Rated PG. Running Time 1 hour 35 min.
Our content ratings (1-10): Violence 1; Language 0; Sex Nudity 1.
Our star rating (1-5): 3.5
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.
The prophet, in reference to Will Gluck’s animated film, might have written “The gardener shall live with the rabbit, and a nature-loving maiden shall lead them.” Based on the books by Beatrix Potter, the film’s main characters are Peter Rabbit (James Corden;) his three sisters: Flopsy (Margot Robbie,) Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cotton Tail (Daisy Ridley) and their cousin Benjamin (Colin Moody). They spend their days harassing Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill) in his vegetable garden. Until one day he dies, and no one can stop them roaming across his house and lands. However, when one of Mr. McGregor’s great-nephew Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) inherits the house and leaves London to check it out, he finds much more than he bargained for. What ensues, is a battle of wills between the new Mr. McGregor and the rabbits. But when he starts to fall in love with Bea (Rose Byrne,) a real lover of all nature, his feelings towards them begin to change. He might even change his plan to sell the house when he has repaired it, but then…
As animated films go, this is a beautifully crafted one, but handicapped by a rather silly plot centering on a long and protracted battle between Thomas and the animals, of which Bea is unaware because her suitor pretends to like Peter. However, I suspect that children will enjoy the silly antics as the animals and Thomas pull trick after trick on each other, until at last there is a reconciliation between him and the animals that allow him to win back Bea. The one part that I enjoyed is the depiction of Bea as an artist who sketches and paints pictures of her animal friends. Guess whose art they used.
This review with a set of discussion questions will be in the May issue of Visual Parables.