Hop (live-action/CGI) (PG)
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This came out in 2011, but I didn't see it until 2014 (the night before Easter). It seems to me I've been thinking about getting the DVD for the last few years, but somehow never did, until this year. And I feel like when it first came out, I probably wasn't interested in seeing it. In fact I feel like I wasn't interested in it for a few years, then I was interested for a few years, so it's hard for me to believe it only came out three years ago. But whatevs. Anyway, there are a bunch of CGI rabbits and chicks, but all the humans are live-action.
The main character is a rabbit named E.B., whose father is the Easter Bunny. They live on Easter Island (yes, under Rapa Nui there's a secret headquarters for Easter that's like a cross between Santa's workshop and Willy Wonka's candy factory). One Easter, young E.B. goes with his father while he's delivering candy and eggs to all the children of the world, in an egg-shaped sleigh pulled by flying chicks. And a little boy named Fred O'Hare sees this, and barely misses taking a picture. The movie then flashes forward 20 years. E.B. and Fred are both grown up now, and E.B. is supposed to become the new Easter Bunny this year. Except, he doesn't want to. He just wants to be a drummer in a rock band. So, he runs away from home, taking a magical rabbit hole to Hollywood. Meanwhile, Fred has been out of work for a year, and is living with his parents, who want him to get a job and move out. His sister, Samantha, gets him a job interview and also asks him to house-sit for her boss, which she's supposed to be doing. On the way to the mansion, Fred runs into E.B. with his car, and E.B., needing a place to stay, feigns serious injury so Fred will let him stay with him. Fred, of course, is completely freaked out to hear a rabbit talking. So, hilarity ensues. Sort of.
E.B. causes all sorts of trouble for Fred, but eventually they become friends. And both of them ultimately get to follow their dreams. But first... well, the Easter Bunny sent out this trio of sort of ninja-bunnies called the Pink Berets, who were supposed to find E.B. and bring him home. Meanwhile, the head chick at the factory, Carlos, constantly tries to get his boss to make him the new Easter Bunny instead of E.B. But the boss mostly misses every dropped hint, and when Carlos is finally more direct, the Easter Bunny takes it for a joke. So, naturally, Carlos plans a coup d'état. And I think that's all I need to tell you about the plot. I'm leaving out some plot details and some minor characters, but... it's not important.
Anyway, there are some mildly funny bits peppered throughout the movie, but for the most part I just found it tolerable. I don't think there was anything I really disliked about the movie, but I also don't think it had the sort of spark of real originality or specialness that so many animated movies have these days. Instead of being great or even really good, it was just... good enough. And there's nothing wrong with that. They can't all be masterpieces, you know? Still, it's not something I feel the need to see again. Oh, and there's a reasonably good bonus scene after the end credits.
And I suppose I should mention the movie had a decent cast. James Marsden as Fred, Gary Cole as his father, Russell Brand as the voice of E.B. (as well as a brief cameo as a human, which I found amusing), Hugh Laurie as the voice of the Easter Bunny, Kaley Cuoco as Samantha, Hank Azaria as the voice of Carlos and another chick named Phil. Plus David Hasselhoff as himself.