Peter Rabbit is the 2018 live action / cgi adventure comedy adaptation of a classic story by British author Beatrix Potter directed by Will Gluck, and adapted by Gluck and Rob Lieber.
Set in Windermere, in the Lake District, the – an adventurous, cheeky rabbit and his family and friends as they go into battle with Thomas McGregor. Thomas, has recently inherited a property from his great uncle, and the house’s regularly vegetable garden is the target of Peter’s raids. It’s not long before McGregor begins to become obsessed with the eradication of the local ‘vermin’ with increasingly extreme means.
Living in a cottage next door is Bea (Rose Byrne), an aspiring artist who as moved to the country to work on her painting. A loving friend to the animals, Bea and McGregor begin to develop feelings for each other.
The film plays out as McGregor and the animals do battle, with some genuinely funny moments throughout. However with this film operating in the exact same genre of Paddington 2, it’s quickly obvious of how short this film comes to that standard.
Voicing Peter is James Corden, with other roles voiced by Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie, and Elizabeth Debicki.
The scene that drew so much criticism from certain parents groups as a character with a food allergy is targeted, and requires an epi-pen does stick out though and seems completely unnecessary. Whilst it isn’t directly offensive, any child with serious food allergies would potentially be impacted by the scene.
The plot is nothing special, albeit self aware enough to be deprecating of its own genre at times, but Gleeson takes every opportunity the role affords him and the result is a not unenjoyable but forgettable 95 minutes.
It’s no homage to the source materials and fans of the original books are likely to be very unhappy (if anything the film actually makes effort to distance itself from them), but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t garner far more laughs than I’d expected.
PS – For the parents out there, if it helps, my nine year old said he preferred Ready Player One, my six year old said that he preferred Peter Rabbit.