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Peter Rabbit

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Peter Rabbit
Peter-rabbit-teaser.jpg
Not a good way to adapt Beatrix Potter's famous stories, Sony, but at least you tried.
Genre: Comedy
Fantasy
Adventure
Directed By: Will Gluck
Produced By: Will Gluck
Zareh Nalbandian
Written By: Will Gluck
Rob Lieber
Based On: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Starring: James Corden
Rose Bryne
Domhnall Gleeson
Sam Neill
Daisy Ridley
Elizabeth Debicki
Margot Robbie
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Peter Menzies Jr.
Distributed By: Sony Pictures Releasing
Release Date: February 3, 2018 (The Grove)
February 9, 2018 (United States)
March 16, 2018 (United Kingdom)
March 22, 2018 (Australia)
Runtime: 95 minutes
Country: United States
United Kingdom
Australia
Budget: $50 million
Box Office: $351.3 million
Sequel: Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021)


Peter Rabbit is a 2018 3D live-action/CGI animated adventure comedy film directed by Will Gluck from a screenplay by Gluck and Rob Lieber, based on the storybooks of the character of the same name created by Beatrix Potter. The film features voice roles played by James Corden, Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie, and Elizabeth Debicki, and live-action roles played by Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, and Sam Neill. The film premiered on February 3, 2018, at The Grove and was released on February 9, 2018, in the United States, as well as on March 16 in the United Kingdom and March 22 in Australia. A sequel titled " Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway", was released in Australia on March 25, 2021, in the United Kingdom on May 17, 2021, and in the United States on June 11, 2021, with Will Gluck returning to direct and write the film.

The animation was made by Animal Logic.

Plot

Peter Rabbit and his three sisters -- Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-Tail -- enjoy spending their days in Mr. McGregor's vegetable garden. When one of McGregor's relatives suddenly moves in, he's less than thrilled to discover a family of rabbits in his new home. A battle of wills soon breaks out as the new owner hatches scheme after scheme to get rid of Peter -- a resourceful rabbit who proves to be a worthy and wily opponent.

Bad Qualities

  1. The film is very mean-spirited, as the McGregors get tortured almost throughout the entire film by the animals, especially by Peter Rabbit himself.
    • Mr. McGregor suffers a heart attack and dies, which obviously isn't suitable for a family film. Adding insult to injury, the animals react to his death by trashing his house in a wild party as if his death is a happy occasion for them which is very tasteless, although Mr. McGregor was responsible for the death of Peter's parents.
    • Both the McGregors are supposed to be the ill-tempered main antagonists to the rabbits because of how they hate the rabbits to the point of wanting to kill them (and in the case of Mr. McGregor, eating them, just like what he did to Peter Rabbit's father in a flashback), but instead ended up treated as Butt-Monkeys because most of the rivalry between both men and the rabbits were instigated entirely by Peter Rabbit himself, which makes the film's audience feel a bit of sympathy for them when they aren't supposed to; as the result this makes Peter Rabbit himself come across more as the main antagonist rather than the McGregors.
    • Consequently, just like in Sony Pictures Animation's previous bad animated movie, both Peter Rabbit and the McGregors suffer from rather poor representation; Thomas McGregor is depicted as the main antagonist, even though all he did was basically minding his own business and wanting to relax in the country after having lost his job only to find that the animals led by Peter Rabbit have taken refuge in his late uncle's house and gets tortured by them; similarly, Peter Rabbit is depicted as the main protagonist, despite him being the one responsible for all of Thomas' problems including driving him to a murderous rage to the extent of wanting to blow up the rabbits' burrow with explosives, which causes his siblings to even get caught in-between their rivalry. Basically, the film tries to force its audience to sympathize with the protagonist and root against the antagonist without giving them the usual proper characterization as a reason to do this.
  2. Very poor jokes, some of which are incredibly inappropriate for a family film or are just plain disturbing or sadistic.
    • Hitting a person in the groin or smacking into a rake are boringly predictable.
    • There are occasionally some adults jokes scattered throughout the film, such as Mr. Tod the fox's "streaker" gag which consists of him running around naked.
  3. Poor grasp of the source material:
    • Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGregor, and other characters all act nothing like their original counterparts.
      • Perhaps the worst offender of this is the main protagonist Peter Rabbit himself, who has been flanderized from the books quite badly. He went from being a mischievous but lovable and friendly rabbit into a sadistic psychopath who tries to get rid of someone he hates, similar to the 2017 version of Woody Woodpecker. He is also shown to be a xenophobe who hates the McGregors because Mr. McGregor killed his father during his childhood in one flashback, something which his original book counterpart wouldn't go that far.
        • Peter Rabbit may have been a mischievous troublemaker in the original books and previous screen adaptations, but not to this extent as to how this film made him out to be.
    • In the original books, both Peter and his rabbit siblings are depicted as children, while in the film they're all depicted as adult rabbits instead.
    • The film abandons the timeless, "slice of life" feel of the books to cram in toilet humor and pop-culture references in an attempt to be hip and current to children.
    • Overall, the film itself hardly ever follows the books at all to the point that it is basically a name-only adaptation of the Peter Rabbit books, similar to that of the 2004 Catwoman film which is practically a name-only adaptation which is nothing like the original DC comics it was based on.
  4. A tiresome plot and convoluted storyline, which doesn't really seem to follow the story at all.
  5. The film only involves the Rabbits trying to destroy a garden, yet most of the movie boils down to a lot of filler, with almost nothing going on during the movie. The plot itself also suffers from being fairly boring, mainly because there is only weak humor compared to any real character development or interesting concepts.
    • On that topic, most of the scenes are just filler and sometimes get reused, such as the animals having a wild party at Mr. McGregor's house after the latter's death.
  6. Even for a Sony Pictures Animation film, the movie can also get surprisingly violent and disturbingly mean-spirited at times, such as how Thomas McGregor attempts to use an electric fence and explosives against Peter Rabbit and the rabbits, as well as Peter Rabbit setting bear traps all over Thomas' bed.
  7. The romance between Thomas and Bea is really played out and follows the exact same format as other rom-coms, from falling in love to going on a few dates, to the breakup, to the reconciliation.
  8. The morals in the film hardly get any screen-time, rendering them pointless.
  9. The infamous Allergy Bullying scene, where a gang of bunnies pelts Tom McGregor with blackberries until he has a near-fatal allergic reaction to them, which offended people with a certain allergy, which is not funny and spawned massive controversy where this has led to many people boycotting the movie due to it being insensitive towards people with food allergies.
  10. Factual errors: The Sparrows who have a lot of energy that appear at the start and throughout the film are two separate species, one being a Tree Sparrow (who do not show sexual dimorphism and we can assume are possibly female from the voice) and the other being a female House Sparrow. This is odd having two separate species together and was most likely a factual error with someone thinking that a Tree Sparrow was in fact a male House Sparrow.
  11. Like with all other Sony Pictures Animation movies, it relies too much on including popular songs, and bad covers of most of them at that, sung by none other than the singing sparrows.
  12. James Corden is jarringly miscast as the titular Peter Rabbit to the point where it feels phoned in and insincere.

