Sunday, March 27, 2016

Funny Little Bunnies

Premiered March 24, 1934.

"The storybooks say that far, far away,
 There's a green enchanted dell.
 Where the rainbow ends and everything is gay,
  And the Easter Bunnies dwell."

Beyond the rainbows, a veritable army of bunnies decorates Easter Eggs and Easter candy in an assembly line fashion so they're ready to be delivered by the Easter Bunny.  Like Santa's elves, the bunnies decorate all year round.  They're assisted by a flock of hens who lay eggs that rabbits decorate with every color of dye imaginable.

Chickens -- who sound kind of like Clara Cluck -- laying eggs.
Some bunnies serve as models for chocolate bunny sculptures.

Chocolate bunny sculptors hard at work.
And, of course,  the bunnies make and fill Easter baskets.

J.A. Morris says:
The summary is short because, that's basically what happens.  Like a lot of early animated shorts, Funny Little Bunnies exists so that animators can show the audience "look what we can do!"

It has lots of beautiful animation and cute animals and entertaining ways to show us how Easter candy is made and how Easter Eggs are colored.

There is one not-very-pleasant aspect of this short we should point out.  At the 1:37 mark, a bunny falls into a vat of chocolate and emerges looking like an ugly racial stereotype.  It's a product of its time and I won't hold it to today's standards.  That doesn't make it okay.  It's probably over the heads of younger views today, but if you watch it with a kid, be prepared to answer questions.

This cartoon can be found on a DVD called Walt Disney Treasures: Silly Symphonies.  It's currently out of print, but it can be purchased online and is also available at many libraries.

Funny Little Bunnies is a generally nice short cartoon and a decent addition to the somewhat limited Easter TV and film offerings.  But the racially insensitive bit and the lack of a real story prevent me from giving it a higher rating.

J.A. Morris' rating:

3 Easter Eggs.

RigbyMel says:

This is a slight, but generally enjoyable Easter short cartoon.   As J.A. Morris says above,  the animation is beautiful,  but there is some unfortunate racial and disability stereotyping that, while common in the time period,  doesn't sit well today.

Plaid paint! Och!
Disney's Silly Symphonies series was a chance for the studio's animators to flex their artistic muscles and develop the art of animation.   The series in general was notable for its use of the Technicolor process, the inclusion of primarily musical soundtracks and experimentation that was a lead up to the eventual production of animated feature films like Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs.

Egg decoration by firing squad?!?! 
I appreciated the creativity of some of the bunnies' candy production processes - getting dye colors from a rainbow was a nice touch.

So, THAT'S where Easter egg dye comes from!
Overall, Funny Little Bunnies is a cute short.  It is a solid entry in the Silly Symphonies series and is worth a look seeing as there are not very many animated Easter options out there.

RigbyMel's rating:

2 and a half Easter Eggs.

1 comment:

Mark Alfred Elliott said...

Nice shout out to libraries! And I appreciate the heads up about the racist joke. I wish the networks would play older material like this for some of their holiday specials. It could help emphasize holidays as a tradition, connect young audiences with the past.