The Beatrix Potter Collection Review
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No child’s library is complete without at least one beautifully illustrated Beatrix Potter storybook—and, for over a century, kids around the world have nodded off to sleep while listening to the beloved stories of Peter Rabbit and his woodland creature friends. Now The Beatrix Potter Collection (originally aired on the BBC as The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends) brings these enchanting stories to life in nine colorful episodes on three DVDs.

Each episode opens with a live action sequence starring Niamh Cusack as Beatrix Potter, the author and artist who loved animals almost as much as she loved children. The introduction shows Beatrix coming in from the rain and returning to her country cottage to write a letter to her favorite children—with a little help from her favorite rabbit, Peter. It’s a cute sequence, though it is a bit longer than necessary—especially since it’s almost the same for every episode.

The real magic, however, is in the animated part of each episode. Each one is based on one or two of Potter’s beloved children’s stories, featuring familiar characters like Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, and the Flopsy Bunnies. Some are the stories that you’ve practically known by heart since childhood (like the story of Peter and his infamous run-in with Mr. McGregor); but others might be new to those who (like me) never read the entire collection. All of them, however, are delightful. Each story is filled with lovable woodland characters—from the adventurous Tom Kitten and his sisters, Moppet and Mittens, to the flighty and all-too-trusting Jemima Puddle-Duck. They’re often mischievous young characters who find themselves in trouble—and they end up learning a simple but valuable lesson in the end.

Fans of Beatrix Potter and her furry friends will love this collection. The stories are classic, and the animation is true to Potter’s familiar watercolor style, giving the whole series a simple but timeless feel. And though some moments are better than others (and I thought Mr. McGregor was a bit silly), the series does an excellent job of capturing the magic of Beatrix Potter’s well-loved books. For those who grew up with Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter as children, this DVD set is sure to bring back memories that you’ll want to share with your own children.

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