Whether you love or hate animated live action remakes of old popular tales and stories, one of the biggest things people criticise remake movies for is being an “insult” to the originals, and to its creator. This was the case with the new Peter Rabbit live action film, which critics say the story’s author, Beatrix Potter, would not be at all impressed with.
The film already faced controversy last month when it was threatened with a boycott by upset viewers who complained of a certain scene involving Peter Rabbit and his friends throwing blackberries at Mr. McGregor’s nephew, who is allergic to them. Many accused the film’s scene of promoting allergy bullying, which could potentially get young children to mimic the behaviour onto their allergic friends.
Despite the huge backlash from viewers and food allergy awareness groups, the film did not get the axe in the end. However, it is now being criticised in general for not living up to its original works, in any way shape or form. The live action adaptation of Peter Rabbit marks the first time the Potter estate has given permission to adapt the story into a motion picture film, but some critics have said that Beatrix Potter, who died back in 1943, wouldn’t have been impressed with this adaptation at all.
One particular critic, Matthew Dennison, who also wrote a Beatrix Potter biography in 2016, told The Guardian: “Peter Rabbit emerges as a bully, and there really isn’t any evidence for that in the story.”
However, actor and comedian James Corden, who plays the main character, said at the film’s London Premiere that the film was a “faithful adaption” of Beatrix’s famous story.
“I sort of felt some reticence about doing it when I got offered it simply because of what it means to so many people in this country and across the world.” James said.
“But then when the Beatrix Potter estate, who have turned down I think maybe over 20 proposals, even Walt Disney at one point, wanted to make a Peter Rabbit film and they felt it didn’t capture the essence of the character and this script did.”
The overall reaction to the film has been a mixed bag, but now James has hit back at so-called “snobby” critics for their comments on the film and he went into more detail about what the film is actually about.
James Corden explains that the film is about acceptance and that he couldn’t “find anything that can be anything other than positive”. It appears he missed out on the notorious food allergy scene, considering the vast controversy that it has received. There wasn’t really anything “positive” in that part, was there?
“At its core, at its actual core, what the film is about, aside from all the big comic set pieces and the brilliant soundtrack and the animation is wonderful, what the film is actually about is acceptance.”
“It’s about going ‘people will look different to you and sound different to you and be different to you and actually if you accept your differences you will find lots of similarities.”
“What people do is go ‘I’m going to put up a wall and this is mine and that is yours and you don’t come in here’ and actually what you should do is open your arms and go ‘well I don’t look like you or understand you but perhaps we can find some common ground.”
“That is what the film is actually about, so anyone who is being what I would consider snobby about such an experience, I can’t find anything that can be anything other than positive in such a message for young children.”
Star Wars actress, Daisy Ridley, who voices Cottontail, also believes Beatrix would have enjoyed the film. “I think Beatrix Potter would first be gobsmacked that it had become the success it has and the fact that they (the estate) believed in this script says a lot, because obviously her family knew her.”
Has anyone seen the Peter Rabbit film yet? If so, what did you really think of it? Is it all indicative of the original, or just purely grandiose entertainment? Lastly, do you believe that Beatrix Potter would be proud of the resulting film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below.
<Story by Emily Clark>
Featured Photo Credit: YouTube