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Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971)

TV Movie  |   |  Animation, Family, Musical  |  4 April 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 625 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

With the help of a time machine, Peter Cottontail must rescue Easter from the hands of the malicious Irontail.


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Cast overview:
Seymour S. Sassafras / Antoine / Col. Wellington B. Bunny (voice)
Paul Frees ...
Colonel Bunny's Assistant / Fireman / Father at Thanksgiving Table / Santa Claus (voice)
Joan Gardner ...
Bonnie / Esmeralda / Shopkeeper (voice)
Iris Rainer ...
Donna (voice)
Greg Thomas ...
Jeff Thomas ...


When the Chief Easter Bunny retires, he chooses Peter Cottontail as his successor. However, the reclusive January Q. Irontail wants the position as well, seeking to revenge himself upon children everywhere for the destruction of his tail. He proposes he and Peter have a race to see who can deliver the most eggs. Due to his own carelessness and Irontail's meddling, Peter oversleeps and loses the job. Luckily, a strange man and a worm give him access to a time machine, so Peter can set things right. Unfortunately, Irontail is there with the intention of thwarting him every step of the way... Written by cupcakes

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Official Sites:



Release Date:

4 April 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pedro Bolinha de Algodão Está de Volta  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Seymour S. Sassafras: Now of course it's all very nice here, thanks to Peter Cottontail and... hmm? You've never heard of Peter Cottontail? Great chattering chick-chicks!
[taking his hat off and speaking into it]
Seymour S. Sassafras: They've never heard of Peter Cottontail!
Sassafras's Hat: They've never heard of Peter Cottontail?
See more »


Followed by Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie (2005) See more »


The Easter Bunny Always Sleeps
(Irontail's reprise)
Sung by Vincent Price
Music and Lyrics by Maury Laws & Jules Bass
See more »

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User Reviews

The Beginning of The Rankin-Bass Easter Specials.
28 April 2015 | by (Hialeah, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the very first Easter special (by Rankin-Bass or otherwise) I ever saw, I believe. One reviewer of this typed that this is actually an adaptation based on a book, which I didn't know. Another mentioned that this is a rare Easter special, which surprises me, because I grew up watching this special and it's the most well-known to me, at least, anyway. I don't even remember ever hearing of nor seeing the two, other, Rankin-Bass Easter specials when I was little at all. Although it hadn't been aired on regular t.v. in years, it aired there again for the first time, in a long time, earlier this month on CW. I don't remember what year regular t.v. aired it last before that. That was unexpected, I know for me anyway, at least.

Still nevertheless, it's one of the most beloved holiday specials of all time. This is the first in the Rankin-Bass Easter special trilogy, followed by The First Easter Rabbit and The Easter Bunny Is Comin' To Town. This and the third special are stop-motion animation, whereas the second is traditionally hand-drawn. I haven't decided which of these is my most favorite yet, as I still have to see the third Easter special. The titular Easter bunny in this is to succeed in Col. Wellington B. Bunny's position in a contest to determine who will become the holiday's next chief Easter rabbit as he's retiring. Peter's competitor/opponent is another rabbit named January Q. Irontail, who is so named for his iron, prosthetic tail, which he uses as a replacement for his real tail after it was broken off when a kid accidentally skated over it. That incident made Irontail very bitter, he's held a grudge against kids ever since. Despite this, he still agreed to partake in the contest anyway, just in vindictiveness and his intention is to ruin the holiday once it arrives again. He comes up with a plan to ensure his chances of winning and Peter ends up oversleeping. After failing to keep his word and losing the contest, Peter is exiled from April Valley and Irontail becomes the new chief Easter bunny. But Peter vows to compensate and take the position that is more rightfully and suitably his. Along the quest, he meets the French caterpillar, Antoine, whose time machine transports them throughout the various holidays as Peter attempts to give away alterations of the eggs; the talking bonnet, Bonnie; and a female rabbit named Donna, among others. Peter's mission isn't quite an easy task as he has some hurtles along the way, but somehow, he manages to get and come through them in the end.

I've always loved this special, the whole thing is great. I loved every minute of it. There's a recurring gag that involves one of Peter's ears flopping over whenever he fibs, among many, other moments. If anyone reading this needs great recommendations for an Easter special, then he or she can never go wrong with this. This is definitely an essential one, so come along for the ride. All of Rankin and Bass' Easter specials should be released as a triple feature DVD pack, which I don't believe ever has. And if that has never occurred, then it should be considered. Even though the second Easter special's running time is shorter than the others.

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