PETER RABBIT (PG)
PRESS PAWS AND SCAMPER AWAY DIRECTOR: WILL GLUCK (ANNIE)
STARRING: ROSE BYRNE, DOMHNALL GLEESON AND THE VOICES OF JAMES CORDEN, MARGOT ROBBIE, DAISY RIDLEY, ELIZABETH DEBICKI
Those two sublime Paddington movies have raised the bar to a whole new level for how beloved children’s books should be handled on the big screen.
Unfortunately, Peter Rabbit doesn’t even bother trying to make the jump.
Instead, it dives into the same pile of highly-strung high jinks that kill the joy in so many kid flicks these days.
The late, great author Beatrix Potter (who resisted many film offers in her time, including several approaches from Walt Disney) would be genuinely appalled by what has been done to her famous little bunny.
What was once a subtle mischievous streak in Peter (voiced by James Corden) is now his sole personality trait. Always at the ready with a prank, a quip and a sneaky plan, this hyperactive rabbit can become very annoying very quickly.
Species differences aside, if Alvin and the Chipmunks had a cousin living in the British countryside, if would be pesky Pete himself.
The whole thing would have been much more fun had the focus stayed on the title character’s three delightful sisters Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cotton-tail (Daisy Ridley).
There's some ingenious blending of animation and live-action, which is where the pleasing, though inconsequential efforts of co-stars Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and Sam Neill come in. But despite that, this is a dud effort.
BEATRIX POTTER ‘S BELOVED CHARACTERS BENJAMIN AND PETER IN A SCENE FROM NEW CHILDREN’S MOVIE PETER RABBIT.