Featured voices: James Corden, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki, Domhnall Gleeson, Sam Margot Robbie
This flawed but occasionally amusing attempt to do a Paddington, is a contemporary, sort-of sequel to Beatrix Potter’s much-loved book The Tale of Peter Rabbit with James Corden voicing the titular rascally rabbit. After the death of his nemesis, Mr McGregor, during a vegetable raid on his garden, Peter, and his sisters Flopsy (Robbie), Mopsy (Debicki) and Cotton-Tail (Ridley), are delighted to find they have the run of the place. That is until McGregor’s nephew Jeremy (Gleeson) arrives. Jeremy was a punctilious Harrods’ employee who left the job in disgust after he was passed over in favour of the boss’s feckless son, and who now plans to sell his uncle’s farm as a source of revenue. On arriving Jeremy is disgusted to find that Peter and his woodland chums have laid waste to the house, so sets about removing them. But in the process, Jeremy starts to fall for his bohemian, ditzy bunny-loving neighbour Bea (Byrne). Like Corden the film is a little too frantic and eager to please, and there’s a tension between the attempts at edgy humour (the already notorious allergies gag) and the original material’s bucolic tweeness, although the sequences in which Potter’s original illustration are brought to life in animated flashbacks are charming. And while it lacks the warmth and homespun feel of the Paddington films, the animals are beautifully realised and interact seamlessly with the real locations and characters; and there are laughs to be had in the dialogue-free sequences, particularly a slapstick fight between Peter and Jeremy that brings to mind old Warner Bros shorts at their most anarchic.