Taking on the story of the Easter Bunny was a bold task for director Tim Hill (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and the writers of Hop. We all know the Easter Bunny leaves a basket full of candy and eggs to hunt, but finally a movie has expanded that story to include the Easter Bunny's home, his mode of transportation (an egg-shaped sleigh pulled by flying chicks) and even his rebellious son, E.B., voiced by Russell Brand.
Although I was originally concerned about the mixing of live acting with animation, Hop did an amazing job of making this look authentic and believable. In fact, the scene where Fred's sister (played by Kaley Cuoco) picks up E.B. and holds him, thinking he is a stuffed animal, was one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
The CG animation in Hop is truly amazing. The bright and colorful images from Easter Island are truly remarkable and are sure to delight both kids and adults. Kids will love seeing how the Easter Bunny and his chicks manufacture the candy and prepare for Easter Day. The fur on E.B. and on the chicks looks so realistic and well, downright cuddly!
Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek, Arthur) was a great choice to voice the main character of E.B., the rebellious teenage son of the Easter Bunny, voiced by House star Hugh Laurie. Hank Azaria never disappoints with his wide range of voices -- and he does a spot-on job as the voice of the adorable, yet slightly sinister, chick named Carlos.
James Marsden (Enchanted, X-Men) provides the live action as Fred, a slacker who was nudged out of his home by his parents (played by Gary Cole and Elizabeth Perkins) and finds a kindred soul in E.B. Marsden provides the physical comedy that kids will love -- and moms won't mind looking at him either.
The music was modern and fun (and the scene where E.B. plays the drums to Taio Cruz's Dynamite was another favorite), however, the one spot the movie falls a little short is in the predictability and the depth of the plot. Whereas movies like Toy Story or Rango might make you bring out the tissues, this movie keeps it light and fun and avoids the deeper conflicts that many of today's kids' movies like to delve into. You probably won't walk away from this movie with a deeper understanding of life, but you will walk away thinking it was a fun and light-hearted movie that your kids will undoubtedly love.
Hop hits movie theaters on April 1, 2011.
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