It is honestly such a relief to discover that ‘Peter Rabbit’ – based on Beatrix Potter’s classic children’s stories about a mischievous rabbit named Peter and how his love of vegetables goes too far when faced with adversary, Old Mr. McGregor – is actually better than it should be. When it comes to adapting this source material, care should be taken to make sure it does not stray away from the charm that made it such a beloved classic (it worked with both ‘Paddington’ 1 and 2); while ‘Peter Rabbit’ does tend to step its foot in juvenile waters (In one scene, Peter thinks it is funny to stick a carrot in Old Mr. McGregor’s butt crack when he is not looking), its heart is as big as its sense of humor, leading kids laughing/quoting its phrases, and adults smiling.
As expected from the trailers, ‘Peter Rabbit’ is a bit of a modern take on the source material, yet it starts off the way the original stories would, showcasing Peter (Voice of James Corden), his three sisters, Flopsy (Voice of Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Voice of Elizabeth Debicki), and Cotton-Tail (Voice of Daisy Ridley), and their cousin Benjamin Bunny (Voice of Colin Moody) scampering about and stealing vegetables from Mr. McGregor (An unrecognizable Sam Neill), wherein he threatens to turn Peter and his family into rabbit pie, if he catches them. Yet that is only the beginning, as moments later, we are introduced to McGregor’s nephew, Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson), a hard-working employee at a toy store who inherits his uncle’s estate, and works on fixing it up; but not before coming into contact with Peter and his friends, who are determined to give him hell.
While this Looney-Tunes battle between man and rabbit is occurring, we get a love story added into the mix. Thomas has moved next to Rose Byrne’s Bea (The name being an obvious nod to the original author), an aspiring painter who loves and cares for Peter and the rest of his family, eventually taking an interest to the newest McGregor. Come to think about it, ‘Peter Rabbit’ plays like a live-action cartoon more than an children’s story, yet manages to be a good time at the movies.