Hop as reviewed in The Phantom TollboothHop is rated PG for some mild rude humor. This is safe for all ages. I mean the rabbit poops jellybeans, how is that not funny?

Santa Clause gets all sorts of movies made about him yet very few are crafted around the egg bearing, trail hopping, fuzzy tailed bunny. I am not sure why though. When it comes to kids films few things are as cute and funny as a rabbit; especially one that plays drums and speaks with a British accent. In the new family comedy, Hop, the job of the Easter Bunny is very similar to old Saint Nick. I mean he has a sleigh, a factory and chicks that fly like reindeer.

Easter Island is in full gear for the upcoming Easter holiday. Candy, chocolates, baskets; everything has to be ready for the big day. There is also an excitement as the current Bunny (voice: Hugh Laurie) is passing down the gauntlet to his son, E.B (voice: Russell Brand). Problem is that E.B is in no hurry to take over the family business. As the song says, “He don’t want to work, he just want to bang on the drum all day”.  When EB hops off to Hollywood he runs in to Fred O'Hare (James Marsden); a guy who is having the same sort of issues. Those of trying to find his place in the world while making his dad happy. After the initial shock of finding a talking rabbit Fred thinks maybe they can both help each other out. At the same time, EB is not the most welcomed house guest and Fred has to deal with this wild hare.

If you have seen the trailer you get an idea of the comedy scope of this one. It is certainly geared for those in the 8-12 age bracket with just enough to keep the older audiences slightly amused. The screenplay is from the same mind as Despicable Me but do not anticipate the same depth and heart. This one is more superficial in its approach. Plus the minor characters sort of fall flat. Instead of Minions or elves, Easter Island is run by chicks. The largest one being a military styled guy named Carlos (voice: Hank Azaria). He secretly wants the job of Easter Bunny and will stop at nothing to get it. Sadly most of his lines and antics do not deliver the laughs needed. I don’t fault Azaria for this, just the writing as a whole.

Marsden is good in this role. Some actors would try to phone in a character played opposite an animated Bunny. But James treats this one with the same flair as he did in Enchanted. I get the feeling he was having a lot of fun which transferred to the screen. Kaley Cuoco has a small role as Fred’s sister. I love her in The Big Bang Theory and was excited to see her on the big screen. She was good with what they gave her and I would have liked to see a little more. There is also a plot line that includes David Hasselhoff. This was very random and at times seemed oddly out of place. I actually checked to see if The Hoff has a producing credit which would explain a lot. But he seems to be there just for the comic relief.  But this was all about EB and for good reason. He is a hit with the kids and this is their film.

Hop is rated PG for some mild rude humor. This is safe for all ages. I mean the rabbit poops jellybeans, how is that not funny? The blending of live action and seamless animation has come so far and it shows in this film. You forget that the rabbit isn’t really there talking to the humans. And when he plays drums, which he does quite well, it comes across perfectly.  I highly recommend this film to those who have a young family member to drag along. Although there was stuff for adults to laugh at there isn’t enough to consider it an older couple date night. Cute? Sure. Well animated? Absolutely. But the story and plot are sort of there just for the rabbit to say and do funny things. I give it 3.75 out of 5 peeps. It was a creative concept that delivered on the look.

Matt Mungle

Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.