The Easter Bunny Is Comin’ to Town appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The transfer offered pretty nice visuals much of the time.
Sharpness was pretty good. The show consistently seemed well-defined and concise, with only minor instances of softness on rare occasions. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge enhancement. As for source flaws, a few shows up during the program. Light grain appeared at times, and I also detected sporadic examples of grit, speckles, nicks, and blotches. These were a moderate distraction, though they stayed fairly minor.
Bunny boasted a broad and vivid palette that succeeded well. The hues appeared lively and full throughout the show, and they stood out as a highlight. Blacks seemed reasonably deep and dense, and low-light shots showed decent definition. This was a good transfer that would’ve earned a grade higher than a “B” if not for the occasional print defects.
When I considered the monaural soundtrack of The Easter Bunny Is Comin’ to Town, I thought it was acceptable. The mix offered no particular strengths or flaws. Speech was good. The lines consistently sounded natural and lacked edginess. Music didn’t show much range, but the score and songs appeared clean and never became shrill or rough. The effects were also clear and demonstrated no problems. Like the rest of the track, they simply failed to stand out as anything special. This was an average mix given its age.
How did the picture and audio of this 2008 Town DVD compare to the prior release? I thought both offered virtually identical audio, but I felt the visuals improved for the 2008 disc. The new one looked cleaner, tighter and brighter. That surprised me; the original version only came out two years earlier, so I expected this one to feature the same transfer. The new picture wasn’t killer, but it showed notable improvements.
Though the package touts it as a “Deluxe Edition”, don’t expect a lot of extras from Town. The main attraction comes from The Magic of Stop Motion – A Gallery of Shorts. This area presents three animated shorts: Breakfast of Magicians, Floating Through Daydream Garden and The Easter Express. And by “shorts”, I do mean short; all three combined fill only six minutes and 16 seconds, a total that includes opening and closing comments from animator Charlie Chiodo.
If you hope to find some long-lost old “Animagic” cartoons, despair now. Instead, these three are new – and poorly animated – pieces that mostly consist of live-action sources. They’re sloppy and jittery and completely unsatisfying. This is the best they could do for a “Deluxe Edition”? I’m almost insulted.
A few trailers finish off this inappropriately named “Deluxe Edition”. We get ads for Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who, The Smurfs Season One, Volume One, Tom and Jerry Tales Volume Four, Peanuts Valentine’s and Easter Deluxe Editions, and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Season One.
A perfectly forgettable holiday special, The Easter Bunny Is Comin’ to Town does little to entertain. It recycles characters and themes from other shows and never manages to form its own identity. The DVD presents good picture with average sound and it lacks significant extras.
The latter issue becomes a big disappointment since the folks at Warner Bros. tout this as a “Deluxe Edition”. I’ve seen crummy special/deluxe editions in the past, but this one stands as one of the most insulting, as its supplements are few – and crummy, too. The new DVD looks better than its predecessor, but the audio remains the same and the new extras are a waste of time. If you really like Bunny, you might want this “Deluxe Edition” for the superior visuals, but otherwise there’s no reason to pursue it.
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