In Theatres: 
Apr 01, 2011

Easter is right around the corner, and people are already in candy mode. Jelly beans, chocolates, and delicious cream-filled eggs are just a few of the sweet treats you’ll find in your basket when you wake up Easter morning. While some people will say parents do this, we all know who the real mastermind behind it is; the Easter Bunny.

Nobody lives forever, including the Easter Bunny. After many years of delivering candy to children all across the world Mr. Bunny is finally retiring, leaving the role to his rock star of a son, E.B. Unfortunately, E.B. doesn’t want to be the Easter Bunny and runs away, hoping to live out his dreams of becoming a famous drummer in a band. Never mind the fact that he’s a talking 3-foot-tall rabbit.

Hop is pretty much the story of Santa Claus only with a fluffy bunny instead of a big fat guy in a red suit. The premise is basically the same. The Easter Bunny even has his very own magical sled, led by a small army of baby chicks. One chick in particular though, Carlos (Hank Azaria), is tired of being second to the bunnies and decides to stage a coup d'état, after all, why can’t there be an Easter Chick? Needless to say, this doesn’t smooth over well with those in command, and the situation takes a nasty turn. Now it’s up to E.B. to save his father and Easter itself.

The film comes from Alvin and the Chipmunks director Tim Hill and features the same blending of CGI and live action. This time the effects go beyond that of furry little chipmunks with almost the entirety of Easter Island being digitized to house the Willy Wonka inspired candy factory.

Russell Brand provides the voice of E.B. and infuses his rebellious persona into the little bunny albeit it’s a little toned done. This is a children’s movie after all. He’s a mean, lean, jellybean pooping machine and will pretty much go through any obstacle to live out his dreams of becoming a rock star, even if that means befriending a human. James Marsden happens to be that unlucky human. Fred O’Hare is just your average unemployed guy living at home and going nowhere with his life when E.B. arrives and changes everything. What starts off as sheer hatred for one another soon turns into a mutual friendship.

Hop might not have the same cuteness factor of Alvin and the Chipmunks but the story is much better, and the voices are exponentially more tolerable. Hank Azaria proves to be the most entertaining of the bunch as Carlos, whether he’s putting on his best bunny imitation or rallying the chicks together to overthrow Mr. Bunny. There’s also a decent cameo appearance by David Hasselhoff (how can you not like the Hoff?), and you’ll even be surprised to see E.B. have a conversation with his live self in one scene.

Geared mainly towards the kids, Hop will get you in the mood for Easter. Adults will no doubt enjoy the film but it just doesn’t have the same draw as other so-called kid’s movies. At times the humor can fall flat and become repetitive. The CGI has vastly improved over the years though as characters no long look plastered on the screen and interactions between them and people appear all the more realistic. If you enjoy Tim Hill’s other work, you’ll no doubt fall in love with Hop.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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