One of my favourite shows ever as a child, 'The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends' still holds up as one of my favourite.
This reviewer still loves all of Beatrix Potter's stories to bits, some a little better than others but all of them are timeless, and 'The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends' show complete respect and faithfulness to them with every bit of their charm and memorability.
Even the animation adheres very closely to Potter's illustrations. To me "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny" and "The Tailor of Gloucester" are the best of the series, but 'The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends' is one of those rarities where all the episodes/stories are great.
"The Tale of Two Bad Mice and Johnny Town Mouse" is another wonderful adaptation and episode, again showing complete respect for Potter's stories.
It's wonderful visually. 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 this reviewer slightly prefers the introduction of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny") complete with splendid period detail and just as breathtaking scenery.
Music is equally memorable, with a return to the more understated, quaint and melodic incidental music of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny" and "The Tailor of Gloucester", when "The Tale of Mr Tod's" took on a slightly darker nature. The music to the live introduction and the as ever ethereal rendition of "Perfect Day" particularly stand out.
Dialogue is beautifully written and again sticks very closely to the writing of the stories of "The Tale of Two Bad Mice" and "The Tale of Johnny Town Mouse" with some nice connecting of the two stories. The storytelling never rushes or drags, for an episode that adapts two stories into one, and is beautifully told with all the characters as charming and colourful as in Potter's stories.
The voice acting is faultless, Felicity Kendal and Rik Mayall are suitably rascally as Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb, while Alan Bennett is an affecting Timmie Willie and Hugh Laurie's Johnny Town Mouse injects some great energy. Niamh Cusack is also perfectly cast as Beatrix Potter.
Overall, of a consistently beautiful and timeless show "The Tale of Two Bad Mice and Johnny Town Mouse" fares wonderfully yet again. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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