There are many reasons why I love the old Rankin/Bass holiday specials, but the main one is this. They are at once as reliable and cuddly-soft as your favorite old sweatshirt — and completely insane. You probably wouldn’t have an evil snow-wizard AND a failing circus in your movie about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but our boys Arthur and Jules would. Even their more beloved and less obscure specials have such surreality as the Island of Misfit Toys, the Miser Brothers, and the Kringle family in them. I’m going to venture a guess as to why and say, the 60s.
So here we have one of Rankin/Bass’ Easter specials. In it, the Easter Bunny has a scary rival who takes over Easter and makes all the bunnies turn their chocolate bunnies into chocolate octopi. And the Easter Bunny rides around in a time machine that drops him off in different holidays. Also, Danny Kaye is involved.
Yes, keep surprising me, Rankin/Bass.
The Best Parts:
42 seconds in – (See Classic Quotes below.) Yes, I can see that you do.
5 minutes in – BUNNIES!!!
9 minutes in – What happens if it turns out some other completely random rabbit who wasn’t involved in Peter and Irontail’s beef gave out thousands and thousands of eggs?
12 minutes in – And here is yet another theory for what was actually going on in “Donnie Darko”. (And yes, this is ignoring the fact that this is another movie with a scary rabbit and time-travel and a man who should not be left alone with children or bunnies and regret and mind-screwing.)
14 minutes in – If you are a timid little herbivore who falls asleep in the dark stormy woods, and when you wake up, you are with this man, run.
18 minutes in – “I-MAAAAAAAAA-gin-AAAAAAAAY-shun! / I-MAAAAAAAAA-gin-AAAAAAAAY-shun! / A dream! Can be! A dream come true! With just one spark! In me and you!”
20 minutes in – “My God… it’s full of Wingdings…”
27 minutes in – There must be a special place in Hell for anyone who eggs the Easter Bunny.
31 minutes in – “I must tell all the Vampires and Werewolves and Dragons about these Halloween Eggs immediately! To the Internet!”
33 minutes in – Admit it, you have no idea how time traveling works do you?
36 minutes in – And so now we’ve got a talking hat. Because of course we do.
40 minutes in – D’aww.
42 minutes in – It frightens me a little that the one thing that stands out to me during this scene are the turtles. They should be hibernating!
43 minutes in – The fun thing about this plot is that Irontail does not have a time machine (he only has a magic egg that can view people who are traveling through time… somehow.) So he’s had to wait weeks and weeks for every opportunity to ambush Peter. Ah, Rankin/Bass villains.
By the way, I cannot possibly imagine how his evil plan to turn Peter’s eggs green could possibly backfire.
47 minutes in – Yeah. By the way, this is accurate. All the buildings on L Street are greenish.
49 minutes in – Oh, and it’s suddenly over. Peter won, I guess. Yay!
“I deal in magic and moonbeams and pretty pretty colors!” – Seymour S. Sassafras
“Oh, you’re not supposed to enjoy my evil powers!” – Esmeralda
Things I Learned from this Movie:
* – The Easter Bunny has access to a time machine.
* – Painted eggs are unappealing at any time of year other than Easter.
* – Iron is a good material with which to make a prosthetic rabbit tail.
* – Southies are not surprised by talking bunnies.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? BUNNIES!!!
Good Soundtrack? It’s Rankin/Bass, man.
Hot Guys? No.
Pretty Scenery? Lots of little cute pastel spring things.
Nifty Animation/Effects/Art Direction? Eh, it’s par for the course for these specials. Nothing particularly memorable.
Drinking Game Potential? Drink whenever Peter tries to market his eggs to different holidays.
Head Movie Potential? I have a feeling Seymour Sassafras has got a few more crops in his “Magic Garden” he didn’t mention…
Jordan trying to digest those green eggs…
A Rankin/Bass Film released in 1971. Written by Romeo Muller and directed by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass.
Danny Kaye, Casey Kasem, Vincent Price (!?!), and Paul Frees
The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass