–by Joshie Jaxon
This little known gem from 1980 tells the tale of Jack the Easter Rabbit, and his upcoming retirement. The Friars Club is having a roast in his honor. Presenters include Steed Martin, Haro, Scrawny Chicken, Ratso the Rat, Santa, and Don Rattles. Yay! Animal name puns!
Our opening number has Jack sitting in a giant Easter egg, being pulled by bunnies in bunny suits. There’s a reason for it. As Jack sings about how Easter has been good to him, the big bunny suits come off, to reveal sexy bunnies, that help him finish the number. A dirty old turtle tries to grab one, and his wife hits him.
In the kitchen, we see an unnamed aardvark, that I’m going to call Artie, so I don’t have to keep typing aardvark. He can’t believe Jack is really there. The waiters are penguins, naturally, and one tells him that Jack is retiring. The chef, who I’ll name Billy, cause he’s a bull, tells Artie to get back to work.
On the dais, Santa is up first. Santa is serving 70’s pimp realness, complete with gold chain, and open shirt or is it a jumpsuit? You decide. I’ll leave out the ho ho ho joke. Oops, it made it in after all. C’est la vie. My posts aren’t just entertaining, they’re classy too.
We hear the story of how Jack was orphaned and was taken in by a pair of chickens. In an effort to please his adoptive parents, we see Jack attempt to crow, and it goes as well as you’d think. Christmas comes, and Jack’s parents leave a colored egg in his stocking. It falls out, and he has to go searching for it the next morning. Foreshadowing anyone?
His friends ask what he got, and Jack says an egg. Ratso says that’s what he gets for living with chickens, calls him a “cluck cluck”. They tell him he needs to write Santa for what he wants. Jack sends Santa a thank you letter, calling him grade A all the way. Yay egg humor! Time passes, and spring arrives. As school gets out for Easter break, Ratso and the others say they hate Easter. Christmas is for kids, Easter is for grown ups.
Deciding to give his classmates a reason to like Easter, Jack dresses like Santa, and sets off to deliver Easter presents. Side note, Jacks pretending to be Santa must be a thing. Can we say Skellington? Anyhow, Jack delivers colorful eggs to all his friends, and they’re happy to have found something fun to do on Easter. Santa finishes the story saying that’s how Easter became the kids’ second favorite holiday.
Artie tries to tell Jack not to retire, but chef Billy tells him he’s got work in the kitchen, and to start kitchen up. Yay puns! Ratso is up this time. He mentions how he used to be a jealous, and Jack calls him a downright drag. Ratso starts to tell the tale of the year Jack wasn’t fit to deliver the eggs, and auditions were held. Several animals, tried but were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Scarlett O’Hare is out running, and Jack goes gaga for her. She’s thinking bad romance, and wants nothing to do with him. As she continues her run, she crosses the line ahead of Ratso, and is given the honor of delivering the Easter eggs this year. He’s not having that.
Ratso meets with a gang of rats, and tells them he was disqualified for being a rat, and rallies them to get the basket from Scarlett. While out delivering the eggs, we have a very West Side Story moment as the rats whistle and snap their way to her. She screams, and Jack gets up to track them down. There’s a shadow fight, and the rabbits are victorious. Back at the roast, Ratso says no hard feelings. Jack is fine, Easter has been good to him. We cut to Scarlett sitting with his parents.
Scrawny Chicken then regales us with the story of the year of the great egg shortage. Jack had gone to the coop to get some eggs, and arrives in time to see the chickens being hauled off. As he tracks them down, via a trail of cracked eggs, he realizes who did it when he discovers eggs Benedict. It’s Madame Melegg, the tv chef. Hupcha hupcha, quick like a bunny!
The chickens are in shackles as the Madame is singing about how she’ll be making an omelette with 2 million eggs. Before we go on, I’d like to point out that in addition to wanting to serve up some eggs, she’s serving up egg beater eleganza. They’re giant, and she uses them like skates. As we look at the big board, we see a grand total of one, and she asks her captives to give generously, or instead of an omelette, she’ll be making chicken pot pie!
The eggs are flowing freely. Talk about a fear lay. Sorry. Jack arrives, and grabs number 2 million before it hits the pan and sets off the egg cracker, aka the Acme mallet. He has some nerve interrupting her show! He tells her he’s Chef Antoine, and asks where she learned to make eggs, Humpty Dumpty? He then asks if this is Roots, chicken style. Yes, he actually says that. It’s 1980, give him some slack. He convinces the Madame to let his people go. Yay, Easter humor! As the eggs are getting returned, the Madame offers him strawberry kisses as an hors d’oeuvre.
His mustache comes off during the smooches, and the Madame is none too happy. She says Easter rabbit is a rare forbidden dish. All you need is small bit of railroad track, and a full head of steam. She charges at him like a locomotive, and last rites are performed over him. Odd thing for a cartoon, but again, it’s 1980. The 70’s had just ended. Worth mentioning, it’s a priest and a Rabbi. There’s another joke in there somewhere.
Just before impact, he shouts that it’s time for a commercial. Being a pre-Food Network diva, she agrees. Gotta keep the sponsors happy. Jack uses her giant beaters in a demonstration, and throws several objects through them, the last of which is a girder, ruining them completely.
Back at the roast, Scrawny says how she loves Jack, and kisses him. Don Rattles pulls Jack to the dais to have his say. Before he can, Don cuts him off saying they’re going over on time. It’s time for the big finale. The kitchen doors open, and there’s Artie. We see Billy tied up, and the giant egg shaped cake is left there. Artie brings Jack a lone Easter egg, telling him it will be the last one. Ever.
No, there’s just can’t be a last Easter egg. Someone else can do it. Artie says that Jack is the Easter bunny, there is no one else. Everyone starts chanting “don’t quit”, and that’s all it takes to convince him not to. Once again, Jack says Easter has been good to him. Awww. That’s so much cuter than the movie about the guy who gets stoned on tablets with god. That’s how that movie ends, right? No? Oh well, maybe I’ll review it next year.