MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: +3

James Marsden, Russell Brand (voice of E.B.) Universal. Animation combined with real life action. Directed by Tim Hill.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Papa Easter Bunny is retiring and he wants his drum-playing son to take over the candy-delivering business. Dadís a little disappointed that his son doesnít seem all that interested in anything other than playing the drums. Cut to the live action family living in Van Nuys, Ca. Same goes here. The family is concerned that their son (played by James Marsden, who has more teeth than Mary Tyler Moore) doesnít seem interested in getting a job. To appease them, he sets out for a job interview only to accidently run over the runaway E.B.

Well, it turns out E.B. can talk. So they bond Ė in a way. And back home on Easter Island, a sneaky baby chicken is planning to overthrow the aster Bunny and become the head of the company. Will E.B. save the day and take his rightful place as the head candy deliverer?

PREVIEW REVIEW: The first few minutes are animated, taking place on Easter Island, as the retiring Easter Bunny is trying to convince his son to take over the family business. Itís downright charming Ė with a clever concept and witty dialogue and perfect voice interpretations. Alas, then it switches to real life people. The producers would have done better had they stuck to Easter Island and animation, forsaking the inclusion of the unconvincing and downright dull versions of real people. The film isnít painful for adults like many films theyíre forced to sit through with children, but neither is it captivating. When you think of recent films like WALL-E, Bolt, Toy Story 3, e realize just what this film lacks.

The argument is Ė ďHey, itís made for kids.Ē I find that statement condescending and rather ill informed. Grownups fondly remember Warner Bros. Bugs, Daffy and Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Why? Their creators never aimed down. They made animation that made them laugh. Sure some of the humor went over the kidsí heads, but they kept returning to those mini-movies, gaining something with each viewing. Iíd rather a kid see a good animated movie than one the studios declare ďMade for little ones.Ē

Still, as I say, itís not awful. Itís about a talking bunny who wants to be a drummer, a scheming Hispanic chicken who wants to take over the Easter Bunnyís business, and a human slacker caught in the middle. Itís pretty hard to take seriously, but the nondiscriminating children in the screening audience were having a blast. Maybe itís causing their imaginationís juices to flow. I have to admit, the sequences in the candy factory get the mouth watering. Hmmmm, chocolate.

Should Christians be upset about this filmís trivialization of a sacred holiday Ė Easter? Well, like Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman, the Easter Bunny has been created to take the focus off the true meaning of the day.

As a kid, I loved Easter morningís search for colored eggs in the yard. I donít know why. I donít like eggs. Never have. Even as a kid, I made it clear I wasnít going to eat anything that came out of the bottom of a chicken. But then we went to church and I was told the real meaning of the holiday. I feel sorry for children who only get the first part of the Easter morning ritual.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: The violence is cartoonish, the rabbit is nearly hit by a car and villainous baby chicks attempt to overthrow the older Easter Bunny and friends.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Families

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