“The Christmas Bunny” was released in 2010. It stars Florence Henderson, Sophie Bolen, Madeline Vail, and Colby French.
To read my review click here. I want to warn you this blog entry contains spoilers.
This movie is about Julia. A foster child who no longer speaks. Her most treasured possession is her video of The Velveteen Rabbit. She watches it all the time.
It’s also about a family in Michigan, the Coopers; mom Patti, dad Scott, and son Billy. Patti always wanted more children but it wasn’t possible so they decide to go through fostering to adopt. Her husband and son are reluctant.
Christmas day they go visit family and Billy and his cousin shoot a rabbit with their new BB gun. Julia is beside herself. Having fallen on hard times with Scott out of work, they can’t pay the vet to care for the rabbit, later named Rumple. He sends them to “The Bunny Lady”, a recluse who has a rabbit rescue. Julia ends up helping out at the rescue and through her love for the bunnies, she slowly starts to feel love again.
Why do I think this movie is special? I am admittedly biased. I worked as a teacher for over 20 years and I worked with quite a few foster children like Julia. Children who are viewed as difficult or bad when the truth is they are wounded because of the bad adults in their lives. Patti’s kindness and gentleness with Julia is heartwarming to me. She gets down on her level, speaks softly, tells her it’s okay not to talk. I just want to hug them both.
As the story goes on we see into the lives of so many Americans, especially today. Scott being frustrated because he can’t find a job, Patti doing her best to hold the family together, and Billy just worrying about himself, as he should, because he’s a young boy.
The parallels with the book The Velveteen Rabbit are there if you look. The ending is the most obvious. When Patti and Scott find out Julia has been made available for adoption they ask Julia if she would join their family. She wanted to know if that meant she was real now. So profound. She is saying she didn’t feel real like everyone else and she wasn’t loved. She’s also saying she knows this is home and she is now loved.
The movie is a drama. It’s filled with emotion. All the actors do such an amazing job, especially Florence Henderson as “The Bunny Lady”. I never fail to feel for and love the characters.
If you haven’t seen it I hope you give it a try. If you have, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the movie. Happy Viewing!