The children’s film has a lot to offer audiences of all ages.
The classic character Peter Rabbit is the immortal creation of children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, who published her first book on the mischievous little guy in 1902. Over a century later, director Will Gluck (Annie, Easy A) has crafted Peter Rabbit, a semi-animated film that presents a new take on the Peter Rabbit legend.
Almost all of the main characters are animated critters who inhabit the countryside surrounding the home and garden of Mr. McGregor. The drama hinges on the repeated attempts by Peter (James Corden), his three sisters Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), and Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley), and their cousin Benji (Colin Moody) to infiltrate the old man’s garden and steal his vegetables.
When the mean old man has a heart attack and passes away, his distant relative, a younger Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), inherits the estate and comes to live there for a while following trouble at his posh department store job in London. In homage to the original book’s creator, his neighbor Bea (Rose Byrne) is an artist who adores the rabbits and makes beautiful illustrations of them and their friends.
The story really kicks off as McGregor, a proud Londoner through and through, tries to rid the area of the animals that he sees as vermin. All manner of hijinks ensues as Peter’s gang hatches a counterplan to get rid of McGregor.
This adaptation of the classic book boasts an expert cast whose members carry the performances astoundingly well, sleek and seamless animation, and a reworking of the story that feels younger, fresher, and more accessible for a 21st century audience.
Best of all, the film is genuinely hilarious. At an early screening in New York, the theater was full of the sound of children cracking up with laughter throughout the film. The film’s sense of humor is clever, and there were several slick verbal jabs that were clear nods to the adults in the audience.
Throughout all the fun, the film manages to convey a heartwarming message about forgiveness, family bonds, and the importance of taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Peter Rabbit proves to be much more than just a run of the mill children’s film and offers a worthwhile experience to all audiences.
Peter Rabbit opens in theaters nationwide on February 9, 2018. The film is directed by Will Gluck and stars Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, James Corden, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Daisy Ridley, and Colin Moody.
Image credit: Variety.