He’s wicked now, but still lovable!

2.5 stars

Mini Review:

Peter Rabbit used to be naughty. But animation and live action techniques these days can add so much reality that really little kids might get upset in the theatre. The threat of Peter Rabbit turning into pie on the wicked Mr. McGregor’s dining table has never looked scarier for kids. But I loved the new improved rascally Peter Rabbit. Loved Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. And cousin Benjamin.

Main Review:

If you grew up reading the Peter Rabbit books and even forced parents to drive all the way out to the Beatrix Potter world in Windermere in England if they forced you to go to the V&A museum, then this movie is for you. 

The combination of live action and animation is near perfect! And the songbirds who consistently crash into other animals make you laugh out loud. Suddenly you see little kids sitting next to you, staring at you with horror. You shrug. Let their mums explain why no animals are really harmed in making fun movies about rascally rabbits.

How Peter steals veggies and outsmarts the dour Mr. McGregor has been the subject of many happy books we read as kids. To see it on the big screen is such a pleasure. Thankfully they edited out (for India) the scene where Peter Rabbit shoves a carrot up the mean Mr. McGregor’s bum! That would have been funny, but maybe not for kids…

The romance between Sweet Bea and the new Mr. McGregor is watered down to please the kids. Sometimes you wish they made animation movies only for grown ups. They do, they do… But then you get involved with a happy child-like Save Ben From The River Mission and laugh each time the wind blows the sacks away!

The party scene shocked the mom in me, but I remembered my wild teen years and giggled at Fox drunk at the party bit! The mayhem is brilliantly conceived and created. I especially loved the Townmouse and his style,’Brown on brown is so matchy-matchy!’ 

I usually avoid reading other reviews because they sort of color one’s point of view. But there was an embargo on the film review and it got me intrigued. When I read early reviews of the film (it released in the West in February), I tried to understand why critics wanted the same sweet Beatrix Potter world recreated. After watching the film, it became clear, that the filmmakers were battling the fundamental question: Is their target audience the adults who have read the Beatrix Potter books? Or are the audiences kids of these adults? Look, we grew up reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and their adventures with midnight feasts and all along with Beatrix Potter and tales of Winnie The Pooh. But today’s kids are watching Stranger Things. They’re harder to please. 

I enjoyed Peter Rabbit, and will watch it again when it shows up on the telly. If your kids are wicked, they’ll love Peter Rabbit too. But if they’re sickly sweet and have grown up with ‘nice’, with advice from sweet parenting blogs, then show the film to them at your own peril. They can watch me snort out coffee from my nose to hear Pigling Bland say, ‘It’s a Lip Balm!’

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