As is probably the case with most Britons of the last century, I was brought up reading the books of Beatrix Potter. So, when I first saw the trailer above my heart sank. My initial reaction was to cry sacrilege. Things would only get worse as I read reports that it was making fun of people with allergies, and heard the review from Mark Kermode. So I vowed never to see this film.
But I had a problem, one that would kibosh any chance of me not seeing this film. I have a three-year-old goddaughter, a goddaughter who had never been to the cinema before - a goddaughter obsessed with Peter Rabbit... How could I say no when she asked me to accompany her and her mother to see it!
Of course, I had to go...
And you know what... I was wrong! I'll readily admit that now. What I wanted from a Peter Rabbit film was similar to what we got from the Paddington films (though saying this, at the time of writing this review, I have yet to see Paddington 2) by this I mean, I wanted a movie that captured what was special about the books, but brought something new to the table, and that is exactly what I got.
I think the problem here was bad marketing. all the trailers showed were the goofier elements of the film, but the film also captures the spirit of the books, while modernising it at the same time. The way they did this was by setting the film after the books - something else not communicated by the trailer. This, for me at least quashes any issues I may have had with James Cordon voicing Peter, for Peter is now more of a teenager than a young rabbit, so it makes sense.
For me, Peter rabbit managed to take some of the best elements of the Beatrix Potter books, Paddington films, and even elements of the original Babe movie and created a delightful little picture that was well worth my time. I think it is a shame it got such a bad press, as I believe it deserves more credit that it has been given. Afterall, my goddaughter sat there entranced pretty much the whole of the way through - and that in itself is n mean feat!