That’s right, Easter isn’t just for primetime cartoons.
At least, in this case it wasn’t.
Happy Easter, dudes! Have I got an Easter surprise for you!
Over the last few years, I’ve recapped Easter-centric animated specials. This year, rather than search through primetime specials, however, I’m turning my attention to Saturday morning cartoons. And instead of recapping, I figured why not just give you an Easter treat and let you enjoy the show.
It’s my Easter basket of goodies to you!
If you haven’t already noticed from the featured image, I found an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the original series, not the newer one) that is about Easter.
“The Turtles and the Hare” (season 4 / episode 14) originally aired on March 28, 1991, while the show was still in syndication.
For the curious, that was a Thursday.
This season was notable for also airing episodes on CBS’s Saturday morning programming block, with the season split up into thirteen syndicated and twenty-six CBS episodes. This episode was one of the last two to air in syndication before the series moved over to CBS. It would remain there until 1996.
Since this episode aired right around Easter in 1991 (the actual date for Easter that year was March 31, 1991), and it mentions Easter Bunnies, Easter Eggs, and features a talking, anthropomorphic rabbit, then it is pretty darn obvious that it is an Easter episode.
It’s Easter in New York City, and Channel Six is preparing to host an Easter Egg Hunt. However, this is also the exact same time that Krang wants to test out his “Docilizer Ray” on some test subjects, before releasing it via Channel Six’s microwaves on the rest of the unsuspecting world. I wonder if he knows their reach doesn’t extend to the entire world.
Anyway, Docilizer Ray.
The purpose of this invention is to make anyone under its control act like “timid rabbits.” BeBop and Rocksteady succeed in using the ray on the Channel Six team, but April is able to contact the Ninja Turtles before she become a timid victim of the ray’s influence.
Donatello finds out that the only way to neutralize the effects of the “Docilizer Ray” is to retrieve a Cyranium Crystal from the Fairy Tale Dimension.
Leonardo and Raphael task themselves with retrieving the crystal, are forced to outwit the Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, and meet Hokum Hare of The Tortoise and the Hare. Can they find the Cyranium Crystal, neutralize the Docilizer Ray, and save Easter for New York City and Channel Six?
Submitted for your easy-to-please approval, the (technically) fourth season episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (certain sources say this was a season five episode, but it actually aired as part of season four), “The Turtles and the Hare”!
Hokum Hare makes one more appearance, in the next day’s episode, “Once Upon a Time Machine.” This episode was an intended follow-up, and I guess since it was two days before Easter, why not give Hokum Hare a proper send-off?
I hope that you enjoyed this holiday-centric trip down memory lane and into the archives of Easter specials that aren’t really specials. It happens, friends.
Have a great Easter!
2015: Forgotten Easter Nostalgia: A Family Circus Easter (Originally published April 5, 2015 on the original Allison’s Written Words)
The Family Circus Family wants to give little PJ a chance to find his first Easter egg. Meanwhile, Billy is determined to catch the Easter Bunny. Also of note: A “Celebrity Special Guest” played The Easter Bunny in a song segment that can best be described as a hallucination.
2016: Oh Heavenly Hat: Madeline and the Easter Bonnet (Originally Published March 27, 2016)
It’s Easter time in Paris, and Madeline and her friends plan to make a grand Easter Bonnet for Bonbon the Milk Cart Mare, to replace her dowdy old hat.
2017: #Easter with the ‘Toons…Tiny Toons, That Is! (Published April 16, 2017)
It’s Spring Break in Acme Acres, and the Tiny Toons are celebrating all that comes with it, including Easter. This special, originally airing on Easter Sunday in 1994, was not aired in primetime until many years later, and has been rare since then.