Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie is a 2005 thing (which may or may not have actually come out in 2006, but hey, it’s amazingly hard to find information about this thing online) which is technically a film. It is also a sequel, at least technically, to 1971’s Rankin/Bass holiday classic Here Comes Peter Cottontail, although it feels like it was made by people who may or may not have actually watched that special.
Yes, yes, it’s after Easter, but Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie isn’t really about that anyway. It’s more of a “spring” story, with Peter Cottontail’s son “Junior” being irresponsible and into inventions and stuff, and his “dad doesn’t listen to him” and that sort of thing. When Peter idiotically places his boy in charge of guarding “the clock of spring”, it backfires immediately, because a villain called “Jackie Frost” has teamed up with a vengeful Irontail to make it winter forever for…reasons. Irontail breaks the clock, causing the seasons to freeze and making it impossible for April to come to April Valley. So Junior leaves, makes some annoying friends, and tries to stop Irontail and Jackie Frost from destroying the other seasonal clocks. Or something.
This is such an odd “movie” that it’s hard for me to fathom why it even exists. Here Comes Peter Cottontail has become my favorite Easter TV special over time, but it’s more or less an obscure title with something resembling a cult following. Where was there a market for a sequel? Not that it matters, because the “film” looks so cheap that it must’ve had an incredibly small budget. Fairness demands I mention this is early straight-to-DVD computer animation, but that doesn’t excuse how stiff everyone is when they move. In the 1971 original, which was done in stop-motion, Peter was able to hop around with enthusiasm and gusto. Here, the bunnies instead just…walk around awkwardly. You would think that something like hopping would be easier in computer animation than stop-motion, but such is not the case here.
The voice cast includes Molly Shannon as Jackie and Roger Moore of all people replacing Vincent Price as Irontail (“The name’s Tail. Irontail.” Okay, I’ll allow that)), but Moore plays Irontail as “menacing” more than anything and doesn’t sound anything like Price’s delightfully evil but never threatening take on the character. And that’s just it. Of the few returning characters we have here, none of them act like themselves. Irontail wants it to be winter forever for reasons that are never explained. Peter Cottontail is now a grumpy strict dad who doesn’t listen to his kid. And Peter’s wife is…well, Peter’s wife. She’s not even named here!
Also, there are songs. For better or for worse…
Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie wasn’t a hit. In fact, it bombed so badly that the easiest way to catch it on disc now is on later editions of the original special as an extra feature. But if you wanna catch it for yourself, feel free to do so below. Or don’t. It’s really one of the most “huh, so this exists” animated movies I’ve watched in a while.
Have a great night, y’all!