If we can set aside for a moment the “true meaning” of Easter (don’t even bring up Good Friday), let’s don our pastel-colored glasses and remember it’s all about the bunny. Here’s a list of rabbit-centric films to enjoy this weekend.
Elwood P. Dowd’s (James Stewart) best pal is an invisible 6-foot rabbit named Harvey. His sister, naturally, wants to commit Elwood to a mental institution. (These days, of course, Elwood would get shock treatment, out-patient follow up and a regime of thorazine.) Rather than splintering his family and friends, as is often the case with severe mental illness, Harvey helps Elwood bring his kin and ken together—a celebration of the upside of insanity.
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Lewis Carroll is source of the expression “down the rabbit hole” from what could be a metaphor for Alice’s descent into madness as she pursues the White Rabbit (heroin?) through fantastic adventures. Disney is noted for sanitizing and otherwise ruining British children’s literature and fairy tales in a series of cartoons, including Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. Fortunately, in Alice Disney leaves intact, perhaps unintentionally, much of the surreal creepiness of the Lewis Carroll classic. The hooka-smoking caterpillar will haunt your dreams.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Alice is 19 (too old to interest Lewis Carroll) and betrothed to a English wanker. She escapes the madding crowd of her class by falling down a rabbit hole while following the White Rabbit. In Underland, everything quickly goes surreal, then full-on nightmare, with the a murderous Red Queen, the pee-your-pants Jabberwocky and gratuitous Johnny Depp.
Bambi, a white-tail deer fawn destined for greatness, hangs with impossibly cute friends, including a bunny named Thumper. Then, humans show up to go all circle of life on the characters we’ve grown to love. (Don’t fly, pheasants!) Bambi, Lion King-style, mans-up to lead the forest animals and become a cultural symbol for everything the NRA hates about liberals.
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
Wallace and Gromit launch a humane pest-control outfit, Anti-Pesto. Predictably, as the Giant Vegetable Competition approaches, their business booms and their home fills with humanely captured rabbits and other vermin. Cue the Were-Rabbit that arrives to haunt the town’s vegetable gardens by night.