Good Qualities

  1. The ending isn’t too bad. Plus, Peter Rabbit and the animals do feel sorry for what they did, and they try to put things right in the rest of the film, which turned out successful.
    • On that topic, after Bea and Thomas break up it's made crystal clear that we're not supposed to see Peter in the right - the film shows that this mean-spirited behavior upset him, his family, and the humans (even including Bea), and this convinces Peter to set things right and head back to London to retrieve Thomas (with the help of Benjamin).
  2. Spectacular 2D animation that stays true to the visual style of the original books.
  3. There are a couple of good laughs here and there.
  4. The CGI on the animals is phenomenal by Animal Logic, as while they have a more realistic approach, the animals, especially the rabbits, are really fluid and expressive. It also helps that the animals do actually look like they're interacting with the real world. Also, the character designs are pretty accurate to the books, but what helps is the fact the character designs from the books are already pretty realistic.
  5. Bea could be considered a likable character, and she does bring a nice in-joke being named after Beatrix Potter. In fact, the sequel revolves around the Peter Rabbit books that she had written in its own universe.
  6. The cast, particularly Domhnall Gleeson, do a fantastic job with the bad script, except for James Corden.
  7. The soundtrack is mostly okay.
  8. The animated flashback where Peter loses his father to Mr. McGregor who eats him in a pie is very sad and emotional.
  9. Director Will Gluck eventually learned from his mistakes and therefore the sequel is a massive improvement over this film.

Reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 63% based on 144 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7710. The website's critical consensus reads, "Peter Rabbit updates Beatrix Potter's classic characters with colorfully agreeable results that should entertain younger viewers while admittedly risking the wrath of purists." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.

Box Office

Peter Rabbit grossed $115.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $235.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $351.2 million, against a production budget of $50 million. In the UK, Peter Rabbit has become the biggest family film of 2018, overtaking Pixar's Coco. Totals from other markets include China ($26.5 million), Australia ($20.2 million), France ($12.3 million), and Germany ($12.1 million).

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Fifty Shades Freed and The 15:17 to Paris and was projected to gross around $16 million from 3,725 theaters in its opening weekend, with some estimates as high as $25 million. It ended up making $25 million over the weekend, finishing second at the box office behind Fifty Shades ($38.8 million).

Trivia

  • Bea was named after Beatrix Potter, who is the author of the Peter Rabbit books. In fact, the sequel actually shows that she is the author of these books.
  • Sony apologized for the movie's "allergy bullying" scene.
  • The Hereditary trailer was accidentally played during one showing of this movie in Australia.
  • Sony Pictures Animation is uncredited in the sequel, like how they were uncredited for The Angry Birds Movie, but not its sequel.
  • The film was first revealed in April 2015 through email leaks as a result of the Sony Pictures hack. The official announcement of the film came that December.

Videos

Official site

External Links

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