There have literally been hundreds of portrayals of Santa Claus in cinema. The Easter Bunny – not so much. But with last Friday’s release of Hop, things may finally change for the egg-hiding hare.
“I don’t think the Easter Bunny ever sparkled in Hollywood’s mind as a character that could be explored and just kind of be invented whereas Santa has its own myth,” said Hop director Tim Hill. “(Everyone knows) there’s supposed to be this Easter Bunny that delivers baskets and we have Easter egg hunts but that’s about it so it presents an opportunity to create your own mythology.”
In Hop’s case, that means inventing a secret world on Easter Island where the Easter Bunny and his chick workers craft candy and painted eggs year-round. It also means that when it comes to his son taking over the family business, the Russell Brand-voiced renegade rabbit runs away to play rock and roll.
“It’s hard to imagine having made the movie, doing it without Russell Brand because he brings that edgy side to it,” said Hill who admits there was plenty of adlibbing in the recording studio. “His mind works so fast; he wants to alter the line and play with it and he wants to improve it. My philosophy with him was to let him bring what he wanted to bring because most of its great.”
Hill is a slight renegade himself. Having majored in French literature, family entertainment was not his life’s agenda. But with hits like Alvin and the Chipmunks behind him, it’s certainly proven an area of expertise.
“I love to see kids laugh,” said Hill. “And I’ve always been a big fan of physical comedy. I just think there’s a whole visual side of comedy that all ages appreciate but especially kids.”