PETER RAB­BIT (PG)

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - EYE | HOROSCOPES -

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.

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