Hop appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While not the greatest transfer I’ve seen, the image appeared solid.
Only a wee smidgen of softness occurred. A few wide shots were a tad iffy, but those were minor complaints. The vast majority of the flick seemed tight and well-defined. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and I saw no signs of edge haloes or DNR. Source flaws remained totally absent as well.
Colors became a highlight. As one might expect from an Easter-centric film, this one boasted a broad, dynamic palette. A wide variety of other tones appeared, and all of them looked rich and lively. Blacks were dark and deep, and I thought shadows seemed smooth and clear. I felt consistently pleased with the transfer.
Though also not killer, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked fine. Much of the movie demonstrated good range and activity. The forward channels did the most damage, as they showed nice movement and integration. The surrounds offered a reasonably solid level of involvement as well; this wasn’t an action spectacular, but it contributed an engaging sense of place and movement.
Audio quality was positive. Speech was consistently natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music appeared bubbly and bright, while effects showed good power. Those elements offered positive accuracy and heft throughout the movie. Nothing here dazzled, but the track suited the film.
When we shift to extras, we open with a staple of Universal Blu-rays: the interactive U-Control feature. Often that provides picture-in-picture footage/interviews, but here it splits into two fluffier domains. “Hop Tweets” delivers quick text comments from EB, and with “Pink Beret Tracker”, an image occasionally appears on screen to show different elements. We see a GPS depiction of EB’s current location, storyboards, and information about the movie’s songs. Neither of these “U-Control” components add a lot to the package,but both are decent.
Called Phil’s Dance Party, a new “mini-movie” runs three minutes, 14 seconds. It shows the film’s leading chick characters Phil and Carlos as they perform dances and banter. Don’t expect much from this barebones short, as it doesn’t even bother with a virtual set; the chicks dance in front of a white background. Hank Azaria also fails to come back as the voices, so we get substitute actors. It lacks much merriment and seems cheap given that the Blu-ray’s case heavily touts the presence of the “all-new mini-movie”.
We find a run of featurettes next. Under The World of Hop, we get six clips: “A Look at the Candy Factory” (1:34), “A Look at EB” (2:02), “A Look at Fred” (1:19), “A Look at the Easter Bunny” (1:10), “A Look at Carlos and Phil” (1:45) and “A Look at Sam” (1:17). Across these, we hear from co-writers Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul and Brian Lynch, director Tim Hill, animation supervisor Chris Bailey, producer Chris Meledandri, and actors Russell Brand, James Marsden, Elizabeth Perkins, Hugh Laurie, Hank Azaria, and Kaley Cuoco. These examine sets and visual design, cast, characters, and performances. We see some good footage with the actors at work – I especially like the shots of Azaria as he argues with himself – but the information seems fluffy and does little more than tell us of the actors’ greatness.
Via All Access with Cody Simpson, we locate a two-minute, 28-second look at the young singer. We see a little of him in the studio but mostly see him at the premiere and hear him tell us how incredible and wonderful everything is. You can safely skip this nonsense.
Russell Brand: Being the Bunny lasts one minute, seven seconds as it offers comments from the actor. We view Terry Gilliam-esque animation as Brand tells us the “research” he did for his role. This becomes a frivolous but moderately amusing extra.
We see more from the actor with the two-minute, 57-second Russell Brand’s Kid Crack Up. In this, Brand does the Art Linkletter thing and chats with little kids about the movie; Cuoco also shows up briefly. He’s more irreverent than Linkletter and that adds a little fun, though the best bit comes at the end when he tosses a barb at Cuoco.
Carlos on Carlos: The Premiere According to Carlos fills three minutes, 30 seconds. It lets us see footage from the premiere while Carlos the chick talks with various participants and touts his greatness. We find a little comedy, though the continued use of a substitute actor disappoints; things like this work better with the original performer, as that person’s absence makes the product seem more low rent. The Carlos-centric credits are the best part.
For another wacky piece, we go to Emotion in Motion: The Dance of Ken Daurio. It lasts two minutes, 34 seconds and focuses on screenwriter Daurio. Here he pretends to be a choreographer and shows us his so-called moves. All very tongue in cheek, it creates modest amusement.
With Post Coup Commentary: Carlos and Phil Tell All, we find an animated clip. It goes for two minutes, 59 seconds and gives us another piece ala the earlier Carlos offerings. Like those, it’s mildly enjoyable but no better, and it still loses points due to Azaria’s absence.
Under Games, we locate three options: “Drum Along”, “Pink Beret Skill Tester” and “EB’s Candy Challenge”. “Drum” offers a basic memory contest; the interface is so slow and clunky that any potential fun goes down the drain.
“Tester” throws out three mini-games; some are better than others, but none seem great, and I continued to encounter some glitches. Finally, “Candy” concludes with a board game that comes with more “mini-games”. Most of the time, I just pressed a virtual spinner and watched my token advance; I had to play one mini-game at the end but that was it. Yawn.
The disc opens with ads for Curious George, Barbie in A Mermaid’s Tale, and Bring It On: The Musical. No trailer for Hop shows up here.
On a second platter, we get a DVD copy of Hop. This offers a standard retail release, so expect a good complement of bonus materials.
While I like the idea of an Easter Bunny-focused feature film, Hop does little to encourage future efforts in the genre. Here we find a flick that’s relentlessly… okay. It boasts an acceptable level of fun but just can’t leap to a higher level. The Blu-ray delivers excellent visuals, good audio and an average set of supplements. I suspect this one will get plenty of Easter play due to a dearth of alternate options, but it’s not a memorable movie.