Once upon time there was an amusement park called Pirates World. Pirates World was a pirate-themed amusement park in Dania Beach, located in sunny Southern Florida. Pirates World opened in 1966. Many came to enjoy the park’s log flume, its “Wild Mouse” roller coaster and its “steeplechase ride.”
But people came to Pirates World for more than its rides. From the amusement park’s grand opening until less than a decade later, when Walt Disney World would kill its business and lead it into bankruptcy, Pirates World hosted dozens upon dozens of big name music acts. Led Zeppelin to The Grateful Dead. From Blood, Sweat and Tears to Three Dog Night. I don’t know why this is. It’s just the truth. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Maybe the concept of an arena had yet to be invented or thought up. Maybe all concerts were held at amusement parks back then. True story: I saw Air Supply play a concert at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey.
Jerry Garcia probably would have described Pirates World as “pretty groovy.”
What does all of this have to do with Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny?
Patience. Don’t rush things. Mellow out. Enjoy the ride.
Clearly, something called Santa and The Ice Cream Bunny has to have some connection to drugs, right? I’d probably say that about any “Santa Claus and Insert-Something-Here-That-Isn’t-Really-A-Thing” movie, but “The Ice Cream Bunny” is a peculiar case. What exactly is an “Ice Cream Bunny”? Even the film itself doesn’t seem to have an answer. At the end of the movie, when the Ice Cream Bunny — really, a person in a bunny suit — arrives to save Santa Claus, who has crash landed his sleigh in Florida (full of Jews and old people — the last place in the world that Santa’s skills would be of use) and whose reindeer are no where in site, there is no obvious connection between the person in the suit and ice cream. Does the man in the suit drive an ice cream truck in his spare time when he’s not out and about on his antique fire truck? Does he sell and/or hand out ice cream to people at Pirates World, where he appears to reside? WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS HAVE TO DO WITH PIRATES ANYWAY?
It has to have something to do with the Easter Bunny, right?
Shh… concentrate. Concentrate on the bunny inside the man inside the bunny suit — that frightened little rabbit that resides inside each and every one of us. It will all become clear. Right now, you’re not asking the right questions.
It’s just the bunny. Here. Have a Drumstick.
WHY is the Ice Cream Bunny?
A ha! Now you’re onto something!
Let me take you back to December 1971. Deep Purple was playing a concert and they were on their fourth encore, a 1/2-hour version of “Space Truckin'” and they were KILLING IT. So much so that everyone needed to spark up a joint in order to calm down from the sheer awesomeness of what was occurring. At that moment, the amount of smoke which emitted from the crowd at the Deep Purple concert wafted across Pirate World and into the office of R. Winer on the other end of the park, who was in charge of producing a feature-length holiday special to be filmed at Pirates World called Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
R. Winer got pretty high that night. So high, in fact, that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny became Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny because he got a case of the munchies and all he could think about was snacks — in particular, a half-gallon tub of butter pecan ice cream he had in his fridge at home.
So, R. Winer bangs out a script as fast as he can and it’s just complete and utter nonsense. The only thing that he really retains from the concept of what was supposed to be Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is the part where Santa Claus crashes his sleigh in Florida. The rest is just total lunacy. But guess what? R. Winer got home early that night and was able to enjoy his delicious butter pecan ice cream.
In the script, after finding himself on a beach in South Florida, Santa uses his psychic powers to summon a group of children to help him pull his sled. The kids bring him a sheep and a pig and a donkey and a cow, but it’s just not working. They finally bring a horse but they can’t get the horse into position to pull the sleigh and even if they could, the horse isn’t equipped with anything that would allow it to be attached to a sleigh. Bummer!
But Santa keeps telling the kids they have to believe. He tells them the story of Thumbelina — a movie WITHIN a movie. Then the kids have an idea:
Ask the Ice Cream Bunny to help pull the sled! Who’s the Ice Cream Bunny? FUCK YOU!
The next day, R. Winer brings the higher-ups at Pirates World the script and he’s expecting them to murder him. But they love it.
“Only thing is, can you throw a bunch of shitty songs into it? Also, when they’re trying to get the different animals to pull the sleigh, can we have a guy in a gorilla suit show up and try to help? ALSO, can Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer show up at some point for some unexplainable reason?” they ask.
The movie is filmed, exactly according to script.
The next year, Pirates World goes out of business.
This movie is on YouTube. Try not to think about it too hard or you will rupture something in your brain and die.