HOP MovieIt’s interesting how few movies there are about the magic of Easter. In fact–wait, are there any? Regardless, HOP, the adorable new Easter film, would jump to the top of the list anyway.

[don’t miss the scoop on Russell Brand and James Marsden after the jump!]

is a big dish of eye candy. E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand) lives on
Easter Island (get it?) with his dad, the Easter Bunny, who sounds a
whole lot like Hugh Laurie. E.B. wants to be a drummer, so when he
learns he’s in line to take over as boss bunny, he scampers off to
Hollywood where he meets Fred (James Marsden), a 30-year-old slacker
whose family stages an intervention to get him into a job. Hlarity
ensues, courtesy of a witty script that always keeps your interest.

Fun, right? So fun. And HOP is helmed by the same people behind Despicable Me so the effects are top-notch live-action-meets-animation in the most believable way.

Not surprisingly,  Russell Brand is hilarious as E.B., as he radiates a
kidlike enthusiasm for the part that’s totally infectious. In a roundtable
interview, he explained: “As soon as they asked, ‘Do you want to be the
Easter Bunny?’ They didn’t even finish asking and I said yes. At that
point they could have said, ‘holidays, bonnet.’ But it was ‘bunny’ and
it turns out it was the right decision and I liked it”

He also talked about rabbits defecating jelly beans, but referred to them as “whoopsies.” And he described a robot Easter Bunny crossed with Darth Vader that exists somewhere out there in infinity. How can you not love a guy like that?

Not going to lie, Russell Brand
is–literally–the funniest person I’ve ever met. And he will lay a big,
juicy smooch on you if you tell him so. Did I learn this from
experience? Believe it, sister. I am still blushing about it.

You know who else is awesome? James Marsden, who wins the prize for most adorable dad– probably how he gets away with driving a minivan.  He confessed his kids don’t think much of their X-Men and Enchanted father.
“They know I’m in an Easter Bunny movie and they’re excited about it,”
he said, “but they don’t know much about the plot and they don’t really
care. They act as if they thought every other kid at their school had a
dad who was an actor…” And then he added, with perfect comic timing,
“which kind of is the case.”

The littlest viewers will
probably miss some plot points in HOP, but that’s okay–there’s more
than enough razzle-dazzle to make up for it. There’s nothing big and
scary (though a chick-turns-bunny mutation might cause some momentary
concern) and the music is beat-heavy and head-boppy. Be prepared to have
“Dynamite” by Taio Cruz carved into your brain for at least a week.

a sweet movie, but not saccharin–more a salted chocolate truffle than a
fluffy Peep. You’ll be able to watch the whole thing with your kids,
willingly and happily, laughing at all the stuff they get and especially
at the stuff they don’t. And the overall lessons are good ones: follow
your dreams, never forget the strength of your family and friends, music
is a powerful force to be reckoned with.-Lexi

HOP hits theaters on April 1. Also for you gamers: Get a special HOP-themed version of Doodle Jump
for free, or key in “Hop” as your screen name in the game you already
have on your iPhone.

Thanks so much for NBC Universal for including Cool
Mom Picks on the press junket. I loved the trip to LA, the Four Seasons
hotel goodies (Bvlgari shampoo is life-changing),
movie-themed cocktails (“HOPtinis,” people!), and the opportunity to
meet cast and crew. But for the record: I would have
liked the movie from my own local theater anyway.