The First Easter Rabbit

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The First Easter Rabbit
Based on The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
Written by Julian P. Gardner
Directed by Jules Bass
Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Starring Robert Morse
Stan Freberg
Paul Frees
Joan Gardner
Dina Lyn
Don Messick
Bob McFadden
Narrated by Burl Ives
Theme music composer Maury Laws
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Jules Bass
Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Cinematography Toru Hara
Tsuguyuki Kubo
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Rankin/Bass Productions
Original network NBC
Original release April 9, 1976
Preceded by Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Followed by The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town

The First Easter Rabbit is a animated Easter television special that premiered April 9, 1976 on NBC and later aired on CBS. Created by Rankin/Bass, it tells the story of the Easter Bunny's origin. The tale is loosely based on the children's book The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. Burl Ives did the narration for this special which also featured the song "Easter Parade". Following 1964's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", this is the second Rankin/Bass special to be narrated by Burl Ives.


Stuffy (voiced by Robert Morse) is a stuffed rabbit, given to a little girl named Glinda as a Christmas present. 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 (voice by Joan Gardner), who brings him to life and sends him to Easter Valley 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 by stealing the Golden Easter Lily. In order to stop him, Stuffy must become the Easter Bunny, retrieve the Golden Lily, and save Easter.



© 1976 Rankin/Bass Productions, Inc.

Home media releases[edit]

The First Easter Rabbit was first released on VHS by ABC Video Enterprises and Golden Book Video in 1986. The second release, by Warner Home Video, to VHS occurred in 1993, and a remastered "Deluxe Edition" was issued on DVD in 2010.

External links[edit]