The First Easter Rabbit: Deluxe Edition
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The First Easter Rabbit: Deluxe Edition]]>
A Rankin/Bass production narrated by Burl Ives that feels much like the classic holiday specials Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the 1976 The First Easter Rabbit tells the story of how a plush bunny named Stuffy became the world's very first Easter rabbit. The story begins much like the classic book The Velveteen Rabbit: a plush rabbit is given to a young girl as a Christmas present and she develops a great love for it. When the girl becomes ill with scarlet fever, the doctor says the bunny must be burned, but before that can happen, a fairy makes the toy rabbit come alive. Here the television special departs from the classic story, and the fairy charges Stuffy with the important mission of becoming the first Easter rabbit. With a little help from Santa, Stuffy sets out to outsmart the villain Zero--who's bent on turning Easter Valley from a place of eternal spring to a frozen wasteland like the rest of the North Pole--and figure out how to deliver Easter baskets to children around the world. The special contains several songs performed by Ives, most of which are not particularly memorable, as well as Ives singing the famous Irving Berlin song "Easter Parade" from the 1948 film of the same name. This sweet and fanciful special about the Easter Bunny is appropriate for kids ages 3 and older, and, while it probably won't become a classic in the league of the Rankin/Bass holiday specials, it's a secular Easter story that's worth sharing. --Tami HoriuchiSee all Editorial Reviews
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"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, (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 have bought all the other Rankin/Bass that has been released on DVD.
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".