You know who else is comin' to town? Judge David Johnson. And Hell's coming with him!
Our review of The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town, published April 3rd, 2006, is also available.
So what's the origin of the Easter Bunny? Fred Astaire has the answer for you!
So, you think the Resurrection and Atonement are the true reasons for the Easter season? Ha, think again!
Facts of the Case
Voicing the character of an information-disgorging train conductor, Fred Astaire offers the narration of the Easter Bunny's origin story, which, frankly, is profoundly more surreal than I would have anticipated.
When a group of orphans from Kidsville, a town full of orphans (town motto: "The highest number of orphans per capita than any other town in the continental United States"), finds an orphan bunny rabbit, they adopt him, name him Sunny and raise him as a full-fledged Kidsville resident.
Sunny soon discovers his role as the magical bringer of Easter magic (you know, as opposed to that Jesus fellow), when, through a series of bizarre circumstances, he ends up at a childless town called Town run by a seven year-old king and his oppressive aunt, carrying a basket full of colored hard-boiled eggs. The boy king anoints Sunny as the Easter Bunny, but his aunt declared the colorful eggs illegal and Sunny embarks on a daring initiative to smuggle in contraband Easter eggs.
And the rest is history…
Apparently this strange little Easter fable is so beloved that it positively demanded a deluxe edition. While I am more than happy to get on board with an old-school stop-motion saga narrated by Fred Astaire, there's no doubt that The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town is extremely weird. I mean there's a part when a homeless man gathers an army of hobos to build a railroad to transport Easter delicacies to a town full of orphans. Yeah, I'm pretty sure the writer inhaled a lungful of ether and vomited forth a stream-of-conscious story onto the page.
But that's me being cynical. As nutty as this film is, it's a charmer and will no doubt appeal to children who haven't yet had their frontal lobes hollowed out by the combined forces of the Power Rangers or the Bratz.
The music is lively, the characters are fun and harmless and the stop-motion animation is top-shelf and dripping with nostalgia—well nostalgic for a certain age group and probably strangely foreign to most others. The storyline is all over the place with plot points popping out of nowhere and plot devices surfacing to serve the explanation of Easter traditions, but whatever, no one will care, especially not the target demographic. All that matters is that the funny talking bunny bounces around with his colorful eggs and rides in the smiling train. Mission accomplished!
Every so often a song number will bust in, attempting to clarify the obtuse, ludicrous narrative. This adds another shot of fun to an already fun feature, even with the ubiquitous presence of orphans permeating the film.
Fifty minutes later you'll have all your Easter answers and will no doubt gain an immense respect for the challenges that faced one young rabbit and his desire to bring colored eggs to the world. Amen.
The full frame transfer looks great, remastered with a bright, vibrant picture quality. Sound is mono, but the mix does its job fine. Overall, an attractive technical presentation. Unfortunately, the bonus material fails to live up to the "deluxe" label. Three amateur stop-motion shorts totaling six minutes and some trailers are all you get.
Goofy for sure, but this Easter Bunny is retro-fun.
Not guilty. Pass the eggs.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• Stop-Motion Shorts
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