Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Sony Wonder // Unrated // $19.98 // February 12, 2002
Review by David Blair | posted April 29, 2003
Highly Recommended
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Graphical Version

The Movie

There's just something about these old classic stop-motion animation movies that really makes me…well…feel young again. Here Comes Peter Cottontail is a classic tale that parents should feel good about buying their children. Not only is it cute and catchy, but also it teaches good morals to boot. It seems that this combination is getting harder and harder to come by nowadays.

Here Comes Peter Cottontail is the story of the boisterous little Peter Cottontail (Casey Kasem), a likeable, albeit reckless bunny rabbit who is trying to become chief Easter Bunny and ruler of the magical April Valley. But just as Peter is about to be crowned Chief, the mean and nasty Irontail (the show's villain, voiced by Vincent Price) interrupts just in time to declare a contest of merit between he and Peter. So it is decided that whoever gives away the most eggs on Easter Sunday will become Chief Easter Bunny. Naturally Irontail doesn't play fair, so he sabotages Peter's alarm clock so he will oversleep on Easter day. Irontail wins the contest, and Peter is forced to seek the help of Seymour S. Sassafrass (Danny Kaye). Sassafrass lends Peter his "Yestermorrow" vehicle so Peter can travel back in time to deliver the eggs that he should have passed out on Easter morning. But as luck would have it, Irontail foils his plans again, and sabotages the "Yestermorrow" so it drops them off during all the other holidays of the year. Peter can only save Easter if he can learn to stop fibbing and never give up when the going gets tough.

The fantastic ensemble of voice talent is the main reason that this classic is as good as it is. Danny Kaye narrates and sings all of the songs, and to put it mildly, he does a remarkable job. Add to that the familiar voices of Casey Kasem and Vincent Price, and you've got a verifiable hit on your hands.

If you're worried that your little ones at home won't like this movie, you should know that my nearly three-year-old daughter has now watched it over 25 times. So you can be self-assured that it will get some serious play in your DVD player. Thankfully though it's such an entertaining holiday classic, I don't mind watching it several times a day. (Although, if this keeps up for much longer I may have to hide it from her soon, if only for my own sanity) If you're like me - a parent always on the lookout for good children's titles - then you should feel confident about buying this DVD. The kids will love it, and you'll probably not mind watching it three times a day, well at least for the first couple weeks. So hop to it.


Video: Here Comes Peter Cottontail is presented in 4:3 full screen. For a 1970's movie, this classic looks surprisingly clean on DVD. There are the expected spots and blemishes you'd expect from something so old, but for the most part it's fairly debris-free. The video is very crisp for an older movie, and is free from any obvious edge enhancement. Colors are a bit dull, but I attribute this to the source material. Overall, this I was pleasantly surprised that it looked as good as it did.

Audio: This is a Dolby Digital 2.0 affair. The dialogue is very easy to hear at all times, and the music heard throughout the feature is clearly audible, and quite wonderful to listen to. Danny Kaye's songs are perfectly timeless and sound just as good if not better than I remember when I was a kid. For the age of this release, this is a find sounding DVD.

Extras: There are two main extra features on this disc. The first is classic cartoon by Rankin/Bass called "Puss in Boots." It's the classic fairytale that we all know and love, in cartoon form. This 21-minute feature is a nice inclusion, even if it doesn't have anything to do with Peter Cottontail. And because it is a feature length cartoon, it may get some repeat play from your kids.

The second feature is the Here Comes Peter Cottontail "Sing-Along Songs." Here you can sing along with all the wonderful songs sung by Danny Kaye. This is a great feature and gets used often here at my house. My daughter loves all the songs in the movie, so I was glad to see this feature offered.

Final Thoughts:

Easter may have come and gone, but that shouldn't stop you from buying this fun Easter classic. Here Comes Peter Cottontail is a wonderful addition to any child's personal DVD collection. The animation is quirky yet loveable, and the story and voice talent are all top notch. Your young ones will be begging to watch this over and over again - believe me, I know. Highly Recommended

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