Every once in a while, I participate in a blogger outreach promotion. Usually, it’s got to be something of interest to me or something I think you might be interested in, and something that seems authentic. So when an offer came my way through Social Moms to preview a movie, I thought I would give it a whirl.

Through Universal Studios and Social Moms, several early screenings of the new movie “Hop” were set up across the Country. We were invited to go and bring family, so I took my two boys, ages 12 and 16, to the showing in Philadelphia. It was held at the amazingly nice Rave Theater in University City, which I have to say is far more upscale and fantastic than the last time I went to the movies in University City when I was a college student at Penn, over *gasp* twenty years ago. In fact, the changes in the neighborhood are substantial, and I’d make an effort to drive into Philly to see a movie here, now that I know about it!

The screening was free of charge, and there were several neat promotional items, including Hop branded easter eggs with temporary tattoos for the kids, paper bunny ears, and a full sized “EB” costumed character. We bought popcorn and drinks and settled in. I have to say, with this level of promotion, along with Hop’s tie in with Comcast, I was almost worried that it was too much hype and the movie would be kid fare, but not too remarkable. I was wrong.

Hop is really entertaining! It’s basically a tale based on the son of the true easter Bunny, EB, being nervous about taking over the family business, and so he hops away to try his hand at his dream of becoming a drummer. The human he meets is having similar growing pains and the parallel relationship between the characters works well.

The kids and I laughed through the movie- real, genuine moments of laughing out loud. It had a great balance between sweet moments and cheeky sarcasm that was never enough to offend and was the perfect balance between kid, tween and adult humor. Some kid or family-oriented movies fail to get this balance right, leading my husband and I to often dread what we think is standard tween fare. But our kids are still at an age where many of the movies being produced feature more graphic violence or sex scenes than make me feel comfortable, and it’s been hard to find movies that we all want to see, or that I’m willing to take them to. Finding an appropriate comedy that works for everyone is often tough. Hop hit those notes perfectly.

Hop fills a niche- an Easter movie that’s fun and not too juvenile, and one I would be willing to see again, and certainly feel it’s worth the price of admission. I was also really pleased to see Universal make a kid-oriented movie that was light on the scatological and burping humor, and went for some touching moments- it worked really well.

Both boys really loved the movie, and a chance to see it before their friends. They are really eager to recommend it, so that says something right there. Even the 16 year old gave it an 8, and said while it may not be standard teen fare, it was a cute, fun movie, and definitely worth seeing. Pretty high praise from a teenager, and definitely not the demographic you’d expect for this film. The 12 year old gave it a 9, and would be willing to see it again with his friends. And for me, seeing a great family movie was terrific- an experience that rarely happens outside of Pixar films these days.

Thanks again to Social Moms and to Universal for being included in this preview. We only received free tickets and the promotional items named, with the hopes we’d tweet or write a review, and no other incentives changed hands.