A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Peter Rabbit's Christmas Tale is a CGI rendering of Beatrix Potter's beloved characters in a delightful holiday story about growing up, being responsible, and making good decisions. There are some tense moments when the bunnies come face to face with a sly fox who wants to eat them for dinner and when Peter trespasses in the McGregors' garden, but only the youngest kids might fear the outcome. Ultimately, viewers of all ages will find heartwarming messages perfect for the holidays in the show's themes of friendship, family relationships, and caring for others.
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What's the story?
In PETER RABBIT'S CHRISTMAS TALE, Peter (voiced by Colin De Paula) steps in to make Christmas supply deliveries to his neighbors when the town courier, Mr. Bouncer (John White), catches a cold -- but his journey to the store and back is fraught with mishaps. Along the way, Peter and his pal Benjamin (Peter Harris) encounter Mr. Tod (Mark Huckerby), who tries to catch them for his supper; they lose their shopping list but find a new friend in Lily (Michaela Dean); and they have to brave Mr. McGregor's garden to replace Peter's sled when it meets a mishap. With time short and a blizzard bearing down, will Peter make it home in time to deliver the supplies and spend Christmas with his family?
Is it any good?
Peter Rabbit's Christmas Tale is a re-imagining of Beatrix Potter's classic stories about the mischievous boy bunny, his family, and their neighboring woodland creatures. The creators took obvious care in giving the characters a fresh look (complemented by modern CGI) while staying true to Potter's beloved illustrations, resulting in a format that accentuates Peter's exuberant personality. Kids will love watching as Peter and his friends wiggle their way out of one sticky situation after another, and parents will appreciate the story's messages about responsibility and solving problems.
One thing the story doesn't have, however, is a father figure for Peter, a plot point that's impossible to overlook because of the characters' frequent references to it. If you've read the original stories, then you know about Peter's dad's fateful visit to the McGregors' garden, but if your kids don't know the back story, they'll probably turn to you for the details. The upside of this is that Peter's single mom gets a starring role, and her gentle affection for her mischief-prone son is a sweet testament to the relationship between parents and their kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Peter and his friends escape the troubles they encounter. Would you have done anything differently if you were in the same situation? What consequences do they face from their actions?
Kids: What responsibilities do you have at home? In school? Are you always good about fulfilling them? What happens if you don't? How do your actions affect others?
Parents and their kids can talk about how this show compares to Beatrix Potter's original Peter Rabbit books. Do the characters look different on the screen? Do the visual changes help the story? Why or why not? Why do you think viewers never get to see Mr. McGregor's face?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love holidays
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