The First Easter Rabbit
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The First Easter Rabbit is a 1976 animated Easter special, seen on NBC and later CBS. Created by Rankin/Bass, it tells the story of the Easter Bunny's origin and is loosely based on The Velveteen Rabbit, a children's book by Margery Williams. Burl Ives did the narration of this special which also featured the song "Easter Parade". After 1964's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", this is the second Rankin/Bass special to be narrated by Burl Ives.
The film tells the story of a plush rabbit named Stuffy (Voiced by Robert Morse) given as a Christmas present for a little girl named Glinda, but when she comes down sick with Scarlet Fever, her old toys are thrown away to be burned in order to disinfect the playroom. Stuffy is rescued by a sprite named Calliope (Joan Gardner), who brings him to life and sends him to Easter Valley up at the North Pole where he befriends Santa Claus and three other rabbits named Spats, Flops, and Whiskers to help him with the Easter traditions. However, an ice monster named Zero and his partner, Bruce the Snowball want to freeze the valley and make it like the rest of the pole by stealing the Golden Easter Lily from the valley. In order to stop him, Stuffy must become the Easter Bunny, retrieve the Golden Lily, and save Easter.
- Burl Ives - Narrator, Old Stuffy (G.B.)
- Robert Morse - Young Stuffy
- Stan Freberg - Flops
- Paul Frees - Santa Claus, Zero, Spats
- Joan Gardner - Elizabeth, Calliope
- Dina Lyn - Glinda
- Don Messick - Jonathan
- Bob McFadden - Bruce the Snowball, Whiskers
- Christine Winter - Vocal
The Special is available on DVD.
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