Released April 1st 2011
Directed by Tim Hill
Hop centers on the story of two characters who are disappointments to their fathers, who bond over this and (eventually) save the Easter Bunny from a usurper.
The film opens on Easter Island, where we’re introduced to a young rabbit named E.B.(Russell Brand). We soon learn that his father is the Easter Bunny(Hugh Laurie), who is hard at work preparing for his worldwide Easter journey. His candy factory(located inside one of Easter Island’s “head” sculptures)is operated by a chick named Carlos(Hank Azaria). The Easter Bunny tells E.B. that someday he’ll take over his job, Carlos is angry thinking he should be the successor.
The story moves to the suburbs of Los Angeles. A little boy named Fred, wakes up early on Easter and catches a glimpse of the Easter Bunny delivering eggs & candy. It’s a memory he’ll treasure all his life.
We cut to 20 years later, Fred(James Marsden) is now an adult slacker who can’t keep a steady job and moved back in with his parents (Gary Cole and Elizabeth Perkins), who are frustrated with his lack of ambition. His sister Samantha (Kaley Cuoco) gets him a job interview with a videogame company, and asks him to house sit at her boss’s mansion. He’s not interested in the job but tells Sam he’ll humor her and apply.
At the same time, E.B. is due to be appointed Easter Bunny, but he’d rather play drums in a rock band. He doesn’t think he’s cut out to take over for his father. Using a magic rabbit hole, he flees to Hollywood to pursue his rock n roll dream.
The Easter Bunny is furious at E.B. and sends his Pink Berets (a team of rabbit-ninjas) to bring him home. Meanwhile, Carlos and his fellow chicks are plotting a coup against the Easter Bunny.
Fred is driving and accidentally hits E.B.. When he picks up a rock to put him out of his misery, E.B. shocks Fred by asking him not too. E.B. needs a place to stay, so he uses Fred’s guilt to let him join in on his housesitting gig.
Fred tells E.B. not to go upstairs. He disobeys this order, leaving carrot stems all over the house and running a jaqcuzi until it overflows, making a mess upstairs. E.B.’s antics make Fred late for his job interview at the videogame company. The Pink Berets show up and chase E.B. around the office and run into Fred, causing him to botch the interview. E.B. asks Fred to help him get to an audition for a talent show overseen by David Hasselhoff, Fred agrees but says he’s wants E.B. to leave him alone after the audition.
The audition is a success,but the Berets show up again and attack both of them. They escape and E.B. tells Fred his backstory and his reluctance to take over for the Easter Bunny. Fred doesn't believe him until he poops jelly beans. Fred remembers his childhood encounter with the Easter Bunny and decides that he will take over as Easter Bunny. He begins vigorously decorating eggs and gathering candy in preparation for his Easter journey around the world. But before he can do that:
The Berets invade the mansion, E.B. escapes by faking his own death. Fred is accused of killing E.B. and taken to Easter Island. At this point, Carlos takes over, imprisons Fred and the Easter Bunny and is magically transformed into a rabbit-chick hybrid.
Spoiler Alert: E.B. regrets abandoning Fred, so he returns to Easter Island just in time to save his father and Fred. He overthrows Carlos and becomes the new Easter Bunny, just in time for Easter. Fred accompanies E.B. on the journey and becomes his new fulltime assistant, thus finding a job he loves.
JA Morris says:
Hop is entertaining, but just good enough to be disappointing. At “press time”, Marsden is 37 years old and too old to play a “20-something” character, but he’s still convincing as a wide-eyed manchild. It’s not easy acting with animated characters, but he pulls that off too. I don’t care much for Russell Brand, but he’s okay as E.B., but E.B. isn’t very sympathetic as a protagonist. He takes a bit too long to “wake up”, accept his role as Easter Bunny and save the day.
Having the Easter Bunny based on Easter Island was cute, and the candy factory assembly line scene is how I imagined candy was made when I was a kid. And the Easter Bunny’s sleigh was cool too, a nice way of showing how he travels around the globe.
But ‘Hop’ is ultimately not a very good movie. The story jumps around and E.B. isn’t very sympathetic as a protagonist. He takes a bit too long to “wake up” and save the day.
“But won’t kids like it? And isn’t that what matters about a movie like this?”
If I was a kid, I probably would have enjoyed it once, but not cared too much if I ever saw it again. Which is too bad, because the list of Easter movies & tv specials is short.
2 and ½ Easter Eggs
On the surface this movie had a lot going for it (good voice cast, neat computer animation, pretty good live action cast, fun concept) but the execution left me wishing it was better than it was. As it was, it was mildly entertaining but kind of empty, which is a shame.
My rating: 1 and 1/2