Kids of the 1970s and 1980s may not have had a ton of channels or streaming video to watch, but we had the coolest damn holiday specials ever … and that included some rollicking Easter cartoons.
If you grew up during those golden years, chances are you’ll remember at least some of these gems.
And if you weren’t a kid in those decades … first, I’m sorry. And second — check these things out, pronto!
To help you on that quest, here are 11 great Easter cartoons (ish) from the 1970s and 1980s (and maybe one that sneaks out of the box just a, um, hare).
Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971)
So, yeah the first entry on our little list here is not even a cartoon. But it’s gotta be here.
For one thing, this “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” plopped into our living rooms during the golden age of Claymation.
As creepy as all those shows are, they are also all stone-cold classics.
For another thing, this thing features Danny Kaye and, more importantly, Vincent Price.
Give me melting-clay bunnies, psychedelic 70s vibes, and Vincent Price, and I’ll give you my attention … every damn time.
Similarly, you can’t have a Charlie Brown special about anything and not have that special on whatever cartoon list you’re compiling.
“It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown” may not have the cachet of the Great Pumpkin or the weepy Linus Christmas thing, or even the popcorn-eating Thanksgiving Peanuts gang, but it’s good shiste.
I mean, who couldn’t use a plucky Easter Beagle in their lives??
The First Easter Rabbit (1976)
Straight up psychedelic vibes on this baby, folks.
A stuffed-bunny Christmas gift …
A scruffy, orange-vested rabbit narrator …
Earlier said stuffed bunny coming to life at the behest of a fairy … and becoming the first Easter bunny.
All kinds of good, anachronistic — and terrifying — cultural, Easter eggs to get you revved up for the season.
Bugs Bunny’s Easter Special (1977)
This one had to happen, right?
Bugs is a bunny.
Easter is built around a bunny (and, yeah, sure, like a cross and resurrection and stuff, but still …).
So, there had to a “Bugs Bunny’s Easter Special” … and also “so” — there is.
This is an origin story.
This is an origin story with talking rabbits and a talking train and Kidville, where no one is an adult.
It’s like “Children of the Jelly Bean Corn” or something.
Another terrifying entry.
But it happened in 1977, and the Fred Astaire narrates … so it rocks.
In this tale about how Spring works and the meaning of Easter, the Bears learn about patience and other stuff.
And the surprise?
Well, that’s one’s on us, because this is another of the “Bear” episodes/specials that’s been hit hard by the Mandela Effect.
Yes … they’re not “Berenstein” here, either. They’re “Berenstain.”
Because who doesn’t want a stained bear, I guess?
This one has a lot of the typical Fat Albert fun, mixed in with plenty of Easter cheer.
But then, in the midst of trying to help out, the group’s good intentions are thwarted by Rudy’s practical joke … that leaves someone in the hospital.
A laugh a minute.
And, you know, Bill Cosby.
A Family Circus Easter (1982)
Those Family Circus kids are always pulling together …
In this one, Dolly and Billy want to help PJ find his first Easter egg, but Jeffy decides to catch the Easter Bunny.
In the end, the family enjoys a nice pot of Hare stew. Or something.
An Easter Story (1983)
Kids unit! Easter is in peril!
There aren’t enough eggs or enough dye to satisfy worldwide Easter Egg demand.
But if you color your eggs and donate them to the cause, the shortage(s) might magically disappear.
Now, with Showbiz-esque animatronics!
A Chucklewood Easter (1987)
Rusty and Buttons must stand trial for stealing the Easter Bunny’s Easter eggs.
Rusty and Buttons are a fox and a bear cub.
Rusty and Buttons must stand trial for stealing the Easter Bunny’s Easter eggs, but they should get a freaking Medal of Discipline for not dismembering the Easter Bunny.
Some perspective, folks.
The Turtles and the Hare (1991)
There is some debate about whether this episode came to life in 1987 or 1991.
But the Turtles were a 1980s thing, in my memory, at least, so they belong here. And you probably sneaked some peeks at the heroes in a half-shell on into the 90s, anyway.
Just be aware that this dude will lead you on a trip to FairTale Dimension. So, you know, this might actually belong with the 70s fare.
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