As said in my other reviews, who cannot help loving 'The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends'? While wonderfully made in every single way on its own merits, it is also one of those rarities that all 9 episodes are great and are very faithful in detail and spirit to the original stories.
This reviewer may be criticised for most of her reviews for this show being very similarly worded, but when the strengths are remarkably consistent throughout the show it is hard not to do so. Personally love all of Beatrix Potter's stories to bits, some a little better than others, but all of them are timeless, with simple and charming stories and colourful characters.
Even the animation adheres very closely to Potter's illustrations. To me "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny", "The Tailor of Gloucester" and "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers" are the best of the series (may be some bias here, because they're my favourites as well as "The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck" and "The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher" of Beatrix Potter's stories), but as said all the episodes are great and all the stories are timeless in their own way. "The Tale of Pigling Bland" is perhaps my least favourite of the episodes, partly because there are other Beatrix Potter stories personally preferred over this one. For me it's one of her lesser stories but it's still a very good story, a long way from bland.
It's wonderful visually as with all the episodes. Not just the animation, which are as said like Potter's illustrations come to life, being colourful, quaintly charming and carefully drawn, but also the charming and exquisitely filmed book-end live action scenes (though there is a preference for the other introduction), complete with splendid period detail and the scenery is just wondrous.
Forgot to say this but also love the use of animals that were clearly inspirations for Potter's stories, something that this reviewer appreciates much more as an adult, in the introduction she directly calls a rabbit Peter, a dog Kep and a duck Jemima, and you see for examples a frog that one is reminded of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Mr. Tod for a fox, Mr. Brock for a badger, and Mrs. Tiggy Winkle for a hedgehog.
Music is equally memorable, being lushly orchestrated, understated, quaint, whimsical and melodic. The music accompanying the introduction and the exquisitely sung (by Miriam Stockley) rendition of "Perfect Day" particularly stand out, though all the music matches the action and visuals flawlessly and even enhances the impact.
Dialogue is beautifully written and again sticks very closely to the writing of the story, with a cosy, sweet and relaxing atmosphere. One is fully immersed in Beatrix Potter's world, and the characters are as colourful as ever, with as always a sense that Beatrix Potter knew the characters personally, a good deal of the episodes even refer to her as if she was a character in the story.
Voice acting is very good. Niamh Cusack is perfect as Beatrix Potter, and narrates soothingly and articulately.
Overall, 'The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends' is a consistently beautiful series and while there is stronger in the series "The Tale of Pigling Bland" acquits itself just fine. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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