I’ve got to stop judging books by their covers; or, more precisely, modern children’s book film remakes on my nostalgia for their original, classic form. Thus, I’ve waited this long to watch the Peter Rabbit Movie because I was upset at it being used as the premise for a children’s comedy but also, as with every remake, I didn’t think it could come close to capturing the original charm of the beautifully drawn characters gifted to us by Beatrix Potter over a century ago. I adore her as a writer and a woman, and wrote about her recently here. Nevertheless, I’ve once again had to eat my words as I thoroughly enjoyed this modern version.
The story is narrated by Margot Robbie and, voiced by James Corden, Peter Rabbit is just as charming as the little watercolour but with a great personality and comedic twist. The naughty little Peter we so know and love is represented; but so too is his naive and adorable nature. Featuring all the favourite characters from her collection, I think they did well to incorporate some reality into the tale. I sometimes feel like Corden can overdo it, and is slightly loud and shouty; this was however, a perfect match.
The heroine Bea, (reminiscent of Potter herself, through her paintings of animals, residence in the countryside and love of wildlife), played by the wonderful Rose Byrne, is charming from the start. The modern Mr. MacGregor (great nephew of the classic character), provides a hilarious, side-step to the classic plot whereby he takes on his late Uncle’s property, terrorised by the local animals.
I always love when they incorporate British-ness into our classic children’s films – it makes them that little bit more special. In particular this features Harrods and lots of English countryside – bliss.
This remake has managed to retain the personalities and details of Potter’s characters in its portrayal, but has also left its own mark on the story’s place in the history of children’s literature.
Definitely one to add to my ever-growing children’s literature DVD collection.