Our updated hero has bright eyes, a bushy tail and a stylish jacket to boot.
As irresistible as the fresh carrots that grow in Mr. McGregor’s garden, Peter Rabbit gives Beatrix Potter’s classic a modern makeover, complete with intricate animation, cute quips for older audiences and a sweet-natured journey that has you rooting for a happy ending for all involved. Vying for gorgeous grounds and his human next-door neighbor (Rose Byrne), the audacious Peter Rabbit (confidently voiced by James Corden) goes head-to-head with sour Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), who unexpectedly inherits the beautiful property of his estranged late uncle. The only thing the finicky Londoner detests more than the English countryside is the “vermin” inhabiting the land, so naturally we’re braced for a duel.
Peter’s shenanigans, though certainly adorable, could have been curtailed for the sake of pacing: One electrocuting gag is plenty. But the lovable supporting crew—Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley) and Benjamin (Colin Moody)—makes up for any overdone mischief. Some may cringe at director-cowriter Will Gluck’s modifications (a bunny that twerks, music from the likes of Vampire Weekend and the ubiquitous Rachel Platten), and the heart-wrenching backstory of Peter’s parents might not be appropriate for the smallest of bunnies. (Save this one for young rabbits who can handle more mature content.) It’s certainly a new spin, but those who make the leap will do so vigorously.
Cast and crew
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This review was clearly written by an American. The tales of Peter Rabbit are British classics - none of their spirit is to be found in these films.
In 1936, Walt Disney expressed interest in making a Peter Rabbit film. He proposed his idea of a feature-length film to Beatrix Potter, but she refused and did not give him the rights.
She will be turning in her grave at the sight of this American/Australian abomination.