When a younger relative of the old Mr. MacGregor moves into the neighborhood, Peter Rabbit (with the help of his sisters and cousin) battle with him over the vegetables in his garden and the affections of the animal-lover who lives next door. Rent or buy it herehere.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: C+)
Surprisingly violent and full of edgy humor, the most confusing thing about this movie was trying to figure out who the target audience was. At some points too young for adults, and at other points too old for children, I’m not really sure to whom I can recommend this movie.
I did find the edgier, more adult humor funny on several occasions (a high point is a rooster who continuously, and loudly, voices his surprise that the sun rises day after day), and the ultimate message of the film was a good one. I was just left wishing that I could bring younger kids to it without worrying they would find the movie too scary (and since the movie is about Peter Rabbit, I also wish that I didn’t have to worry about that).
Needless to say, unless you count the character’s names, there’s hardly anything else that remains fromBeatrix Potter’s original books. If you haven’t read the books you’re bound to enjoy the movie more, but I urge caution when taking your younger children.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Parents should know that there is lots of frenzied action in this PG-rated film, including chases with explosives, animal traps, and death. (Spoiler) Old man MacGregor dies on screen, and Peter’s dad’s moment of death is shown, and you see that he is baked into a pie afterwards. At one point the character’s attack a human with food he is allergic to, causing him to have a reaction and having to treat himself with an epi-pen. Part of old man MacGregor’s buttock’s is shown and Peter tries to put a carrot in the crack. Human characters are shocked with electricity hard enough to cause one character to pass out. There is also moderate cruelty towards the rabbits shown, i.e. they are often grabbed by the ears or neck, thrown around, and threatened with violence.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Love grows when it is spread between others. Our actions often have unexpected and unintended consequences for us and the people we love.
For a more surefire family-friendly film about talking barnyard animals, 1995’s Babe is an uplifting, funny treat that was nominated for Best Picture. Rent or buy it here.
Lindsi Neilson currently works for Brigham Young University in the Theatre and Media Arts department, and is a freelance technical director and stage manager for several theatre companies in the Utah Valley area. In her free time she loves photography, stand up paddle-boarding, running 5k’s, reading, spoiling her nieces and nephews, and (you guessed it!) watching movies. For more of Lindsi’s writing visit lindsimichellephotography.blogspot.com.