Domhnall Gleeson goes to battle with the animated Peter Rabbit in this fun family comedy
Many of us may remember growing up reading Beatrix Potter's stories about the mischievous Peter Rabbit and his war with Mr. McGregor over the food in his vegetable patch, and now the tale is coming to the big screen for the first time.
James Corden voices the animated rabbit, who we first meet plotting a mission to steal as much food as possible from the garden of Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill) with his sisters Flopsy (voiced by Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley) and cousin Benjamin Bunny (Colin Moody) while the grumpy old man is gardening.
After catching Peter, McGregor suffers a heart attack and the rabbits are overjoyed that they will have the garden all to themselves.
However, their celebration is short-lived because McGregor's nephew Thomas (Gleeson), who works in Harrods in London, is given the rights to the house and comes along to clean it up and sell it.
He instantly finds the trespassing rabbits a nuisance and builds up the perimeter wall, which only serves as a challenge to Peter.
Peter retaliates, then so does Thomas, and it becomes an all-out war, with each side setting traps for the other.
Matters get worse when Thomas falls in love with his neighbour Bea (Rose Byrne), the rabbits' human friend, making Peter jealous.
Above all things, Peter Rabbit is pure, good-natured fun. Kids will undoubtedly laugh their heads off at Gleeson falling for all the traps set by Peter and his friends.
Thomas is very particular and obsessively clean, so he will not stand for the rabbits ruining his new property. It doesn't take him long to become dishevelled and out of control with rage.
This is a physically challenging role for Gleeson as he is always being beaten up and left black and blue by the rabbits' tricks, and although they’re animated, he convincingly makes it seems like his opponent is there, even during a one-on-one fight with Peter.
Both Gleeson, Neill and Byrne have to react to multiple CGI animals and they do a wonderful job.
Corden is the perfect choice for Peter as he oozes that cheeky quality, Ridley brings a feisty nature to Cotton-Tail and Robbie adopts a sweet lisp as Flopsy.
Lots of the actors pull double duty too, with Gleeson also voicing frog, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Byrne as Jemima Puddle-Duck, and Neill lending his vocals to Tommy Brock.
Singer Sia is also among the voice cast, and is adorable as hedgehog Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.
All the key Beatrix Potter characters get their moment to shine, it's not just Peter stealing the show.
The CGI is impressive, but a couple of times the animals' physical interaction with a live-action actor didn't look totally convincing, but this is a minor issue that will go unnoticed by many.
The film boasts a very funny, clever script, with lots of laugh-out-loud moments, and a top-notch soundtrack. It is thoroughly enjoyable and kids should be entertained this Easter holiday.
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