Jellybeans may lose their temptation once audiences discover they are actually rabbit droppings. And unfortunately that isn’t the only unappealing thing about this film. The Easter Bunny might be for little kids—but some of the content in this film isn’t.
The young rabbit in this story (who is about to be crowned with the honor of delivering baskets of chocolate and candy all around the world) is suffering from teen angst. E.B.‘s (voice of Russell Brand) real ambition in life is to leave the family business and become a drummer. So on the eve of his official swearing in, he skips town and takes a magic tunnel to Hollywood where he plans, like hundreds have before him, to hit it big.
Likewise Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) is in a bit of a funk. As a child, he spied the Easter Bunny hiding eggs outside his window. Whether or not that scarred him is hard to know, but 20 years later, Fred still hasn’t grown up and accepted the responsibilities of adulthood. He lives at home, dabbling in job interviews and loafing around until his parents (Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins) and sisters (Kaley Cuoco, Tiffany Espensen) are forced to stage an intervention.
Driving down the road following his heave-ho, Fred accidently hits the bushy tailed E.B. who is wandering aimlessly after being refused entry at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion. (How was he to know it is a different kind of sexy bunny they are looking for.) Though E.B. survives the incident without a scratch, he is quick to pour on the guilt, pretending to be injured so Fred feels forced to take him along on a house-sitting job.
It’s difficult to generate too much sympathy for this pair of characters that actually deserve each other. Both are so self-absorbed they fail to grasp the realities of life. Meanwhile back on Easter Island, E.B.‘s dad (voice by Hugh Laurie) faces a coup d’état lead by his second in command—an unctuous Hispanic chick (voice by Hank Azaria) with doctorial ambitions.
Young viewers will find some funny moments, especially when Fred and E.B. perform a rambunctious version of the song "I Want Candy" at an elementary school play. However many of the jokes are intended for the adults in the audience. (Even the teen sitting beside me didn’t get the comment about actor David Hasselhoff’s talking car.) Other gags include some veiled sexual innuendo and rude bathroom humor—especially dealing with poop.
Violence also becomes an issue when a trio of highly trained Pink Berets is dispatched to retrieve the missing bunny. Using mouth blown tranquilizer darts, they subdue Fred after suspecting him of boiling E.B. in a stockpot. As well, characters are dangled above a pot of hot candy syrup and nearly sliced apart with sharp rotating saw blades during the coup.
While this film betters the average cartoon, both the storyline and characters lack the charm that would make them truly worth hopping into theaters to see. Worst of all, this script may justify the actions of those who are loitering around their parents’ house waiting to snag an amazing gig—possibly as a magical holiday icon.
Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...
Violence: After accidentally hitting an animal with a car, a man prepares to kill it by smashing it with a large rock. A character rallies troops to take over a candy factory. Several characters are shot in the face or neck with tranquilizer darts. Guard dogs chase and attack a man. Characters are kicked and hit on several occasions. Bunnies believe that another character has been cooked in a stockpot. Individuals are hung over a pot of boiling candy syrup or threatened with sharp, rotating saw blades. A character is body slammed, hit with a scepter and tossed to the ground.
Sexual Content: A character suggests he should get into the Playboy Mansion because he is a "sexy bunny". An animal character flirts with a human female.
Language: A character makes brief, veiled suggestive comments. Another character comments about the look of his buttocks. Some other rude bathroom humor includes comments about excrement.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...
E.B. slathers on the guilt after Fred hits him with the car. Why does he resort to this behavior? Do parents and their children ever use this tactic to get what they want from one another? In what situations do they employ it?
How are parents portrayed in this film? Do they have reasonable concerns about their children’s career goals or lack thereof? What responsibilities are Fred and E.B. refusing to take?
How is the villain depicted in this story? Does giving the character a foreign accent make him seem more evil? What other stereotypes are used to distinguish a bad guy in a movie?
What is your favorite Easter treat? Will you feel the same way about jellybeans after watching this film?
Taking on the role of Santa Claus comes with plenty of problems for Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2 and Santa Clause The Escape Clause. After mocking the existence of the magical being, a rough-and-tumble hockey player is forced to do time as the Tooth Fairy. Leprechauns speak up when a businessman threatens their existence in The Gnome-Mobile.
Some other films that combine animation with live-action are the basketball movie Space Jam, the fairytale spoof Enchanted and fantasy adventures Pete’s Dragon and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. A little, long-eared forest creature turns out to have a nasty side in Hoodwinked.
Home Video Notes
Home Video Notes: Hop
Release Date: 23 March 2012
Hop releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Digital Copy Combo Pack) with the following bonus extras:
- All-new mini-movie: Phil’s Dance Party
- “Post Coup Commentary” with Carlos and Phil
- The World of Hop interactive map
- All Access with Cody Simpson
- Russell Brand’s Kid Crack Ups
- Three behind-the-scenes featurettes
- Three interactive games