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Now on Netflix: Peter Rabbit

By Shaun Szkolnik for the Tribune

  • Peter Rabbit
  • Year released: 2018
  • Directed by: Will Gluck
  • Written by: Rob Leiber, Will Gluck with source material from Beatrix Potter
  • Starring: James Corden, Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleason
  • Classification: PG
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: B

In a world where on-demand options have given rise to an endless stream of kid’s entertainment Peter Rabbit stands head and shoulders, and ears, above the rest.

Adapted from the 1902 book by Beatrix Potter the 2018 update has old Mr. McGregor leave his country home to the care and keeping of young Mr. McGregor, a thirty-something neurotic with control issues.  Upon his move to the country young McGregor comes across his foil in a neighbor named Bea.  She is bohemian, free-spirited, a little flighty, and not too keen on property rights.  She is also lovely and a smitten McGregor can’t help but pretend to be the man she wants him to be.  Trouble is, as the trouble usually is I these sorts of films, a gang farm animals -led by the titular Peter Rabbit- see right through the ruse and sets about stopping young Mr. McGregor from stealing Bea’s heart and their home; and of course, hi-jinks and hilarity ensue.

On the face of it the film should be every bit as unappealing as one of the stews Old McGregor was so fond of.  The source material has been adapted ad nauseam and the tropes are more than just a little well worn; however, director Will Gluck expertly injects the perfect mix of humor and heart while a winning cast manages to do the rest.

Peter Rabbit is more than you’d expect and far more than you could have hoped for.  This is one that kids will love and parents will too.

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