I was thankful that I didn’t know the original Beatrix Potter story, because it allowed me to walk into Will Gluck’s re-imagination of Peter Rabbit in a blissfully ignorant state.
I was pleasantly surprised by the visuals. Over the last couple of months we’ve had the luxury some really impressive CGI work, like in The Shape of Water, that’s both mystical and functional. That’s what you get on Peter Rabbit - very cute computer-generated rabbits that seem natural too.
The premise of the film is that a young boy rabbit, Peter (James Corden), gets into trouble with the owner of the farmhouse - old Mr McGregor (Sam Neill) - who is also responsible for Peter’s parents’ death.
The old meanie dies and his only living relative and heir, Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson), whose life’s dream it is to become the manager at Harrods, inherits the luxurious home.
He has no intention of living in it, until he meets and falls in love with his bunny-hugging neighbour, who has taken a mother-like approach to caring for the orphaned bunny Bea (Rose Byrne).
The story is easy enough to follow, and has some chuckle-worthy moments - like the high-society pig, Pigling Bland (Ewen Leslie), who suffers from something of a split personality and struggles with controlling his natural pig instincts around food, or the singing swans, who are constantly interrupted by Peter.
It’s all quite slapstick.
The film also features some special shots of London, especially showcased in the scenes when Peter Rabbit journeys to the city to find Thomas.
It also highlights, in a very unassuming way, the values of honesty, of kindness, hard work, the value of the family and the impact of nepotism in the workplace.
I just wasn’t a fan of the ending, between man and rabbit; I felt that this was taken a tad too far.
Watching Peter Rabbit, though, is a fun way to spend the remainder of the school holidays with the young ones at the cinema.