The short version of the review of Hop is that People Magazine gave Hop 3 (out of 4) stars and my son liked it. It features a cute bunny and a cute leading man…something for the kids and for the moms…plus 100’s of adorable baby chicks. How could you go wrong, right?
But early on themes of engagement and inclusion, disparity, and feudalism started to bubble through.
The first “cringe” moment was Carlos’ sad “Go on, enjoy your life of privilege” that he calls after EB (the Easter Bunny’s son, pre-ordained to fill the position when dad retires) as he hops off to go play, shouting “later” over his shoulder, in response to his father’s suggestion that it’s time to learn the family business.
Carlos, who speaks with an unmistakable Hispanic accent, is a giant yellow chic who runs the Easter Bunny factory, managing the day to day work of 100’s of yellow baby chicks, impeccably churning out millions of perfect chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, Easter baskets and more. “Will we be ready for Easter?” asks the patriarchal Easter Bunny? “Yes, boss,” answers Carlos, showing off the efficiencies and improvements he has implemented around the factory. He clearly knows the business better than anyone, including the boss himself.
Yet when EB runs away to pursue his dream of becoming a professional drummer and Carlos suggests that perhaps he can fill in, he is brushed off without a moment’s consideration.
“You need someone who knows the business to take his place,” hints Carlos.
“But who could that be?” asks the Easter Bunny.
“Me, boss,” says Carlos.
“You!?” the Easter Bunny responds, laughing uncontrollably at Carlos’ fantastic joke. “Can you imagine the Easter Chick? A chick could NEVER be the Easter Bunny!” Ouch.
At this point I thought there was a distinct Pro Engagement and Inclusion message. Carlos clearly was a leader, hard worker, and with his strong accent in contrast to the patriarchal whiteness of the Boss, I felt the injustice of his situation.
But suddenly the propaganda machine swings into full gear, warning of the dangers of what would happen if minorities were allowed into leadership positions.
The Easter Bunny leaves to search for his son. Carlos stages a coup, taking over the factory.
After years of careful attention to every detail of the factory, Carlos declares that now that he is in charge all of the kiddies will get baskets of dirt and worms. Yellow furry bunny ears sprout from his head, two prominent front teeth pop out from his mouth, and his feet quadruple in size, as he becomes a gigantic fuzzy yellow evil monster rabbit-chick (you could argue this one for either side: ANTI-if a minority gets in power they will destroy everything, or PRO-see what happens if someone is forced to emulate the majority population, just to be accepted?)
In the end, white privilege reigns. EB and Fred, the human who befriends EB when he runs away—a white, male, 26ish out of work slacker, return to over throw Carlos, “save” the factory, and, after having demonstrated no effort or actual competency, take over as “co-Easter Bunnies,” one because he was born into the family, the other because he just “felt he’d be good at it.”
So in the end, when my son says, “did you like the movie?” Where do I begin?
Did you see Hop? What do you think? More importantly, what did your kids think?