The Christmas Bunny
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An instant holiday classic for the whole family, The Christmas Bunny is a heartwarming adventure bursting with the joy of the season. When Julia, a lonely foster child, discovers an injured rabbit on Christmas Eve, she forms an unlikely friendship with an eccentric farmwoman (Florence Henderson) who vows to nurse the bunny back to health. In the process, Julia s own heart is healed and she forges a bond with her adoptive family that makes her holidays one she and you will never forget.
Top customer reviews
The true star of the film is Florence Henderson. Her portrayal of the eccentric (and, dare I say,scary) bunny lady makes the film. She is convincing as a lonely farmer who has withdrawn into her world of animals. A truly amazing performance.
If you are looking for a sweet Christmas movie, that will bring a joy to your heart and a tear to your eye. This will do it.
I loved Florence Henderson for everything people knew about her (actress, singer - including broadway, writer, cooking and morning show host, Dancing With the Stars contestant 2010 - come on, at 76?!?) and some things people didn't (i.e., family background), so I clicked 'play' and sat back and watched a decent family flick. It definitely had its weaknesses in the category of morality play but it had valid lessons to be learned regardless.
Florence Henderson was phenomenal, completely submerged in her character. You almost didn't like her (or recognize her) as the rough batsh*t lady with a good heart buried inside, but that was the point. An older person in pain helping a younger person in pain even as their respective walls stayed firmly in place.
My opinion of F.H. has just gone up a couple of notches as the breadth of her acting ability is beyond what even I realized. She lived a great and full life. I'd like to be able to say that at the end.
RIP Florence Henderson
A troubled foster child named Julia has been tossed from home to home, largely because she won't speak and obsessively watches an old videotape of The Velveteen Rabbit. Her foster families don't know what to do with her--and Julia's Mom is a drug addict incapable of caring for her.
Enter a loving but fallen-on-hard-times family that includes an out-of-work engineer for a father, a stay-at-home furniture-painting mom and an adolescent boy who have decided to take on a foster child (doing double duty for additional income and filling a void in the mom's heart).
The caseworkers place Julia with the family, but the transition isn't smooth--especially because of Julia's lack of communication and anti-social behavior.
During the holidays, cousins come over and an uncle gets the boy a BB gun. They run out in the woods and start shooting at birds--and end up injuring a bunny. Julia takes to the bunny and the family rush the animal to the vet.
Barring an expensive operation, the bunny has little chance. However, the vet knows a woman who's a "Bunny Lady"...a rabbit whisperer, if you will. The family goes to the Bunny Lady's farm and get a chilly reception, but she agrees to keep it and try to mend it.
Unbeknownst to her family, Julia gets off at a different bus stop (which worries them): it's at the Bunny Lady's farm. The Bunny Lady allows Julia to visit every day, and she teaches Julia how to care for the rabbits.
When the bratty boys take the healed bunny and decide to put it in one of their "sleighs" to push down a steep snow hill they made, Julia screams--and bites one of the boys...and then runs away deep into the forest on a bitterly cold evening.
The rest of the movie shows how a family's love (and a rabbit's!) breaks through to a sad, mistrustful, lonely little girl--and how a grown man learns humility for the sake of his family and how a bitter widow's heart softens towards humanity.
The Christmas Bunny isn't a saccharine holiday tale (despite receiving Five out of Five Doves from the Dove Foundation), and does have a few unsettling moments. Still, it's a redemptive, well-acted movie likely to elicit more than a few tears, as well as feelings of thankfulness for family and community.
-- Janet Boyer, author of lots of stuff