The beloved tale of Peter Rabbit are stories that many of us remember watching/reading growing up. Yet like many beloved childhood series, they are often lost to memories and stored away to be forgotten. So how in the world did this tale resurface after being buried for so long? Well, get set my friends, because this weekend, Peter Rabbit is back in town to make his mark back on the world and get kids interested in his merchandising. Robbie K back with another movie review to try and help you answer the question, “should I see it in theaters?” As always read on to find out my thoughts.
Animation: Let’s get over the obvious, Peter’s transition into 3-D, realistic looking visuals was a smooth process. The designs of all the characters are on cuteness overloaded, and are certain to be the next line of plush animals for your young ones to grab on to. Past the design, the movement of the animated five is fluid, a nice balance of natural rabbit movement meeting anthropomorphized anatomy that really brings the action and gimmicks to life.
Cute: A movie like this relies on being adorable, and by golly this too was a big factor in this film. Peter and company’s adventure into the new age has adapted well with the times, and the campy, fun, warmhearted nature of the adventure was totally adorable for many. Both young and older will have a hard time choosing between barf inducing cute and just the right amount, so it really depends on your preferences.
Comedy: Surprisingly enough, Peter Rabbit’s comedic antics are surprisingly humorous on many levels. From the trailers you can certainly expect two things: Slapstick comedy and Repeatable Quotes from Kids. And the film delivers these expectations using a variety of material to have your little ones in tears at the juvenile antics. Like Home Alone meets Hop, Peter Rabbit pulls out loads of tricks to keep things fun and wasting little time on other tricks. Yet, what earns major points with me is the cleverer writing that is indicated for adults. Not so much in terms of sexual comedy, Peter Rabbit uses other forms of comedy to get laughs from older adult groups, primarily at poking fun at how ridiculous the story is itself. Throw in some comedic jabs at movie stereotypes alongside some movie references and you got yourself some comedic gold.
All 5 bunnies used: Though it may be titled Peter Rabbit, this tale is not shy of utilizing all of the rabbit family into the film. Certainly, it is going to be for advertising, but this installment did a nice job using all five of the rabbits to further the plot. From sisterly arguments about being the oldest, to the naïve friend who gets dragged into plots, this film will keep the little fuzz balls as involved as possible.
Soundtrack: Props to the music selector for this film, because the movie picked tracks that felt perfect for the sequences. Sure, many of them are outdated 90s songs, but they are utilized so well many won’t care. Throw in a few parodies and some dance remixes and you have a nice track list to keep everyone’s toes tapping.
Lacking Emotion: We all know that the animated films we remember are the ones that tear are hearts out right? Peter Rabbit does have a few emotional zingers, but none of them really have that childhood ruining edge that will scar your mind. Thankfully this means no unhappy endings, but Peter Rabbit could have used a little more emotional growth to round out the tale. Certainly, there are life lessons to be learned, and Peter’s crew does somewhat develop over time, it’s just not in a form or manner that is life changing/memorable in comparison to others. Therefore, the movie could have used a little more feeling to give it that emotional edge it was looking for.
More Rose Byrne: She had plenty of screen time in terms of montages of laughing, smiling, and skipping, but her character is a little limited compared to the others. Like the CGI supporting animals, Byrne’s character simply appeared at the convenient moments. For being a central chess piece to the whole farmer vs. rabbit dynamics though, her character was a little disappointing. There were few interventions by her character and she didn’t expand much as a character outside of joke fodder and that motherly atmosphere. For such a big name, they might have made the extra effort to expand on this role. I mean, even the climactic ending was missing the thrills, partially because Rose didn’t seem to have much enthusiasm in solving the ordeal.
The trailers show a lot of the movie: if you’ve seen the copious number of showings for this movie’s trailer than chances are you have seen much of the shenanigans involved in this film already. Much of the McGregor bashing has been captured in those short airings, so don’t expect too many surprises or laughs if you are sick of it. Thank goodness that some of the more adult humor has been left out as a nice surprise, but much of the movie has been revealed in the three trailers. Don’t you hate over advertising?
Peter Rabbit is a fun tale that all ages will enjoy. It holds many movie references and comedic styles to keep one entertained, and is certainly the family friendly movie of the year so far. One will have a lot of fun at this movie, becoming lost in either the cuteness overload that is the movie or having their young at heart selves chuckling at the craziness within. However, aside from having fun, the movie suffers from a lack of emotional punch to really drive the lessons home. In addition, thanks to the simple dialog and over advertising, the movie loses some of its uniqueness/edge to boredom at seeing it a thousand times. Still, if you can stomach the downfalls and accept it for the cute factor it is… than you should have no problem enjoying this film with the family this weekend. Worth a trip to the theater? I would say yes.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0