Well, it's Easter, but I have a question...
Where are the Rankin-Bass Easter specials? Usually, they would air around this time. But where are they now?
ABC Family is celebrating Easter with a movie marathon, but not with Rankin-Bass specials? Boomerang's not airing them either this year. I'm getting a little worried.
I know that these specials can be bought on DVD and Blu-ray, though. But what about watching them on TV?
I saw a commercial that MeTV is airing "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" at 5PM me time.
Other then that, I can't say.
The Rankin-Bass Easter specials haven't really aired on TV in forever(as far as I know). It's great though that Here Comes Peter Cottontail is airing on Me-TV. Lamb Chop's Passover Special is airing right after Here Comes Peter Cottontail on Me-TV as well. I guess Classic Media sure has an influence on the network now.
Response to question #1:
Rankin-Bass only made three Easter themed specials:
a)Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971, ABC, animagic, 1hr)
b)The First Easter Rabbit (1976, NBC, cel animated, 1/2hr)
c)The Easter Bunny Is Comin' To Town (1977, ABC, animagic, 1hr)
That explains why ABC family won't put these on. Remember, Classic Media owns the pre '74 Rankin-Bass library (Peter Cottontail is part of the package). Me-TV is now airing classic cartoons from their library as of this Saturday. The latter two are owned by Warner Bros (owners of the post '74 Rankin-Bass library) All three are out on DVD, as well as It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, The Fat Albert Easter Special, and Hanna-Barbera's Greatest Stories From The Bible. That type of marathon you're thinking about will only happen on ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas (This was Rankin-Bass' biggest stride, their Christmas specials, which more were produced over the years from 1964-1985, and once in 2001 with Santa Baby) .
Response to question #2:
ABC Family won't waste space airing two lesser known RB specials. Boomerang doesn't air any Easter specials to my knowledge. Hanna-Barbera (other than The Greatest Stories series and Yogi The Easter Bear), Ruby-Spears, and Warner Bros. didn't produce many Easter themed specials in their careers.
Response to question #3:
That wonderful experience of watching the classics on TV (on the traditional networks) is dead. Thank goodness for DVD's and Retro themed networks (only found on local digital stations, not cable. How about that TV Land? Oops, it's down the toilet now, just as "the new" Boomerang is becoming.
Happy Easter. Hope this helps.
This had the remake of Peter Cottontail that came out a while back in CGI. No sign of the original that I could see, though both versions are out on DVD.
ABC Family is only running what will net them the ratings as far as they're concerned. Sadly, the old classics, like Lutheran's Easter Is.... will be ignored.
BIt belated, but guess one factor is Easter specials don't seem as prominent as they were in the 70s/80s (and even they weren't that huge at the time versus Christmas specials). Even Halloween probably has more specials produced than Easter does nowadays. I suppose the lack of ways to commercialize Easter versus other holidays (aside from candy and clothes, not much) might not help, either. That and fewer secular traditions associated with Easter, versus Christmas.
As noted above, This TV (on digital subchannels over-the-air) aired the CGI "Peter Cottontail" sequel, while the original Peter Cottontail special (which I saw on Sunday with family) aired on MeTV (another mostly-digital subchannel network), fortunately uncut. I assume ABC aired the Peanuts Easter special at some point (as they've been airing the other Peanuts holiday specials in recent years).