UK | Australia | USA 2018
Opening March 22, 2018
Directed by: Will Gluck
Writing credits: Will Gluck, Rob Lieber
Principal actors: James Corden, Fayssal Bazzi, Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, Sam Neill
How wonderful that Peter Rabbit is alive and well after being created in 1902 by English author Beatrix Potter in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Director Will Gluck and his staff (of more than 400 co-workers) have taken all the original characters including Peter and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail and his cousin Benjamin and put them into the garden of old Mr. McGregor, where they eat all of his tomatoes. McGregor’s neighbor, Bea, an artist who loves animals, supports this terrible deed. Naturally, it’s too much for McGregor; in fact he drops over dead. Peter and all the animals take over his house, where they delightfully create chaos. Little do they know, but McGregor’s great nephew Thomas has inherited the property and is on his way from his job in London, where he works at Harrods Department Store. He plans to sell the house and open his own toy shop.
This is a very successful combination of real actors and animated animals, something which was discussed at the 2018 Berlinale. Besides rabbits, there’s an animated rooster, mouse, frog, duck, hedgehog, etc. Director Gluck said, “I wanted the audiences to forget this was an animated film. Hopefully after the first few minutes of getting acclimated to the fact that animals are taking and wearing clothes, it just feels real to the audience.” Peter, in a blue jacket, is the leader and decision-maker, even when some decisions are ridiculously wrong. The filmmakers show Beatrix Potter’s original drawings and they film in the English Lake District where she lived and was inspired to create Peter. They also filmed in London (including inside Harrods) and in Sydney, Australia. This is much fun for the whole family. (Becky T.)