I always love finding references to Halloween at other times of the year. Easter, for example, is a time of brightly colored eggs, cute bunnies and baby chicks. But just because Halloween is six long months away doesn't mean you can't indulge your scary side. Take Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971, Rankin Bass), which features a terrific villain, Irontail.
Voiced by Vincent Price, Irontail explains that his tail was run over years ago by a child's rollerskate, and ever since that day he's detested children, and longed to ruin Easter to get back at them!
Having a character who hates children and hates Easter, smack dab in the middle of an otherwise cute Easter special, seems so deliciously subversive!
This is his home, where he lives with a pet bat (Mon Tresor) and a spider.
When he cheats in an egg-delivering contest and usurps Peter Cottontail as the new Easter Bunny, he makes several new decrees certain to spoil Easter:
First, all Easter eggs will from now on be the color of mud or new concrete.
Next, instead of chocolate bunnies, they will now make chocolate tarantulas and octopi.
Finally, bright Easter bonnets will now be replaced with Easter galoshes.
As part of a plan to save Easter from evil Irontail, Peter Cottontail ends up touring various holiday-themed lands in a flying time machine. This is represented visually by his balloon-powered vehicle smashing through giant floating calenders.
Here comes Halloween!
In the hopes of delivering his cargo of Easter eggs, Peter paints them orange and black. It's here that the idea of "Halloween Eggs" is introduced. The first one is given to Madame Esmeralda, a wicked Halloween witch.
Here she is flying with her Halloween minions.
Here Comes Peter Cottontail is available on DVD here.
1 year ago