Howdy, folks, just a few days ago, we discussed The Easter Bunny is Comin’ to Town from 1977, an Easter-themed retelling of Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town from 1970 that upset me greatly. For today’s review, we’re travelling back by one year to talk about the animated Rankin/Bass short, The First Easter Rabbit from 1976.
Narrated by a somewhat frightening rabbit voiced by Burl Ives, this 25-minute short is cute and brightly colored. It also feels…kind of pointless due to a lack of story. The short focuses on a plush bunny named Stuffy who once belonged to a sick girl named Glinda. Don’t worry, Glinda doesn’t perish or anything. They just have to get rid of Stuffy and all of Glinda’s clothes when she comes down with scarlet fever.
Okay. That’s…a weird direction for this story to take. But…okay.
Well, before Stuffy is incinerated (yes, this almost happens), Stuffy is brought to life by a fairy named Calliope. He is to become the first Easter Rabbit and is sent off to Easter Valley, a perpetually green place near the North Pole.
Um…I’m not even sure what Stuffy is supposed to do here. Nothing really happens in this short. There is a really cruddy looking villain named Zero, who is basically just a melty dude made of ice. His sidekick, Bruce…is a snowball. That’s it. Zero wants to freeze Easter Valley, and he succeeds after stealing the Golden Lily that keeps Easter Valley green. Then Bruce feels bad, tells on Zero to Santa, Zero whines a bit, proving himself to be a really lame villain, and then everything is fine. Unless I’m forgetting, Stuffy doesn’t really seem to play much of a role in saving the day.
With that said, this special was still pretty cute, despite utterly lacking a satisfying story, and thankfully, it was quite short, as well, which is why I would at least rank it higher than The Easter Bunny is Comin’ to Town. But I’ve saved the best for last, dear readers! This Friday, we are reviewing my favorite Easter special of the bunch, Here Comes Peter Cottontail from 1971!
Other Rankin/Bass Easter Special Reviews