Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Fred Astaire, Skip Hinnant, Bob McFadden, Ron Marshall, Meg Sargent
Director: Jules Bass & Arthur Rankin Jr.
Series: a Rankin/Bass Movie
Release Date: 6 April 1977
Length: 50 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4/5 stars
“This classic Rankin/Bass tale (narrated by the silver-voiced Fred Astaire) follows the adventures of a baby rabbit named Sunny who unwittingly creates a new holiday. To restore the king of Kidville to his rightful throne and pry him from the grip of his crotchety aunt, Sunny has to rely on his creativity. Along the way, he launches a string of well-known Easter traditions, including dyeing eggs, eating chocolate rabbits and hiding Easter baskets.” — Netflix.com
This is an absolutely adorable Rankin/Bass cartoon that I can remember seeing on TV when I was a kid. I haven’t seen it on TV any time recently and I am not sure if the TV stations feel that kids aren’t into watching Easter cartoons like this one, if I missed seeing it on an obscure channel, or if they don’t show it because it makes a few religious references during the feature. This cartoon is made in the same way as their classic & better known Christmas specials (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, etc.) and is just a joy to watch. It is filmed with stop-motion animation and has lots of adorable little animals and children working to liven up the town next door and make people happy again. Fred Astaire narrates the film, is animated in it and adds a touch of class and charm. The music is a joy to listen to and is really catchy. I found myself singing “What Came First: The Chicken or the Egg” for a few days after I watched this and the memories of this song and the others ones in this little film always bring a smile to my face.
I love the little details and touches that Rankin/Bass added into this film to not only make it an Easter classic, but to answer a few questions about Easter that all of us have been asking for years such as: Why did we first start dying eggs? Where did jelly beans come from? Why do we hide Easter eggs & baskets? Where did chocolate bunnies come from? and more! The answers to these questions make total sense in the movie and makes it super charming and fun to watch. I recommend this movie to anyone to watch around the Easter season – children and adults alike will fall in love with this film and find themselves making this part of their Easter traditions.
Recommended for viewers of all ages.