on July 14, 2003
This half hour film released in 1976 is one of 3 Easter films produced by the Rankin and Bass Studio. The other 2 are
"Here Comes Peter Cottontail", which is about all the Holidays as 2 rabbits compete to deliver the most eggs and become the new Easter Bunny, and "The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town", which concentrates on explaining traditions of Easter, very similar to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
The main difference with this film is that it uses traditional animation, and the 2 above are Animagic, or stop-motion. Burl Ives narrates and sings again in this one, and is even drawn to be dressed like the character he played in Rudolph. There are at least 2 good songs in the film. The studio that made this film are perfectionists, and even their credits are imaginative and fun to watch. The story starts before there was ever an Easter Rabbit, and he was stuffed bunny owned by a girl. He is brought to life to serve as the symbol of Easter and moves to a magical place called Easter Valley. When Easter is threatened Santa joins the bunny in defending Easter Valley.
You may remember Rankin and Bass as the folks that brought us such beautiful holiday classics such as Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Year without a Santa Claus, Nestor the Long Eared Donkey, Mad Monster Party, The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is coming to Town, Mouse on the Mayflower, Here Comes Peter Cottontail, The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town, Cricket on the Hearth, the Stingiest Man in Town, Jack Frost, Pinnochio's Christmas, Rudolph's Shiny New Year, the First Easter Bunny. They also made non-holiday films such as the Hobbit, Flight of Dragons, the Last Unicorn. It is incredible that one company is responsible for all those TV specials, 95% of the ones we see every year. Their work includes standard animation, stop-motion animagic, and live action. There is a great book on the studio called "The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass.
I hope this comes out on a restored DVD soon, I have bought all the other Rankin/Bass that has been released on DVD.
on March 24, 2004
The First Easter Rabbit is another story to add to your Rankin/Bass collection! This story is animated though,instead of stop-motion, which they are probably more known for. This does not make it any less charming though(Frosty the Snowman, one of my faves, is animated also) and as a Rankin/Bass fan you can really tell it is one of their animations.
The First Easter Rabbit is about Stuffy, a lttle girls stuffed rabbit, and how he becomes the Easter Bunny. I first saw this when I was a little girl, I am now 25 and still love this and all other Rankin/Bass stories. My only reason for giving it 4 stars is because you can't get it on DVD yet, and it should be teamed up with the other 2 Easter stories "The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town" and "Here comes Peter Cottontail".