Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Peter Rabbit - re-imagining a timeless classic

My childhood came flooding back. Fond memories of mum and dad reading the Tales of Beatrix Potter to me as I listened in wonder at the adventures of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Squirrel Nutkin and all their friends. I remember always hoping Peter would escape from Mr McGreggor even though I had heard the story a hundred times before. 
Benjamin, Peter & Lily
Sitting in Zeffirellis cinema in Ambleside over 30 years later the magic was still there. Peter Rabbit has been made into a BBC series for CBeebies but, whilst it is aimed at children, I simply love it! I was lucky enough to be invited to the premier to watch the first three episodes. The animation is superb and the scenery is developed from over 3,000 photos taken of the local area so you can see Esthwaite Water come alive and even Peter Rabbit’s burrow is based on the roots of a real tree near Sawrey. 

As Peter and his friends Benjamin and Lily dodge danger, make new friends, escape wily foxes, get into mischief and have adventure and fun in the process, you can’t help but get swept up in the imagination of it all.  Even the episode titles intrigue you with “The Tale of the Radish Robber” and “The Tale of the Greedy Fox”. Lily is not in the original Potter books but is a welcome addition with her pink dress and sense of bravery and alongside her are the old favourites including Mrs Tiggiwinkle, Jemima Puddleduck, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail.

Beatrix Potter was inspired by the beauty and majesty of the Lake District and it is clear in this animation that the writers and creators have been equally inspired. The CBeebies series will ensure a whole new generation fall in love with this beautiful place and the colourful characters Potter brought to life. I rather suspect it will capture the hearts of a lot of older generations too – I for one am going to be glued to it!

Peter Rabbit is a co-production between Silvergate Media, Penguin UK and CBeebies. The executive producers are Sarah Legg for CBeebies and Paula Rosenthal for Silvergate Media. The new animation was directed by David McCamley from Brown Bag Productions and the writers are Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby.
The new series can be seen on CBeebies from Monday 3 June.

A Peter Rabbit biscuit at the premier
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  1. Great review blog ,.brought back vivid childhood memories of reading stories of Peter Rabbit

    1. Thanks Peter. Hope you will be watching! :-)