymore, she takes with her to a new home and turns them real. She is the most beautiful fairy in the whole world. When the Velveteen Rabbit is done for and has lost all hope, she saves him from his awaiting doom at the last moment. She takes him away to the forest and turns him into a real rabbit. Looking for an actor who can play motherly, holy, spiritual, caring, compassionate, warm, wistful, down-to-earth, gentle, soft-spoken, wise and nurturing. Singing role.
Narrator (adult, female)
The Narrator must give a soothing, calm, playful and friendly tone of voice when telling the story. British accent.
Please also see the pdf: The-Velveteen-Rabbit-Audition-Sides
Payment: Non Paid
City or Location of call: Worldwide
Please submit to: email@example.com by 2021-03-31
Please send me a video or audio file of your auditions to my email.
This casting notice was posted by: Storybook Studio