Cinematic trailer for “The Velveteen Rabbit”.

The Velveteen Rabbit (2007)

Short film, digibook and plush toy

Created as my 2006-2007 Graduation project from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ was an exploration into nostalgic, narrative storytelling that prompts viewer engagement through a variety of content capture techniques.

The film utilizes 16mm optical film print (80% of the film was shot on 16mm stock), DSLR stop-motion animation, CG, and illustration. It is an adaptation of the original text by Margery Williams.

This was the first adaptation to utilize the ‘live action’ filming technique and also CG elements. Prior adaptations utilizes still images or 2D animation.

“A toy rabbit yearns to become ‘Real’ through a child’s love. Through his journey, the Velveteen Rabbit learns the mystery of Nursery Magic and becomes Real in more than one way.”
The success of the film led to my studio manufacturing a consumer plush toy version of the Velveteen Rabbit puppet used in the film. This puppet was my design,  having drawn influence by turn of the century plush toys from Britain and Germany. The toy is historically accurate, but it also modernized through the eco-friendly bamboo fabric, and stuffing from kapok trees. The movie was brought together with a storybook that utilizes the photography and illustration from the film. Over 1000 units of the plush toy and digibook were manufactured and sold until they ran out of stock.

Director: Denise Quesnel

Writers: Denise Quesnel (screenplay), Margery Williams (short story)

Select film festival circuit from 2007 – 2008:

Montréal World Film Festival

International Student Film Festival Hollywood

Sacramento Film and Music Festival

San Diego International Children’s Film Festival

Kids First! Film Festival

Auburn International Film and Video Festival for Children and Young Adults

LA International Children’s Film Festival

Saugatuck Children’s Film Festival

Vancouver Student Film Festival


“The Velveteen Rabbit” D. Quesnel, solo exhibition “Brooklyn Museum” April 2009.


Nominated, Young Artist Award “Best Short Film Starring Youth”, “Best Performance in a Short Film – Young Actor” 2008.

Nice adaptation of the book. Brought back some old memories . Very well done. I liked the talking toy horse . Hope to see more productions from Denise Quesnel , and if indeed there are more, would like to know them. A good job with the casting. I have indeed seen the young boy actor on TV in an acting role. Nice to see some home grown director/production talent. It was also nice that the adaptation was to a short film as opposed to a more lengthy film version that could have lost the viewer in some insignificant dialogue. As a child a did have a stuffed rabbit and latched on to it very several early years. I certainly will seek film copies for my grandchildren.