Distributor: NBC Universal
Release Date: April 7
Hop is a live-action / animation crossover much like Who Framed Roger Rabbit aimed specifically at Aussie kids this Easter.
James Marsden plays Fred, an adult child content with his shiftless existence. When he accidentally injures the Easter Bunny (voiced by Russell Brand) he feels obliged to take him in until the source of holiday chocolate is fit to go back to spreading Easter cheer. But Fred soon discovers that the Easter Bunny is the world’s worst houseguest and making it through these holidays is going to require a new level of maturity on both their parts.
There are a lot of things that are going to expand the audience for Hop these Easter holidays – the lack of other competing animations will draw the kids, the participation of risqué comedian Russell Brand will attract the adults. It also represents something of a watershed moment for Hollywood. The Christmas story was supplanted long ago by stories about fat men in red suits, but up until now Easter movies have had an almost exclusively religious orientation. Given the successful commercialisation of this sacred holiday, it wouldn’t be too big a stretch of the imagination to see the Easter bunny where Santa is five years from now. Hop is a coming of age story without much maturity. Does the Fred and the Easter Bunny’s personal growth include realizing the real meaning of Easter? Don’t hold your breath.
Release Date: Tuesdays, 8:30 PM
Raising Hope raises the hope that, despite all of the fractured family types around this world, it may still be possible to raise healthy children.
Lucas Neff plays Jimmy Chance, a young man struggling to find some real meaning to his life. Jimmy is, simply put, white trash. He, his parents and his friend Barney are squatting in his deluded grandmother’s house. ‘Maw Maw’ spends most of her time mistaking Jimmy for her dead husband, but in her rare moments of lucidity she wants her freeloaders out on the curb. And why wouldn’t you? Father Burt runs a yard cleaning service but is possibly less mature than his teenage son; mother Virginia is a moral desert. When Jimmy gets a female serial killer pregnant and ends up with his daughter when his girlfriend goes to the electric chair (all this in episode one!), Jimmy’s mother suggest that dropping the baby off at the fire station is the right thing to do. But Jimmy is determined to become someone through finding his inner parent. And so the comedy begins…
Raising Hope is Malcolm In The Middle meets My Name Is Earl. And just like these family comedies, there’s always a nugget of wisdom to be digested along with the awkward jokes. Raising Hope has some good laughs but gets my vote for the points it gives parenting. Jimmy may be the most immature parent on the block but at least he’s giving it a go. Not a bad starting point in an age where not getting a woman pregnant appears to be the only point on many males’ parenting agendas.