|Directed by||Tim Hill|
|Story by||Cinco Paul|
|Cinematography||Peter Lyons Collister|
|Music by||Christopher Lennertz|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$184 million|
Hop is a 2011 American 3D live-action/computer-animated fantasy comedy film co-produced by Illumination Entertainment and Relativity Media, and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film was directed by Tim Hill and produced by Chris Meledandri and Michele Imperato Stabile, from a screenplay written by Brian Lynch and the writing team of Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Paul and Daurio also conceived the film's story. Starring James Marsden, Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, Hank Azaria, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hasselhoff, Chelsea Handler, and Hugh Laurie, the film follows a young rabbit who would rather drum in a band than succeed his father as the Easter Bunny, and befriends a human slacker seeking a job.
Hop premiered at Universal Studios in Hollywood on March 27, 2011, and was theatrically released in the United States on April 1, by Universal Pictures, and it received generally negative reviews from critics. During its theatrical run, the film earned $184 million at the box office, against a budget of $63 million. To date, it is the only Illumination film that combines live-action photography with animation.
On Easter Island, a young rabbit named E.B. is intended to succeed his father as the Easter Bunny. Intimidated by the calling's demands and ignoring his father's orders, E.B. runs away to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming a drummer. In Van Nuys, E.B. is hit by Fred O'Hare, an out-of-work, job-hopping slacker who was driving to his sister Sam's boss's house to house-sit after his parents forced him to move out. Feigning injury, E.B. persuades Fred to take him in as he recovers, but when E.B. causes trouble, Fred attempts to release him in the wilderness. However, E.B. persuades Fred to let him stay, claiming to be the Easter Bunny, whom Fred had witnessed delivering eggs as a child and became infatuated with Easter ever since.
Meanwhile, E.B.'s father sends his royal guards, the Pink Berets, to search for him and bring him back. In Hollywood, E.B. sees the Berets closing in on him and hides inside a business where Fred is having a job interview. E.B. enjoys a successful recording session with The Blind Boys of Alabama as their substitute drummer, but ruins Fred's job interview. In the process, E.B. gets a tip about a possible audition for David Hasselhoff, and after performing for him, he invites him to perform on his show.
Afterwards, Fred attends his adoptive younger sister Alex's school Easter pageant with E.B. hiding in a satchel. E.B., believing that the Pink Berets have found him due to the three bunny suit shadows on a wall and disgusted by Alex's awful rendition of "Peter Cottontail", dashes out and disrupts the show, forcing Fred to fake being a ventriloquist's act with E.B. as his dummy, and the two upstage the show singing, "I Want Candy". Both Fred's father Henry and Alex are angry about the upstaging, but Fred is inspired to be the Easter Bunny himself. Although skeptical, E.B. agrees to train him and finds that Fred has some genuine talent for it.
Meanwhile, the Easter Bunny's second-in-command Carlos the Chick plots a coup d'état against him to take over Easter. Carlos inspires the chicks to uprise the bunnies and begins training to become the "Easter Chick". The next morning, as E.B. is about to go to Hasselhoff's show, he notices the Pink Berets and prepares a decoy to fake his death, leaving Fred behind. The Berets see the decoy and, horrified that Fred has apparently killed E.B., capture him and take him to Easter Island. Fred is confronted by E.B.'s father and Carlos, who seizes control of the Easter factory, tying up E.B.'s father and placing him and Fred to be boiled alive. Meanwhile, E.B. starts to feel guilty for leaving Fred, and is convinced by Hasselhoff on his show to go back and help his friend.
E.B. races back to the factory, confronting Carlos, but is immobilized in gummy candy and tossed into the chocolate bunny carving line. E.B. survives by dodging the blades of the machine, while Fred eats through the black-licorice ropes, escaping with E.B’s father. Carlos turns into a chick-bunny hybrid due to the magic of The Egg of Destiny, and battles with E.B., defeating him easily due to his size. Carlos then tries to lead the Egg Sleigh out with his sidekick Phil directing, but E.B. improvises a drum session that drives Phil to uncontrollably dance to the beat and provide the wrong signals, causing the sleigh to crash and subdue Carlos. E.B. and his father reconcile, and he and Fred are crowned co-Easter bunnies, while Carlos is forced to pull the Egg Sleigh.
In a post credits scene, Fred is seen delivering an Easter basket to a Chinese lady who appeared in a previous scene. When E.B. asked what the lady said, Fred explained in Mandarin that the reason why it is difficult to deliver Easter baskets in China is because of talking rabbits being intimidating to Chinese guests. E.B. is surprised that Fred can speak Chinese.
The cast in order of production notes listing:
The animated characters were designed by Peter de Sève. The CGI animation of the film was made by Los Angeles-based Rhythm & Hues Studios.
Universal teamed up with 92 major companies to promote Hop, including Holiday Inn, Krispy Kreme, Lindt, Kraft Foods, The Hershey Company, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Comcast, Kodak, Hallmark, HMV, and Burger King. A large range of licensed merchandise was released in connection with the film, including toys, stuffed animals, many sorts of candy, T-shirts, cookie decorating kits, baked goods and other products from Kraft Foods. Some items were available exclusively at Walmart stores. The premiere of Hop took place at Universal Studios Hollywood on March 27, 2011.
A Hop video game was released only for the Nintendo DS alongside the film. On March 29, 2011, a crossover game featuring Hop and Doodle Jump was released on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. All 25 levels being available after the film's release. As part of Doodle Jump's in-app purchases with downloads, a new level can be selected through naming at Hop's game over screen.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released Hop on DVD and Blu-ray on March 23, 2012. Physical copies include featurettes and games, with a short film Phil's Dance Party.
Hop earned $108.5 million in the United States and Canada and $75.9 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $184.4 million. It was the 39th-highest-grossing film of 2011. To date, Hop is the lowest grossing film released by Illumination.
In the United States and Canada, Hop was released on April 1, 2011. It earned $11.5 million on its first day. The film debuted earning $38 million across 3,579 theaters. Its second weekend earnings dropped by 42 percent to $21.7 million, and followed by another $11.1 million the third weekend. Hop left theaters by August 19, 2011, making it the year's 25th-highest-grossing film.
On Rotten Tomatoes, Hop has an approval rating of 24% based on 139 reviews, with an average rating of 4.3/10, making it the lowest-rated film produced by Illumination to date. Its critical consensus reads, "It's impressively animated, but Hop's script is so uninspired that not even James Marsden's frantic mugging can give it any bounce." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 41 out of 100 based on reviews from 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.
The subplot involving Carlos the Easter Chick was considered to be insensitive to Mexican Americans by one reviewer. Peter Debruge of Variety called it "hilariously un-PC".
Hop was nominated in two categories at the 2011 Golden Trailer Awards: "Battle For Easter" (Cimarron Entertainment) for Best Animation/Family and "Carrot Quiz" (Mojo) for Best Animation/Family TV Spot. Character animator Andrew Arnett was nominated for Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production at the 39th Annie Awards. At the Golden Reel Awards 2011, the film received a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Underscore.