First-rate Rankin-Bass production that ranks at the top in terms of Easter/Easter Bunny holiday fare. I grew up with this one and loved it then and love it as much if not more now. It has a nice story with some wonderful lessons laced within, great stop-motion animation the way only Rankin and Bass can do it, the vocal talents of Danny Kaye and Vincent Price, and the beautiful, catchy music of Maury Laws. Peter Cottontail oversleeps from staying out late partying when he is supposed to compete the next morning against the wicked Irontail only to lose the challenge and see Irontail take over April Valley. There Irontail, with magnificent vocal gusto from Mr. Price, makes numerous changes from changing Easter bonnets to Easter galoshes and egg colors only to new concrete and black. Peter, now social pariah, makes his way out of April Valley to find Mr. Sassafras who hooks him up with a machine that can go back in time with French-speaking caterpillar Antoine as his pilot. Peter and Antoine then make their way through all of the holidays of the calendar as Peter learns true lessons about life. The message in this one is universal and fun at the same time. Maury Laws songs are just wonderful from "The Puzzle of Life," "In Spring the Easter Bunny Never Sleeps," "Be Mine Today," and my personal favourite "If You Can't Get It Altogether Improvise." Danny Kaye resoundingly does the voices of three key characters, and it is clear he and Vincent Price are having a lot of fun. The figures are lovely and I always had a soft spot for January "Boom-Boom" Irontail and his cry "Come Montressor! Away!". I wish they could still make them like this today. I wonder - and doubt - if much of the animated junk they churn out will last and have the same impact on it viewers that this still holds on its over 35 years ago. Well, I'm feeling old - if I could only go back to yesterday and get a second chance.
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