Peter Rabbit Review
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Since his stories first appeared in print in 1902, Beatrix Potter’s troublemaking bunny, Peter Rabbit, has charmed children and grown-ups alike. And while Peter and his friends appeared in sequels and spin-offs after their first adventure, the author probably never imagined the mischief that they get into in Peter Rabbit.

Peter Rabbit follows Peter (voiced by James Corden) as he leads his siblings on yet another quest to sneak into their neighbor’s garden. When the old man dies while trying to catch Peter, the rabbits and the rest of their animal friends throw a party in his home. But their celebration is short-lived because McGregor’s great-nephew, Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson), inherits the estate. Not only does he hate rabbits, but he may just steal their good friend and protector, Bea (Rose Byrne), away from them, too. So Peter rallies the troops to fight back.

If you love the old-fashioned, watercolor charm of Potter’s tales of Peter and his friends—and you’re expecting the same charm from the movie—you’ll most likely find yourself caught completely off-guard by the action and mischief of this feature-length adventure. Despite its fuzzy characters and its pleasant country setting, the film is often surprisingly dark and violent. This Peter isn’t just a lovable mischief-maker who just can’t help but venture into McGregor’s garden; he’s a furry rabble-rouser who gathers his friends and family together to wreak havoc on their elderly neighbor’s garden. When the old man collapses and dies of a heart attack, Peter declares victory, proudly announcing that he has killed McGregor. But that’s just the beginning—and the battle only escalates to electrocution and explosives once the new Mr. McGregor arrives on the scene.

If you can separate yourself from the source material, however, the film does have its own charms, mixing British politeness and civility with touches of romance and plenty of slapstick silliness and wild action. The characters are generally likable—despite their faults and their violent tendencies. And some of the over-the-top action sequences are so wild and crazy that you just won’t be able to stop yourself from laughing. While grown-ups may not get what they’re expecting from this madcap adaptation of the beloved classic, it’s sure to keep kids giggling.

Peter Rabbit isn’t the kind of sweet, innocent animated film that you watched as a kid—nor is it the Peter Rabbit story that you remember. But if your kids are suffering from cabin fever and you all need to get out of the house for a while, this wild adventure is at least good for a few laughs.

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