A few minutes into the film, as I was starting to really take in the animation for the film, I see a boy on the screen and say to myself “Wow! That animation is like, REALLY good!” only to realize that it’s not animation and the film has swapped over to live action. If you didn’t catch my surprise in that last sentence, let me blatantly say it: I had no idea that there were live-action sequences in this film. Was I pleasantly surprised? Not so much.
As a kid, I grew up loving Space Jam. I know Space Jam is terrible and yet I can’t help but love it…. it’s just one of those things. But I loved it because I was a kid and to me, it was amazing. HOP I think is like the modern day Space Jam… minus Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan. It takes current top-notch animation and integrates it into live-action. Do they do a good job of it? Yes and no. For the most part, the creators stay away from the actors holding or touching the animated characters, but there are a couple of scenes that they apparently couldn’t resist adding in that make the whole thing seem a bit flimsy to me (one scene in particular with Kaley Cuoco).
That being said, I can see the major appeal that this film has for a younger audience. My issue with these animated kids films outside of the Disney and Pixar world is that they always seem to really dumb things down and for me that takes away from the experience. However there are still enjoyable aspects of the film and Russell Brand brings his silly sense of humour to the character of E.B., although in a family friendly sense very much opposite to his role in Get Him To The Greek.
"Post Coup Commentary" with Carlos and Phil: Carlos and Phil give their justifications for rebelling against the Easter Bunny. They then just sort of make scenes sillier by scribbling all over the screen. So yeah.
The World of Hop: These are a series of little featurettes that break down parts of the film for the fans. The writers and directors talk about the Easter Island headquarters for the Easter Bunny as well as separately talk about some of the characters that are in HOP.
All Access with Cody Simpson: Singer Cody Simpson takes us down the red carpet at the premiere of HOP and talks about what it was like making a song for a movie.
Russell Brand: Being the Bunny: This is kind of a silly feature that has Brand talking about what it was like for him to play E.B. and what he did to get prepared for the role (like reading Watership Down loads of times, watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit and lots of Bugs Bunny). It’s a bit silly since there’s no real footage of Brand and instead it’s just a photo of him that’s talking while being sat in a Easter Egg. Russell Brand's Kid Crack Ups: Basically this is Russell Brand sitting down with a bunch of kids and doing a sort talk show trivia thing where he asks questions about the movie and kids answer and he just more or less has fun hanging out with them on a HOP themed set.
Carlos on Carlos: The Premiere According to Carlos: The voice of Carlos takes us to the premiere of HOP where he talks to the other actors in the film as they arrive on the red carpet. He interacts with them and some other people as well and this whole feature is just all about Carlos… and a little bit of Phil.
Emotion in Motion: The Dance of Ken Daurio: I’m pretty sure this feature is supposed to be silly and fun, but it’s more just stupidly silly. Daurio is the “choreographer” for Phil’s dancing and it’s just sort of a faux interview with him along with him showing kids some of his moves that they used in the film to bring Phil to life.
E.B.'s Candy Challenge: A interactive board game that you can play with one or two players. You’re spinning a wheel that lands you on a colour, you move to that colour and then complete the little challenges and puzzles that come up in order to win the game.
Drum Along: This is a memory game for kids to play where they will show you a series of drum moves and you use the arrow keys on your remote to mimic the moves the E.B. makes.
Pink Beret Skill Tester : After you’ve watched the movies, you’ll know all about the Pink Berets. This game is a series of little quizzes to see if you’re capable of joining the elite team.
For families though, the Blu-ray Combo Pack would most definitely be worth picking up. It doesn’t just contain the film, but it contains a ton of entertainment for your kids to watch after the movie is done and to help your kids appreciate the movie more. Unfortunately it’s a seasonal movie, so you might not get the most watches out of it, but I know that doesn’t always stop certain kids from playing a movie every day of the year.