Peter Rabbit is an British-American-Australian 3D live-action/CGI animated adventure comedy film directed by Will Gluck and written by Gluck and Rob Lieber. It is based on the stories of the character of the same name created by Beatrix Potter. The film features James Corden in the voice role of Peter Rabbit, with live-action roles played by Rose Byrne, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki, Rachel Ramos, and Domhnall Gleeson. The film was released on February 9, 2018.
The sequel, which Sony Pictures Animation was not involved with, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, was released on June 11, 2021.
Peter Rabbit, his cousin Benjamin, and his triplet sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, spend most of their days picking on Mr. McGregor and stealing his vegetables from his garden. They are friends with a local woman named Bea who spends her time painting pictures of the rabbits as well as the surrounding nature. Bea takes on a mother-like relationship with the rabbits due to the passing of their mother and father. One day Peter, accidentally leaves his jacket back in McGregor's garden and goes back to retrieve it. McGregor spots and catches him, but suddenly dies of a heart attack. Enthralled, Peter invites all his woodland friends who have now taken over McGregor's old house.
Meanwhile in London, McGregor's great-nephew Thomas works at the Harrod's department store where he awaits for a promotion. He coldly accepts the news about his great-uncle's death, but is infuriated over not getting the promotion and is fired. When he learns that his great-uncle's house is valuable, he decides to refurnish it so he can sell it and start his own toy store to rival Harrod's. He kicks out Peter and his friends and begins to secretly wall up the garden, despite Bea's objections. When Peter and Benjamin sneak back into the garden, Thomas catches the latter and attempts to drown him. Peter and the triplets rescue him and Thomas accidentally tosses the binoculars that Bea had given him earlier.
Thomas and Peter start a war with each other by setting up traps and other offensive nuisances. Thomas and Bea end up falling in love with each other which causes Peter to become jealous and wanting to separate them more. Bea soon gets mad at Peter for unintentionally ruining her paintings during one excursion and soon she also turns on Thomas when his violent tendencies begin to show. This all culminates when Thomas throws dynamite at Peter's burrow, and uses it to attack Peter in the garden, before telling him that his antics caused him to become aggressive. When Peter detonates the dynamite to prove to Bea that Thomas was using it, he ends up knocking down the tree on top of the burrow, which crushes Bea's art studio. Thinking that Thomas was responsible for the detonation, Bea breaks up with him, and he goes back to London to work at Harrod's again.
Peter feels bad for what he has done, and upon learning that Bea intends to leave Peter and his family, he and Benjamin head to London and finds Thomas at the store. They make up and rush back to the country where Peter reveals that he had activated the detonator, and he and Thomas apologize to Bea for their fighting. Thomas discovers that he cannot go home because a snobbish couple, whom Thomas had an ugly encounter with prior, had just bought the house. Peter and his friends use their tricks to kick the couple out of the house.
During the end credits, it is shown that Bea, Thomas and the rabbits eventually moved to London together where Thomas has his own toy shop and Bea begins to write and illustrate books based on Peter and his friends. It‘s implied that Bea and Thomas are now a couple.
- Domhnall Gleeson as Thomas McGregor
- Rose Byrne as Bea
- Sam Neill as Mr. McGregor
- Marianne Jean-Baptiste as General Manager
- Felix Williamson as Derek
- Gareth Davies as Bannerman
- Natalie Dew as Harrods Worker - Janelle
- Terenia Edwards as Harrods Worker - Siobhan
- Vauxhall Jermaine and Tom Greaves as Harrods Security
- Sam Haft as Postman
- Sacha Horler as Taxi Driver - Betty
- Alex Blias as Hardware Clerk - Phil
- Dave Lawson as Hardware Clerk - Chris
- Ming-Zhu Hill as Sarabeth
- Lance Kerfuffle as J. David Scarfington
- Jyla Mabaso as Small Girl
- James Corden as Peter Rabbit
- Margot Robbie as Flopsy, Narrator
- Daisy Ridley as Cottontail
- Elizabeth Debicki Mopsy
- Colin Moody as Benjamin Bunny
- Sia as Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
- Fayssal Bazzi as Mr. Tod
- Christian Gazal as Felix D’eer
- Ewen Leslie as Pigling Bland
- Rachel Ward as Josephine Rabbit
- Bryan Brown as Mr. Rabbit
- David Wenham as Johnny Town-Mouse
- Rose Byrne as Jemima Puddle-Duck
- Domhnall Gleeson as Mr. Jeremy Fisher
- Sam Neill as Tommy Brock
- Alexandra Gluck and Taryn Gluck as London Street Rats
- Will Reichelt as JW Rooster II
- Jessica Freedman, Shana Halligan, Katharine Hoye, Chris Man, Chad Reisser, and Fletcher Sheridan as The Singing Sparrows
It was originally scheduled to be released on March 23, 2018, but it was moved up to February 9, 2018. It was carried as a trailer before The Lego Ninjago Movie.
Differences from the original book
By general impression, it seems as though the film has nothing in common with the original book, replacing the wholesome spirit and whimsical tone of the books with self-aware humor, slapstick comedy, and current pop music. However, the movie finds a clever way around it by making it a sequel to the original book instead of being a direct adaptation. In the film, the original Mr. McGregor dies of a heart attack and his nephew Thomas inherits his garden. Peter has grown up to be an adult and with the death of his parents, he continues to steal from the McGregor's garden because he is in charge of the family now and wants to make sure they all survive and are well-fed. Similar to Peter in the original book though, he is still naughty and reckless.
It is also possible that the modern day world the movie is present in is the "real world" whereas the whimsical tone of the books is likely created by the character Bea (an obviously modernized and fictionalized version of author Beatrix Potter).
In the United States and Canada, Peter Rabbit was released alongside Fifty Shades Freed and The 15:17 to Paris, and is projected to gross around $16 million from 3,725 theaters in its opening weekend, with some estimates as high as $25 million.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 58% based on 63 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. 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 21 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
In May 2018, Sony Pictures announced a sequel was being developed, with several cast members from the first movie confirmed in 2019 to be returning for their roles. However, the film, titled Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, is being produced by Animal Logic and two other companies and not Sony Pictures Animation. It was released on June 11, 2021 and was originally scheduled to release on April 3 following the COVID-19 outbreak of coronavirus.
- This is the first time Sony Pictures Animation releases four films in the same year, while the other films are Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
- The third Sony Pictures Animation live-action/animated hybrid film, after The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, not counting Goosebumps.
- Peter Rabbit is the second Sony Pictures Animation film to be rated PG for some rude humor and action by the MPAA, after The Smurfs 2.
- This is the first film to have the Sony Pictures Animation logo appear before the Columbia Pictures logo; The Star started with both the Sony and Sony Pictures Animation logo but did not have the Columbia Pictures logo at the beginning at all. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween was originally going to be the next film to have this method, however the Columbia Pictures logo appeared before the Sony Pictures Animation logo.
- The sixth Sony Pictures Animation film to be produced in a 2:35:1 aspect ratio, after Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Goosebumps and The Emoji Movie.
- Tons of licensed toys and other products can be seen throughout the movie, like, Mr.Clean, the classic metal Slinky, and the truck brand, Land Rover.
- Many songs like Fight Song, I Would Walk A Thousand Miles, Feel It Still play in throughout the movie.
- Peter Rabbit ears gets stuck in the hood of the Land Rover, He tries to open the hood, and he did, but the next shot the hood is closed.