This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of a forgotten bit of Muppetry, The Tale of the Bunny Picnic. This anti-bullying fable has only ever been sold on VHS, and official releases have omitted this, Jim Henson's endearing intro for HBO.
We're guessing that when the VHS was produced, it was deemed "too soon" after Henson's death to include such a personal message. Watching it now, however, brings back memories of a simpler time.
Click through the gallery to watch The Tale of the Bunny Picnic itself in five parts. All credit goes to the kind soul who uploaded the special to YouTube from an official VHS copy that was in much better condition than our own tape, copied straight from HBO on March 26th, 1986.
Note: we've left the original HBO bumper on this clip because it kind of makes it feel like you're watching something through the Flux Capacitor. Enjoy!
Yes, we admit that this special is aimed squarely at kids (think "Fraggle Rock"), and it may bore you after a few minutes. Make sure to watch the opening musical number, though; it's a great song and a timely celebration of the beginning of spring.
Keep your ears open for an early Muppet performance by "Elmo" himself, Kevin Clash, as Father Bunny.
Speaking of that anti-bullying message, we were a little surprised to re-discover the "abusive parent" aspect to that theme. The Henson Company was, as usual, ahead of their time.
Side effects of watching these clips may include the unwitting addition of "easy beazy one-two-threezy" to your vernacular and the literal pronunciation of any and all onomatopoeias.
If you've made it this far, congratulations! We have no doubt that you can still "Hear" the proverbial "Bell from the End of The Polar Express." Happy Spring!