The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town

The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town

DVD - 2006 | Standard edition.
Average Rating:
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Publisher: Burbank, Calif. : Warner Bros., [2006]
Edition: Standard edition.
ISBN: 9781419817939
1419817930
Branch Call Number: DVD J EAS
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (50 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.

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fbjiii
Apr 03, 2017

No good, no story.

Picked Easter Bunny is Coming to Town off the library shelf hoping to share some childhood viewing memories with my 8- and 10-year old. Didn’t work. Not because dated dialogue or advances in animation technology (which my 10 son incessantly pointed out during the movie), but because Rankin|Bass forgot to tell a good story.

Think about Rudolf. Is it about Christmas? Not really. It’s about accepting oneself, overcoming obstacles, friendship, and celebrating differences.

For the EBCT, it’s about answering children’s questions about Easter traditions. That’s it. Why do we color eggs? Why are the eggs hidden? Why are there jellybeans? And so on. There’s no reason to spoil you with the answers because zzzzzz….

The characters have no motivations. No true or deep relationships are built. Sure, Sunny the Easter Bunny wants to make people happy… something that is stumbled upon… (deeeeep breath) by the nature of building an importing/exporting economic model by capitalizing on their world-renowned (how do they know this?) eggs, thus bringing in better goods for the orphan town of Kidsville. But I digress.

(Mind you, if Rankin|Bass really went for it, making Sunny Bunny some sort of charitable economic genius instead of a Santa with furry ears? Now THAT could have been original and interesting.)

I’ll also add that the songs were dull and uninspired. Sunny’s sidekick, Hallelujah, isn’t very charming as they hope him to be. The three chickens were annoying, near southern-belle stereotypes. Their song about “Firsts,” a.k.a., “The chicken or the egg” will have Christian enthusiasts quietly nodding along while science crawls backwards into the watery muck.

Speaking of water, the environment is also stiff. There is no magic. One doesn’t watch Rankin|Bass looking for Pixar-style graphics or animation but there is absolutely no charm here that made Rudolph, Santa, or even the Heatmiser a visual feast. The characters’ fur looks worn, shabby. It feels less crafted and something you might buy pre-made off the craft store shelf. Their motion isn’t very sharp or considered.

Aha! I just stumbled on a theory on why this movie is so terrible. After such forcibly secular Santa tales, maybe Rankin|Bass felt the need to capture the good graces of Christian audiences? No, not forced. But then again, is there another movie where a character is named, “Hallelujah?”

In the end, EBCT is a vapid, useless tale. It gets two stars (or 1 of 5) because if you want to keep your 6-year old occupied it may kill 50 minutes. Gadzooks, the evil bear growls a lot and turns good pretty quickly. He shouldn’t scare your children unless they’re offended by bad voice acting—a trait shared by most of the actors.

Oh, don’t bother with the DVD extras. Did you think they’d show a bit of Rankin|Bass history, an explanation on stop-motion animation technology, or at least trailers of their good specials? Nope. Seems like all they could offer were three stop-motion shorts made by some first-time, community college students.

Though this one was a bust, I’m not giving up on lesser-known Rankin|Bass features. I’m hoping, “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” with Vincent Price as “Irontail (!),” was the movie I was looking for, because it certainly was not this one.

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