Friday, April 8, 2011

Holiday Special: The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town

Last Sunday I went to see the new release "Hop," as I had planned to do. It was a quite fun blending of animation with live-action. It's quite fun and if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend doing so.

Well before I ever learned about this upcoming release, however, I was stricken with a flashback to an old Easter special on TV. I couldn't remember what it was called so after Googling I found that the special was called "The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town." Ironically, my flashback to this special occurred last year just after Christmas and I decided to seek out this DVD before Easter rolled around this year. I added it the queue last week and received it today.

While seeking info on this Easter special, I saw that it was a stop-motion special directed by Rankin-Bass, the team behind numerous stop-motion Christmas specials, including the classics "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." This was one of only a few Easter specials produced by the team. Although the Christmas specials still get aired each year, this one seemingly has not been seen on TV since the early 1980s. It was released on TV in 1977, but apparently was rerun at least once in the '80s as I vaguely recalled seeing it when I was around 10 (that was in 1981). The Easter specials from Rankin-Bass are not as widely remembered as the Christmas ones.

It's also been years since I saw the Santa Claus special, and I only have the vaguest recollection of that one. Perhaps I will queue the Santa one this Christmas, though I can probably expect a long wait on that one. Fred Astaire appears in the Santa Claus special as the voice narrator/mailman who receives several letters from kids asking about Santa's origins. In the Easter Bunny movie, hereprises the role, this time responding to letters about the Easter Bunny's origins. The Easter Bunny special is something of a sequel to the Santa one.

The Easter Bunny is named Sunny (voice of Skip Hinnant) who, as a baby rabbit, was adopted by the citizens of Kidville (a town with all kids) and who began creating the various Easter traditions, such as dyeing eggs, jelly beans, and chocolate bunnies. He attempts to bring his creations to nearby gloomy town called simply "Town," similar to the "Sombertown" (where no toys are allowed) in the Santa Claus special. No children or flowers are allowed in this town and beans are the only food allowed. Sunny befriends the young king (the only kid in town) of the town who is smothered by is aunt who reigns over him. She tries to keep Sunny from coming to Town each year, but Sunny always finds a way back as he begins creating new Easter traditions.

Overall, a good special and worth checking out if you're in the mood for watching something for Easter.

ThA product thumbnail of Easter Bunny Is Coming To Town: Deluxe Edition

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