Complete A-Z list



Stars: James Marsden, Russell Brand (voice), Hugh Laurie (voice), Hank Azaria (voice), Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, Chelsea Handler, David Hasselhoff, Kaley Cuoco

Director: Tim Hill

Hop kicks off with an egg-shaped Universal logo, setting the tone for a kidflick that should please most youngsters, even those unfamiliar with the Easter Bunny, who shares leading man duties with Marsden. Teenage rabbit EB, you see, is being groomed by the current incumbent in his enormous underground factory on Easter Island to become the next Easter Bunny.

But EB would rather be a drummer, and heads for Hollywood, where he is knocked down by slacker Marsden's car. Marsden, who is housesitting at a posh Beverly Hills house, is conned into taking the talking rabbit - who is not really injured - in as his house guest.

Meanwhile, back on Easter island, a Hispanic chick is planning to take over the candy factory and become the new Easter Bunny.

The cheerful blend of comedy, slapstick, daft dialogue and entertainingly silly plotting - EB auditions as a drummer for David Hasselhoff (happily sending himself up) who, far from being put off by the garrulous bunny, tells him 'My best friend's a talking car' - is neatly put together to please youngsters - George (9) gave it 8 out of 10, Felix (6) 10 out of 10 - who doubtless will appreciate (and it's in the trailer, too) the amazed Marsden's comment 'You poop candy!' when EB delivers a load of jellybeans.

And there is enough cynical humour to keep accompanying adults from squirming in their seats with tedium.

Live action and animation are seamlessly united here - indeed, some of the drawn characters are rather more animated than Cole, who plays Marsden's father who wants his son out of the house and earning a living.

Voices are well cast - Brand's is suitably bumptious speaking for EB (he also makes a brief real-life appearance), Laurie is ideal as the teenage rabbit's organised father, and The Simpsons' star Azaria adds another engaging accent to his repertoire.

Hop doesn't outstay its welcome and concludes with a riotous showdown in the elaborate candy factory which, I feel, might owe a creative debt to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Universal . Colour.
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 28 Mar 2011