April 15, 2011

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays: Cool Stuff and The Greatest Easter Special EVER!

Hello, and welcome back to your favorite column and mine: From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! This week I have some fun bits of news and a look at the greatest Easter special ever created: Here Comes Peter Cottontail! Let’s just jump down and into it!

Joann Sfar, the creator behind such French comics as The Little Vampire, is having his comic The Rabbi’s Cat become a major animated motion picture, coming out in France soon! The hand drawn animation looks amazing. We can cross our fingers that we get this here. Click on this link to see the trailer!

Shout! Factory had the cool announcement of the week, that on July 5, 2011 they will be releasing the long awaited TV series Transformers: Headmasters. For those of you unfamiliar, when Transformers hit season 4 here in North America, the final season was only three episodes and wrapped everything up, to an extent. However, in Japan they didn’t want to stop this monster success and kept producing several series after. Transformers: Headmasters picks right up with the next arc of the series. For years this has only been available in Asia, and now Shout! Factory will bring us all the unseen glory. Get an idea of this right here.

Finally, Viz announced a ton of cool additions coming up for their Viz Kids line this week, which includes the manga of best selling video game and anime Pokemon Black and White, the graphic novel adaptations of the upcoming summer Nickelodeon animated relaunch Voltron Force, and finally a year from now in Spring 2012, all new Mr. Men and Little Miss graphic novels! Woot-woot!

Something To Watch: Here Comes Peter Cottontail

The past few weeks we have been looking at Rankin/Bass (powerhouse behind Thundercats, King Kong Escapes, Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer, and more) Easter Specials. We looked at The First Easter Rabbit, then looked at The Easter Bunny Is Comin’ To Town, and now finally our journey ends with what is possibly the greatest Easter special ever created: Here Comes Peter Cottontail. Created in 1971 by Rankin/Bass, Here Comes Peter Cottontail is one of the best things ever to come out of Rankin/Bass. There are so many things so perfect with this special, in fact many die-hard Rankin/Bass fans argue which is better: Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer (which started the whole Rankin/Bass animated holiday special craze) or Here Comes Peter Cottontail.

Based off the 1957 novel The Easter Bunny That Overslept, this TV special tells the story of Peter Cottontail, who has the task of becoming the next Easter bunny. To win this title he has to deliver the most eggs on Easter, however, he accidentally oversleeps and loses the bet to an evil rabbit named January Irontail, a rabbit who has a tail of iron, hates children, and flies on a giant bat. Peter tries to make things right, and with the aid of a French caterpillar named Antoine, travels back through time (he has to keep stopping at other holidays as his time machine keeps breaking down) to set things right again.

There are several amazing things about Here Comes Peter Cottontail. The first is that the villain Irontail is voiced by all-time favorite horror movie actor Vincent Price to an amazingly good degree (the voice cast also includes Casey Kasem and Danny Kaye). Next is that each song is performed to fine perfection and written up by Favorite Romeo Muller. Finally, the animation is so colorful and clear as it varies across the many holidays, animagic has never looked better. Honestly I cannot say enough good things about Here Comes Peter Cottontail. Watch it this weekend and the next, over and over again! Out on DVD now.

That’s it for this week. Next week we have off for a little spring break, but we are back starting April.29th! See you then, and remember, Godzukie loves you!

To get more of your kids comics fix, visit past columns of From Friendly Ghosts to Gamma Rays.

Drew McCabe



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