You didn’t think I would forget about the Easter Bunny? In the 1971 Rankin Bass Easter special, we are told a story about how the Easter Bunny came to be. Peter Cottontail is all set in line to become the Easter Bunny. Unfortunately, his one chance ends up being sabotaged by a vengeful rabbit.
We are introduced to Peter Cottontail by Seymour S. Sassafrass. He tells us the story of how all of this came to be. Early on we learn that Peter Cottontail is the son of the Head Easter Bunny, Colonel Wellington B. Bunny. When Peter is told that he would be taking on the responsibility of the Easter Bunny soon, he tells a lie and his ears flop down ( a sign that he is lying). Just when everything is set to be put in motion for Peter to assume his role of the Easter Bunny, Irontail steps in reminding Wellington of the law. Irontail is a vengeful rabbit who wants to ruin Easter all around. His tail was stepped on by a child once causing him to have to wear iron on. On the eve of Easter Sunday, Peter spends a night out with friends. He sets his alarm clock, who is a bird atop a clock, for the next morning. However, Irontail comes and puts bubble gum in the birds mouth causing the bird to croak. Peter sleeps all the way through Easter Sunday giving Irontail the advantage. Irontail doesn’t do to well, however according to the law the one who can give out the most Easter eggs on Easter wins. Irontail is able to give out just one egg making him the winner. When Peter wakes up he is unable to catch up to Irontail by the time Easter Sunday is over. With Irontail the winner he informs everyone of the changes that will happen to the beloved holiday. Peter leaves Easter Valley in disgrace because of what has happened. Along the way he runs into Seymour S. Sassafrass. Sassafrass understands Peter’s situation and lets him use his time machine. With the help of a caterpillar named Antoine, things start to go smoothly. However, Irontail gets wind of this plan and sabotages the machine. As Peter and Antoine go through several different holidays, Peter learns the importance of responsibility and being truthful. As all of this is going on, Peter starts to give out eggs only to have them stolen by Irontail. While in Christmas, he is just about to give out the eggs to a store owner in exchange for a talking Easter bonnet. This time, Irontail gets the eggs and Peter accidentally leaves behind Antoine. Landing in Valentines Day, Irontail casts a spell on the eggs making them turn green. Luckily, the next holiday is St. Patricks Day and everyone wants an egg. After all of this happens, Easter is restored to the happy holiday it once was before Irontail had turned Easter bonnets into galoshes and colorful eggs in mud colored eggs. The musical ends with Peter giving out eggs and Irontail working as a janitor.
This 1971 stop motion picture may only be just under an hour. Yet, it is an Easter classic that I enjoy every year. Here Comes Peter Cottontail may be just a fun kids movie, but it has the lesson of responsibility. Here Comes Peter Cottontail is one classic that is beloved.