Making the Grades
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.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Hop.
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?