Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Easter Bunny Is Coming to Town|
Actors: Fred Astaire, Skip Hinnant, Bob McFadden, Allen Swift, Ron Marshall
Directors: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
Genres: Kids & Family, Musicals & Performing Arts, Animation
The Easter Bunny is Comin? to Town is a Rankin and Bass holiday classic (originally produced in 1977) featuring stop motion animation and narrated by the legendary Fred Astaire. The feature is a fun, playful, retro 50-minu... more »
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Animagic Holiday fun from Rankin/Bass
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another stop-motion Animagic hit from the holiday entertainers, of Rankin/Bass Studios, the kings of holiday TV specials. This 1 hour show was released for the first time on April 6, 1977 on ABC television network. The storyline is very similar to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", from the same studio - and by that I meant that part of the story explains all the traditions of Easter and how they began, such as why we eat chocolate bunnies, or why we color eggs. The show opens with a newsreel showing kids asking these questions. Fred Astaire reprises his role as the singing mailman S.D. Kluger and gives a great voice performance but he has a bigger role this time. He has traded in his snowmobile mail truck for "the little engine that could", voiced by Robert McFadden. In the story we go back in time to the beginning of the children's Easter traditions to answer these questions, to a hidden town called "Kidville". There is a scary bear named Gadzooks who hates holidays, and he is similar to the Winter Warlock character. A rabbit named "Sunny" grows up to be the Easter Bunny and bring joy to children, making great friends and allies along the way. He is voiced by Skip Hinnant, who voiced "Pogo" in a special from another studio. He befriends a lonely young King, named Bruce, who is being controlled and bullied by his tyrannical Aunt Longtooth.
We have come to expect good music in these holiday specials and they did not disappoint. There are 6 songs total with music by Maury Laws and lyrics by Jules Bass including the catchy, "Someone's Got to be First", along with "Big Rock Candy Mountain", the inspiring "Somebody Will Love You, If You Do", and "The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town Today". Fred Astaire sings "All You Have to Do is - Think Can Do". There is a hilarious song by the Hendrew Sisters, "What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?". This very colorful special has terrific character designs by Paul Coker, who did the same for most of the studios products. The look of the film is, well, very Easter... They just did a great job capturing what the visuals should be for the kids.
This show is the 3rd and last of the Easter themed holiday shows made by the studio. In 1971 they made an hour long Animagic TV special for ABC, "Here Comes Peter Cottontail", about the selection contest for the Easter Bunny, and it actually travels through time to all the holidays. In 1976 they made a half hour traditional cel animation special "The First Easter Rabbit" for NBC. As you know, Rankin/Bass Studios brought us such beautiful holiday TV classics such as Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Year without a Santa Claus, `Twas the Night Before Christmas, Nestor the Long Eared Donkey, The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Mouse on the Mayflower, Cricket on the Hearth, the Stingiest Man in Town, Rudolph's Shiny New Year, and more. They also made non-holiday films such as the Hobbit, and Flight of Dragons. It is incredible that one company was responsible for all those TV specials, 95% of the ones we see every year. Their work includes traditional hand drawn cel animation, stop-motion Animagic, and live action. Little Golden Books Publishing owns the rights to almost every show the studio made, and have done a commendable job re-mastering them and releasing them on DVD. I hope this comes out on a restored DVD too; I have bought all the other Rankin/Bass that has been released on DVD.
Another RANKIN/BASS Classic!
Richard J. Goldschmidt | Oak Lawn, IL USA | 03/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to believe that ARTHUR RANKIN and JULES BASS were able to Produce another GREAT 'ANIMAGIC' Easter Special after HERE COMES PETER COTTONTAIL....BUT they did! They were able to do it with the help of FRED ASTAIRE as the narrator and once again ROMEO MULLER as the writer. As far as the music goes, one reviewer is way off base here. One of the most memorable RANKIN/BASS Songs is the theme to this one "THE EASTER BUNNY IS COMIN' TO TOWN TODAY" sung by FRED ASTAIRE and of course "Someone's Gotta Be First." This has also become a family tradition at my home and it's hard to believe the Networks (ABC) stopped airing it. Who forget GADZOOKS the bear? WARNER BROTHERS is to be applauded for this GREAT clam shell cover featuring the ANIMAGIC characters.....now if it could just be released on DVD with THE FIRST EASTER RABBIT starring BURL IVES! Rick Goldschmidt RANKIN/BASS Biographer/Historian"
Another fruitless re-release from Warner...What's the point?
Joseph Brando | NJ, USA | 02/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THE EASTER BUNNY IS COMIN' TO TOWN is a great stop-motion Animagic special from those king of holiday TV Specials, Rankin/Bass. For that special alone, I would rate 5 stars.
However, it was released on DVD just a few years ago by Warner (with a better cover) and now has been re-released in this supposed "Deluxe Version" without any additional R/B material?!?! Why bother?? Warner does own the rights to another R/B Easter special, "The First Easter Rabbit", which is a nice cel-animated special featuring the voice of Burl Ives and it seems it would have been a no-brainer to stick that one on with this "Deluxe Edition". But instead we get 3 terrible stop-motion shorts that are not cartoons, but rather stop-motion experiments that have nothing to do with either Rankin/Bass or Easter. There are also NO CHAPTER STOPS for this DVD which means if you want to access a particular scene in the special, you will have to rewind or fast-forward your way to it, just like with a VHS tape!!
The other thing that really irks me is that nowhere on the box front or back does it even mention "Rankin/Bass". That is just stupid! Rankin/Bass fans are a-plenty and leaving their name off the box could only hurt sales as well as shows a complete lack of respect for the history of the film. C'mon Warner...stop being greedy and open up your vaults!! If you release a "Deluxe Edition", try actually adding some additional content that anyone purchasing this DVD might be interested in. I would recommend getting the previous DVD release...it has the same special, a better cover and a lower price!!"
A childhood favorite!
J. Bagwell | Irvine, CA | 02/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a Rankin/Bass classic and one of my favorite Easter specials. The use of the Mailman character from "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" creates a wonderful link between the holidays. I easpecially love how all of the Easter traditions are explained in such a whimsical manner!"