Nightwatcher's Easter

Spring is here, time to celebrate
April 25, 2011
It's been a long, hard Winter but Spring is finally in the air. The weather is warming up (slowly but surely), the trees are sprouting leaves and the flowers are popping out. This article will be kind of short but I figured we owe it to Easter to give it an article, esspecially since it usually gets skipped over.

Now most of us good gentiles well know the story of Easter but if you don't, or even if you do and don't mind a good amount of blood and violence, you may want to check out The Passion of the Christ or simply The Passion.

It was directed by the now quite eccentric Mel Gibson and personally I don't care to see it because I don't want to watch poor Jesus get the snot kicked out of him by the Romans for forty five minutes. (And all that before the crucifiction. Geez!) For those of us who are more for the comedic side I recommend Mel Brooks' History of the World Part I (1981).

It contains a hilarious segment revolving around the Last Supper where Mel acts as the waiter.

And now, as a great man once said, for something completely different. (Well, sort of) My main goal with this article is to go over some Easter themed, and family friendly, media that I've recently discovered and would like to share. And also some delicious treats that I think most of us like in common. I'll start with the media. It's cool, it's retro and most importantly, it's appropriate for Easter. They are also in no particular order.

Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971)

This is regarded by many to be the original Easter special and it tells the story of how Peter Cottontail first became the #1 Chief Easter Bunny after defeating the evil bunny called Iron Tail. The movie is pretty short, only 51 minutes, but it's very cute and the characters are very charming. And I have to admit, Iron Tail makes a pretty cool villain. Yep, another masterpiece from our friends at Rankin/Bass. (I sure say yep alot don't I).

The Smurfs Springtime Special

The Smurfs are trying to get ready for their Spring/Easter celebration but the festivities are left in the cold (literally) when Gargamel puts Mother Nature into a deep sleep with a strange black rose (he put a magical sleeping dust in it). This causes the change of season to be haulted and the world to be kept in a seemingly infinite Winter(oh no!). Pappa Smurf then decides to head over to Mother Nature's place to find out what is going on. Meanwhile, Gargamel is payed a visit by his godfather, a powerful sorcerer named Balthezar (Gargamel visited Balthezar at his castle earlier in the program and stole from him a book containing info on the Smurfs). Upon seeing Pappa Smurf, Balthezar is convinced that they do infact exist and decides to help Gargamel destroy them with, of all things, a really big musket gun! With Gargamel and Balthezar on the hunt and time running out for Spring, will the Smurfs be able to wake Mother Nature in time to change the season? It just goes to show you, you don't mess with nature. Because if you do, she'll mess right back.

It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974)

At the moment this is my absolute favorite Easter special. Once again Linus is suffering delusions of grandeur, or is he? Linus tries to convince Charlie Brown that they don't have to go to the trouble of dying eggs and making up baskets because the so called "Easter Beagle" will take care of everything. Of course as usual no one believes first. Could Linus actually be right for a change? Is there really an Easter Beagle? If so, why does he look so familiar to Lucy? Will Marcey ever figure out how to hard boil an egg? I like this special, not only for it's good story line, but also for it's cool, jazzey background score which is probably one of the best Peanuts soundtracks I've heard so far, second only to that of the Christmas special.

Also, even though it only just came out, I wanted to mention one more festively appropriate movie. Hop, in theaters now, is about the next runner up Easter Bunny, or E.B. for short, who is trying to balance his responsibility with his own passion, playing drums. When I saw the trailers for the movie my jaw dropped. The freakin' Easter Bunny plays Rock Band?! That-is-AWSOME!! If anyone has had a chance to see the movie before reading this article please tell me what you thought in the comments box below. I'm thinking of seeing it myself.

Sorry, I know this isn't retro but it was the only other Easter movie I could think of.

And now for some of my other favorite things, yummy treats. These are the delectible edibles that I have enjoyed since the crib, and I have a feeling I'm not alone.

Easter Eggs
Who didn't get excited when Mom and/or Dad came home from the store with that egg dying kit? (Esspecially since they were the ones who had to do the hard boiling). I usually did the dying while Mom cleaned up the mess I would leave on the kitchen table, good times. And as an added bonus we got to "hunt" for them on Easter morning after the Easter Bunny worked his little cotton tail off to hide them and they would make the perfect breakfast afterward. Talk about being conservative. And by the way, does anyone remember those little plastic shrink strips that would wrap around the middle of the eggs? They were decked out with pictures of our favorite cartoon characters and I always had fun picking out which ones to use.

Chocolate Easter Bunny

Ah yes, the traditional icon of Easter, and to some, the ultimate Easter treat. There was nothing like waking up to a chocolatey sugar rush on Easter morning, not to mention finding out what shape the Easter Bunny had chosen this year. And, dare I forget, our old buddy Ernest likes to eat the eyes out of them first. Of course most people start with the ears but beggars can't be choosers.

Cadbury Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs

Cadbury Mini Eggs have always been a favorite of mine (hey, what can I say, I have good taste) but for some reason I didn't like Creme Eggs until I was in my teens (1990's). They are now both personal favorites and I can't imagine Easter without them. Oh Baby!

Marshmallow Peeps

Colored sprinkles on specially shaped globs of marshmallow. Twice the sugar rush, twice the goodness. And what's even better, they're really cheap. You can get a pack of them at the local pharmacy for around seventy five cents. What's not to like?

Russel Stover Jelly Beans

From the ones who bring you your boxes of chocolates every Valentines Day. These have been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. Forget Brach's, these are where it's at.

And last but certainly not least...

Entenmann's Hot Cross Buns

I've always loved these babies. They are sort of like little mini Easter versions of fruitcakes. They are usually eaten during Lent and taste good slightly warmed and with a little butter. They also come complete with little white icing crosses to remind us of the reason for the season.

Well, believe it or not, that's it for this one. Just in case anyone is wondering, I am still working, quite diligently, on my Are You Afraid of the Dark? article. It's just taking longer than I thought and I apologize. It's almost finished and should be up in the next couple of weeks so keep an eye out. I just thought I would share some fond Easter memories, (hopefully without getting to much into religion) in the meantime. I'll see you next time when the lights go down. Until then...

And, at long last, Happy Spring!
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