Like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is known by children worldwide as the bearer of all things superb and sweet. That's why it's about time someone decided to take a hop, a skip and a jump in the right direction and finally make an Easter Bunny movie worth bringing the kids along to. Understandably it won't be everyone's cup of cocoa, but Russell Brand's latest is sure to bring a smile to your little tykes' already chocolate-smeared faces this Easter time.
'Hop' tells the story of Ebe (Brand), a cute rabbit who is the heir to the Easter Bunny throne. Wanting more from life than to spend his time delivering chocolate bunnies to kids, Ebe decides to hit the bright lights of Hollywood. However, when he is knocked down by slacker Fred (Marsden) the two strike up an unlikely friendship and learn to depend on each other. With Fred on the lookout for a spectacular job so his parents will get off his case and Ebe planning his rise to fame as a talking rabbit drummer, how will the pals cope when Ebe's father (Laurie) comes looking for him?
Mixing live action with animation can be tricky if not dealt with in the right way but director Hill manages to accomplish it seamlessly. Ebe's expressions are vividly depicted, with the wide range of visuals making for an animated delight. That said, 'Hop' lacks originality elsewhere.
Who knew that the Easter Bunny rode a sleigh pulled by chicks? In parts, the script for 'Hop' relies too heavily on the yuletide festivities, with the similarities between the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus all too prominent. What should be a wow moment at the very start when the Easter egg factory is shown merely conjures up previously seen scenes from 'Willy Wonka' and 'The Santa Clause'.
Marsden and Brand's relationship as Hop and Fred had more gag potential than what is shown on screen. We've grown more accustomed to witnessing Brand working the red carpet with Katy Perry these days, so it's great to see him using his undeniable comedic talents here. Marsden makes do with what he is given and plays off the bunny well.
Short cameos are made by the Hoff, Chelsea Handler and Brand in his human form - even the bunny house at the Playboy mansion gets a look in. The rabbit Brand still manages to steal the show, although his censored comedy and strong reliance on his articulation are not going to impress his adult fan base.
There's no denying that this is a harmless kiddie film with enough to keep them entertained and away from the chocolate eggs - at least for a little while.