Saturday, April 9, 2011
Hop is an Animated film that is directed straight at kids for the Easter Break. Unfortunately, those are the only audience members that will love the movie. Unlike so many other recent animated films, there is basically nothing here for adults. The talent all went into designing the characters and the Easter Island factory of the bunny and that's as much effort as there was put into the movie. Rango which came out a few weeks ago, is so much better written and thought out that it is a surprise
that people are not still flocking to it and skipping this.
The story of an Easter Bunny that has a dream of being a rock star is a little conventional but could be brought off with enough invention. There is basically nothing more to the story than that. We are barely in our seats when the bunny runs away from his responsibilities and heads to Hollywood. There we get a mix of live action and animation. At first the main live character is shocked to find a talking drum playing rabbit. As it turns out, he is the only one shocked. Everyone else in the movie takes it as a given that a rabbit can talk. This is one example of the short cuts taken in storytelling in this film. Pixar movies get all the story details right before they seep into our hearts with character and plot. This movie tries to wriggle in on cuteness but can't quite pull it off.
Russel brand is the voice of E.B. but he gets no opportunity to play up his outrageous persona, so it is basically wasted casting. James Marsden is more effective as the human star of the movie, but he is so stuck playing double takes and exaggerated reaction shots, that we never get much chance to identify with him. Everyone else is in the movie for such a short stretch of time that it is hardly worth mentioning the veteran cast. Hank Azaria does another of his patented character accents, for no reason what so ever except the character is named Carlos. Gary Cole and Elizabeth Perkins are fine actors that disappear two minutes after we see them and pop up for one or two more scenes that have nothing to do with the plot.
The look of the movie is rich on the animated side and TV production level everywhere else. It is not badly made but there was not much care in putting it together to become an Easter perennial. The music cues are not that interesting and the big dance number set to "I Want Candy" is not very extravagant. There are some charming moments but not enough to recommend it to anyone except those with pre-teens who need some time out of the house during the Spring Break. It is not as dunderheaded as the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, but it certainly misses the mark. We had hopes based on the visuals and the subject matter, but it turned out the egg was hollow.