29th March 2007

Peter Cottontail, and a Rankin/Bass Comin’ to Town Expose

Easter’s just around the corner, and another holiday brings more Rankin/Bass. Yay! Rankin/Bass made two Easter-themed specials: 1971′s “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” and 1977′s “The Easter Bunny Is Comin’ to Town”.

Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Here Comes Peter Cottontail

I haven’t seen “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” since I was a kid. I don’t remember it very well, but it’s probably the better of the two, and I’m really eager to see it again. It’s available on DVD, and I’m going to try to get it before Easter.

Watch out: there’s an utterly despicable 2005 sequel called “Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie.” About 20 minutes into trying to watch it, I developed Tourette’s. If you’ve seen the 2001 sequel to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, “Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys,” then you have an idea of how bad the Peter Cottontail sequel is. If you haven’t heard of either of them, just do whatever you can to steer clear of them.

The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town
The Easter Bunny Is Comin’ to Town

“The Easter Bunny Is Comin’ to Town” is a whole ‘nother egg hunt… and it’s actually just a re-tread of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.” Just as the Santa Claus in that special bears little resemblance to the Santa seen in the Rudolph special, this tale has nothing in common with the Peter Cottontail special — the protaganist here is Sunny the Bunny.

In both “Comin’ to Town”s: the narrator is a postman played by Fred Astaire; the holiday icon (Sunny in “Easter Bunny”, Kris Kringle in “Santa Claus”) lives in one town, and wants to deliver their holiday gifts to children in another town; delivery of the gifts is thwarted by the authority figure in the town, and sneaky ways to get the gifts delivered in the dark of night are developed; and along the way, today’s well-known traditions are spawned. Oh — and both figures also have trouble getting over a mountain between the two towns, because of a big scary monster type of obstruction that by the end of the special has learned to be good. It’s like they just took one script and filled it in Mad Libs-style to get two specials out of it.

Despite the strange deja vu feeling of watching “Easter Bunny,” it’s not half bad. The thing that bugs me is that the jelly beans look more like jelly noodles. It’s kind of weird.

There are currently 2 responses to “Peter Cottontail, and a Rankin/Bass Comin’ to Town Expose”

  1. 1 On April 5th, 2007, Monica said:

    dosent Peter Cottontail have the bad guy with the Iron tail, isnt it Vincent Price?

  2. 2 On April 5th, 2007, Humuhumu said:

    I believe that’s correct, on both counts! It’s got Casey Kasem & Danny Kaye, too. I’m not sure I’ll be able to hear Casey Kasem’s voice without expecting it to stop to make a very special dedication of a song.

    Great blog title, btw! That tiny tiki you found is a Westwood W-4 toothpick holder. You can look through the Westwood mugs on Ooga-Mooga to learn more. There isn’t a template (yet!) for the W-4 toothpick holder, but there are templates for other items in the W-4 line, and there’s one for the W-1 toothpick holder. (I wanted to leave a comment on your blog, but Blogger wasn’t letting me do that without a Blogger account).