Ah, Easter! It’s a time of sweet, sticky Peeps, brightly colored eggs and all that chocolate. And as any child over the age of two will wisely tell you, it’s all thanks to the Easter Bunny.
Hollywood has known this for a long, long time. ‘Hop’ is just the latest animated film to feature the holiday hare. The magical rabbit has been the source of a number of film and TV specials since the silent era. He’s even guested with some lapin luminaries. Some of them are even quite tasty in their own right.
So if you are looking for some Easter entertainment that won’t make you feel like you have to produce jelly beans the hard way, all of these are easily available on DVD or streaming on the web for your personal entertainment.
The Easter Bunny has a problem; his aching bunions won’t let him deliver one last egg. So he cons no less than Bugs Bunny to do the work for him while he takes a long, long nap. That’s when our hero finds out delivering holiday cheer is a lot more dangerous than he ever imagined. After all, it isn’t bad enough that Elmer Fudd has a hankering for Easter Bunny stew, Bugs also has to contend with one of the most obnoxious kids he’s ever had in his career. Plus it doesn’t take Bugs too long to figure out that EB is taking him for a chump. As any fan of Bugs knows, this means war.
Directed by the underrated Robert McKimson, this Looney Tune was originally released in 1947 and truly is a classic. It’s readily available on a number of other Bugs collections and is a sure bet to keep you and the knee biters cracking up for some time to come.
“South Park Fantastic Easter Special“
Trey Parker and Matt Stone cross the tale of the Easter Bunny with “The Da Vinci Code,” creating something as equally blasphemous as it is hilarious. The bit where Jesus begs Kyle to kill him one more time is a virtual feast of double and triple entendres in and of itself. The rest is equally ripe with delicious irony. It’s one of the most inventive and creative tales of the origins of the Easter Bunny, ever. It’s also readily available in the 11th season box set or for streaming.
“Here Comes Peter Cottontail” and “The Easter Bunny Is Coming To Town“
There’s hardly a Rankin-Bass special that doesn’t feature one holiday or another. In this case, here are two. The first, originally released in 1971, is narrated by the legendary Danny Kaye and also stars Casey Kasem as Peter and the ever wonderful Vincent Price. Yes the story is about as sugary as an overdose of Kandy Korn, but it’s some of the best work the old R-B puppet team would ever do.
‘Easter Bunny’ was released in 1977 and is the more tired of the two. In this one, the EB is out to save a town from a total lack of holiday spirit and even narration from Fred Astaire can’t quite pull it off the same way ‘Peter Cottontail’ does. Still, it has its moments, such as the jazzy ‘Train Yard Blues.’
You might have to hunt a bit for this one, but it’s well worth it. Directed by legendary stop motion master Will Vinton, this tells the tale of a greedy pig that kidnaps the Easter Bunny. From there, it unleashes some creative chaos only Vinton can think up. Besides, how can you go wrong when it also features the California Raisins?